"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac


Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-10: 0374349460
ISBN-13: 978-0374349462

When 17-year old Naomi takes a tumble down the steps one evening, she wakes without the past four years of her memory and holding on to a cute boy she knows nothing about. They get to know each other in the ambulance ride to the hospital.

Naomi slowly starts to put her life together but there are so many things wrong with it. Like why can’t she remember Will, her best friend and co-chief editor of the school yearbook? She can’t remember that her parents are divorced or that she has a sister. Why can’t she remember ever kissing her boyfriend Ace? Matter of fact, she doesn’t even remember him. She reads her journal and doesn’t recognize her writing or her thoughts. Is she really this obsessed with how many calories she takes in each day? There has to be more to her than this.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is a fantastic story. It’s Naomi’s journey of self-discovery, of finding out just who she really is and what defines her as a person. It’s a second chance. As we get to know Naomi and her life, we’re completely involved, cheering her on, booing the bad decisions, stopping to take in her confusion and the realization that even with her memory back she’d be a changed person. She has a chance to choose the life she wants over the life she had before her accident. How great is that?

The author of that marvelously quirky and different novel Elsewhere really shines with this one. The book is well written, the characters so real we feel we know them and the story is completely original and fresh. Highly recommended!


Book Description from the publisher:
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She’d know about her mom’s new family. She’d know about her dad’s fiancée. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.

After her remarkable debut, Gabrielle Zevin has crafted an imaginative second novel all about love and second chances.


About the Author
GABRIELLE ZEVIN’s first young adult novel, Elsewhere, was an ALA Notable Book and a Quill Book Award nominee. Of her writing, The New York Times Book Review said, “Zevin’s touch is marvelously light even as she considers profundities.” She lives in New York City.

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