Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Review: A Memoir of a Teenage Amnesiac

Title: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Square Fish, 2007
Date read: August 4th, 2010
Page total: 271 pages
Genre(s): Young-Adult; Fiction

Reviewed by Ginny

Above all, mine is a love story. And like most love stories, this one involves chance, gravity, a dash of head trauma. […] Sometimes, a girl needs to lose.

While trying to save the yearbook camera, the aforementioned yearbook’s Co-Editor Naomi Porter hits her head on the steps, hard, and forgets everything that has happened in last four years, including her parent’s divorce, her boyfriend Ace and her best friend Will, who’s also at the same time the other Co-Editor.
As Naomi tries to adjust to the life she once had, she meets James, a boy with a questionable past and finds herself falling for him. But what will happen if she regains her memories?

This book is divided in three parts, I Was, I Am and I Will. In I Was, Naomi learns about her amnesia and tries to fill in the role she had before the accident. I Am is about her going her own path, not letting the past influence her. She quits yearbook and tennis and gets quite rebellious, as her motto at that time shows which is “Screw the past”. I Will is after she gets her memories back -yes, she regains them and I hope you don’t think it’s a minor spoiler- and she has to readjust to her life once again.
I was really angry with Naomi not for falling for James and getting all rebellious, but for not treasuring her friendship with Will. And when she did, at the end, it was so all of sudden, it didn't feel right.
After reading the book for the second time, everything kind of makes sense but it was also a little bit boring. But the idea is unique and I really enjoyed the first read, so maybe you will, too.

4 Kisses!

(The scene is in the hospital, directly after the accident. Please note that her parents are divorced and her mom moved to NYC.)
"Where’s Mom?"
"In the city."
"Is she working?"
"Working?" Dad repeated. "She’s… She… Naomi, are you trying to worry me?"
"Dad, are you screwing with me?" Knowing my dad, this was not an unlikely scenario.
"Screwing with you?"
I assumed he hadn’t liked my use of the word screw, though Dad was not normally the sort of parent who cared much about swearing.
"Sorry. Playing with me, whatever."
"Are you screwing with me?" Dad asked.
"So you can use screw and I can’t? That doesn’t seem fair," I protested.
" I don’t give a damn if you use the word screw, Naomi. But is that what you’re doing?"
"I’m not screwing with you! Just tell me where Mom is."
"In N.Y.C." It sounded like slow motion. EHNNNNN. WHYYYYY. SEEEEE. "New York-"
"City. Yes, I know what N.Y.C. stands for. But why?"
"She lives there. Since the divorce. You can’t have forgotten that."
I’m sure you’ve already figured out that I had.

"You forget all of it anyway. First, you forget everything you learned-the dates of the Hay-Herran Treaty and Pythagorean Theorem. You especially forget everything you didn't really learn, but just memorized the night before. You forget the names of all but one or two of your teachers, and eventually you'll forget those, too. You forget your junior class schedule and where you used to sit and your best friend's home phone number and the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. And eventually, but slowly, oh so slowly, you forget your humiliations - even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic, and not. Who went to a good college. Who threw the best parties. Who could get you pot. You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They're the last to go. And then once you've forgotten enough, you love someone else."


Katie said...

I've heard so many amazing things about this book. I definitely need to read it. Great, honest review :)

Ginny said...

Thank you for your honest opinion, Katie :)

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