Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (17 Sep 2007)
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 get all his inside jokes, and maybe he wouldn't be so frustrated with her for forgetting things she can't possibly remember.
She'd know about her mom's new family.
She'd know about her dad's fiancee.
She wouldn't have to spend her junior year relearning all the French she supposedly knew already.
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.
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Having scored myself an absolute bargain at the charity shop, I got 3 books for 60p each. Brand spanking new, with a slight crease in one book, I left a very happy camper feeling £1.80 lighter. One of these books, was Gabrielle Zevin’s, “Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac”. As a teen, I read and fell head over heels in love with her debut novel, Elsewhere, a stunning story about life after death. I’ve also got a copy of her new book, The Collected Works of A.J Fikry, so all in all, I’m set on the Zevin front. ANYWAY. On to the review we go!
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac was a great, light and quick read. The story follows our main character Naomi, and the events that follow after she falls down a flight of stairs and collectively loses 4 years of her memory. What does this mean? She has no idea if she has a boyfriend or not, she can’t remember who her friends are, she can’t remember what her passions are, she can’t remember that her parents are divorced. There’s a gaping hole left in her memory, and Zevin takes us on a story with Naomi, as people in her life try to fill in the blanks. Bit by bit, alongside with recovering little chunks of her memory, Naomi takes this time to reflect on the kind of person she used to be - she starts to discover where her passions truly lie, rekindle her relationship with her mother (‘cause let’s face it, when you forget why you were mad at someone, you may as well stop being mad for no reason).
Zevin’s writing is both witty, engaging and easy to read - I found myself laughing throughout the book, and I truly love the simplicity with which Zevin writes - both the plot and the characters. Through this journey Naomi takes, we are introduced to her best friend (enter Will Landsman), her boyfriend (enter Ace) and the mysterious boy James, who helped her into the ambulance who she wishes were her boyfriend. (In case you’re wondering, no, this isn’t a love square).
Naomi was a likeable enough character, given this wasn’t an intense read - there were a few flaws I felt in the characters altogether, and at times the story felt a little choppy and fragmented - but for a quick read, I wasn’t expecting anything mind blowing or intricate and was happy enough with the story.
I’m looking forward to reading more of Zevin’s works, continuing on with The Collected Works of A.J Fikry. For now, over and out.