Saturday, August 17, 2013

Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Release Date: August 21, 2007
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Library


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 fiancĂ©e. 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.

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

I absolutely love books with open endings. I love the books that don't give you all the answers. The ones where you get to that last page and you are not quite sure what could happen next in the lives of the characters but you still feel satisfied because you know just enough to make the ending good. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin is one of those books. 

I think the highlight of this books is the way the story unfolds as the book progresses. Because of Naomi's amnesia we, the readers, get to learn more about her life as she does. Background story points that are normally just told to the reader as exposition are now revealed to us in a more dramatic way with the suspense of learning them for the first time. It is nice to know that the character is feeling this same sense of suspense. 

One of the only complaints I have is Naomi's relationship with the other characters. At some points it feels a little two-dimensional and contrived. Without revealing any spoilers, I feel that the relationships are taken to the polar extremes and the middle ground is somewhat ignored. However, this is remedied as Naomi grows as a character and by the end it feels a bit more realistic.

All of us have times we wish we could forget, or things we wish we could hide in the past, but when that past is taken from us and we can only pray that we get it back is when we realize how important each moment in our life is. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac reminds us how important it is to live each day to the fullest and to live without regrets.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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