Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[Review] Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 21/09/2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 270
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA (14+) - Contemporary

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity

Book Tunes
Bloc Party - I Still Remember

My Rating: 

My thoughts

Perfection. This story is kind of bittersweet, beautiful and magical.

Highly highly recommended for readers who love realistic/contemporary fiction.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac follows Naomi after she hits her head on concrete steps trying to save the yearbook camera. She doesn't remember her friends or family. She doesn't remember who she IS, really. And then she meets James, mysterious James with the mysterious past, who's as lost as she is, and they start a rocky relationship. But then things go awry and she is left to pick up the pieces, left to remember...

Naomi feels like a real, fleshed-out person. She has her flaws and characteristic quirks, and after reading the last page I feel like her story does go on, that she's out there living her life...

Will is one of the greatest male main characters in a book I've ever read. He's so incredibly humble, loyal, amazing.

I loved Naomi and Will's friendship. They know absolutely everything about each other and are simply inseparable. It's all so sweet. I knew where they would end up, you could see it from the very beginning, but that didn't detract from the enjoyment in following their journey.

Naomi's dad and the whole orphan plot arc. This book is very 'coming of age'-y, very 'finding yourself'-sy. Just brilliant. The concept of losing one's memory allows the reader to wonder how they would cope if they forgot absolutely everything about themselves, contemplating on the essence of one's identity... all those good things associated with adolescence and growing up.

I think the way this book was set out was extremely unique and worked well. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is separated into parts: "I was", "I am" and "I will"--fitting in more ways than one. It's also very fitting to Naomi's personality that she would set her story out in this way... props to Zevin for the forethought! (Or maybe I'm just overthinking this!)

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is such a well-written, well-executed book that tapped at my heart, begged me to question and think, that challenged me. I'd definitely want to reread this in the future.* Gabrielle Zevin is an amazing writer. She grabbed me with All These Things I've Done. While these two books are of completely different veins, different genres, I enjoyed both immensely, for different reasons. Definitely recommend giving this author a try if you haven't already!

*If it wasn't obvious that I have finished writing this review after several months of reading it, and only had my hastily written dot-point notes--that I'd written after reading the book--as my guide. Thus the short review, thus the lack of thoroughness and depth I try to achieve with most of my reviews. I was contemplating including this in a "Review Bite" but I had more to say about it that couldn't be said in such a short review.


First line: Above all, mine is a love story.

Favourite quotes: (I didn't note these quotes down; from Goodreads)

"I was crying a little for the boy I had wanted him to be and the boy he hadn’t turned out to be.

"I knew near everything about him, and he knew near everything about me, and all that made our quiet a kind of song. The kind you hum without even knowing what it is or why you're humming it. The kind that you've always known.

"Someday, we’ll run into each other again, I know it. Maybe I’ll be older and smarter and just plain better. If that happens, that’s when I’ll deserve you. But now, at this moment, you can’t hook
your boat to mine, because I’m liable to sink us both.


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I purchased this book with my own money. All opinions written here are my own.

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