Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Title: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: YA Fiction
Alerts/Warnings: Reference to previous teen sex, mild language, secondary characters in same-sex relationship
Premise: "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. She wouldn't have woken up in the ambulance with amnesia. She would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might have even remembered why she fell in love with him. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her "Chief." She'd know 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. But ... Naomi picked heads. -- After a nasty fall, Naomi realizes that she has no memory of the last four years and finds herself reassessing every aspect of her life" (King County Library System).
Opinions: This was a book I picked up from my library when I was in a totally random mood. I went into the YA section and picked the first book in the letter A's and the last book in the letter Z's. From the moment I picked up this book I was pulled in. The premise was fascinating and the characters compelling and relatable for me. I was intrigued by the idea of how a personality can change if your memory had been wiped clean for the last four years. I felt drawn into Naomi's personal emotional/physical struggle with all aspects that the amnesia affect her.The decisions a teen makes based on the need to feel accepted, successful, etc. might totally change. Then having to re-deal (or in some cases deal for the first time) with a parent's divorce and remarriage could totally be up in the air.
For those of you concerned about what your teens read this book does talk about serious depressions, friends thinking of suicide, friends with same-sex relations, divorce, drugs, teen sex, etc. In spite of that, or maybe because I've had friends/family go through some similar instances, I found them personal and made the story more relatable to me. I maybe not have made some of the same choices as Naomi if I were in her shoes, but I was drawn in by her willingness to change even though she remembered less. I would recommend though that parents who are uncomfortable with how these topics might impact their children read the book for themselves first.
As for me, once I started reading Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac I couldn't put it down and was up until almost midnight (even after taking two Tylenol PM) finishing the story.