Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
It all started with a coin toss. A simple wager on who would have to go back to the school to collect the camera that they had left behind. It was Naomi who lost and subsequently fell down the front steps of her school. The next thing she knew she woke up in hospital. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is the story of a girl who has forgotten who she once was and is trying to make sense of who she is now, but not everyone is quite so happy with the change. When she eventually does remember who she is she has to face moving on with the troubles she had previously forgotten, and decide what she is going to do with her life now that she has a fresh start.
I loved the writing style; it was perfectly formed for a teenage audience. The banter between Naomi and her best friend Will was hilarious and there were some particularly great one liners that I’ll have to use at some point. Even though Naomi was confused and slightly off-kilter when it came to her emotions, as an audience we’re not annoyed by this because it’s understandable in her condition, whereas in other young adult books I will not refrain from shouting at the protagonist until she pulls herself together.
However, regardless of that fact that she has suffered from some emotional and physical trauma, I didn’t think it was a good enough excuse for treating her friends badly. I understood why she didn’t want to tell them everything now that she was ‘a new person’, and for the most part she did handle things quite as well as I would have hoped, but when it came to Will I just didn’t get how she could ignore him.
There were moments when she was with James (the boy that sort of rescued her from the fall) when I thought: even if she had lost her memory, surely she shouldn’t have lost her common sense, but apparently so. It was still an enjoyable read.
The novel is split up into three parts: I was, I am and I will, and my favourite section was definitely I was. Everything was explained perfectly, and Zevin made sure to tie up the majority of the loose ends by ‘I will’, but I couldn’t help feeling slightly disappointed with the ending. I wanted more to have happened and there to have been more character development. I was proud of how Naomi dealt with her family, but with boys she definitely still has some work to do.
Therefore this one gets a 3/5 rating.
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