Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

memoirs of a teenage amnesiacAuthor: Gabrielle Zevin

Number of Pages: 288

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Release Date: August 21, 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 know about 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, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.”

In general I really enjoyed this novel, even though there were somethings about it that bothered me. But first, let’s focus on the positive stuff. To start, the topic of the story was extremely different. I have never read a book about amnesia before- I barely ever even hear about it, and when I do it concerns older people. The perspective of a teenage girl with amnesia is a very intriguing and thought-provoking one. While reading this novel I began to ask myself some very interesting questions. For example, if I were to suddenly develop amnesia, would I be happy with my present life and with who I am as a person? Naomi, the main character, finds that she really dislikes the person she used to be before the accident. Would I feel the same way? I really hope not, but I guess I won’t ever know unless for some reason it actually happens to me. Also, I like this book because the plot moved at a good pace. It wasn’t so slow that it dragged on, yet it wasn’t so fast that it was confusing and difficult to follow.

However, there were some negative aspects of this novel. First, the fact that Naomi kept lying to her friends and family got really annoying after a while. She lied to almost everyone who she cared about, and then she proceeded to complain about how they reacted when they found out that she hadn’t been telling the truth. If she had just told the truth in the first place, there would have been no need to whine and complain so much! I didn’t really care for the character of Naomi all that much (however, I loved her best friend Will, so I guess it balances itself out). Furthermore, the ending of this novel wasn’t very satisfying. It felt very abrupt, and after such a detailed plot I was expecting a fuller closing to the story. I still don’t really understand what actually happened between some of the characters, which is both frustrating and disappointing.

Overall, I thought that this was a very good book. And I absolutely LOVE the front cover!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes!

Yours,

HOLLY

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

  1. I read this book a couple of years back I think….I believe I gave it three stars in the end for the exact reasons you mentioned! The protagonist was annoying at times and it did have a very abrupt ending. I brought the book in the first place because I loved Gabrielle Zevin’s Elsewhere and I just felt like it was in a completely different league to this book. If you haven’t read it, you definitely should! 😀

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