Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

This powerful, highly original novel from the author of ELSEWHERE will not disappoint Zevin's fans! In this book, Naomi loses her memory after falling on the stairs coming out of school one day after losing a coin toss with her best friend, Will, and going back to the yearbook office to get the new camera. After being rescued by an intriguing boy named James, she realizes after waking up in the hospital that she has forgotten the last four years of her life. She no longer remembers her parents' divorce, or her new half-sister Chloe, or her best friend, Will, or her boyfriend, Ace. Naomi doesn't remember who she used to be.

As tragic as it seems (and is), this twist of fate gives Naomi a second chance at her relationships, at her life, at who she is. She's different, of course. However, her lost memories could return at any time, leaving Naomi and the people close to her wary of who she could become again if her memories were to return. One person in her life (it would be a spoiler to give away who) wonders if Naomi would still feel the same way about their relationship if she had her memory back. Of course, this person is only the one to voice that concern, but can't be the only one to have it.

In a way, MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC reminded me of books about people who wake up from comas after several years, or I WAS A TEENAGE POPSICLE, in which Floe is "thawed" after being dead and vitrified for ten years. However, Naomi's situation is, if possible, even tougher. She lived her life, she had relationships with people...And now, they remember it, they remember what things used to be like, but she does not. At least if you wake up from a coma people KNOW you don't know what's been going on.

I absolutely loved this book! I was afraid I'd be disappointed after loving ELSEWHERE so much, but the talented Gabrielle Zevin does not disappoint. Her characters are amazing. Naomi is just one of a cast of great, three-dimensional characters. Her writing is brilliant, and Zevin brings her talent to creating not only a unique, realistic character in Naomi, but a voice to go with her. The relationships between the characters were also very well done, especially with the amnesia twist. Zevin did very well in creating relationships where one character remembered years of building a relationship and the other nothing. MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC is a smart, satisfying read sure to capture the attention of readers.

Rating: 10/10


Erin said...

This one has such a cool cover!

Anonymous said...

I have just started reading thisbook and i can't put it down. This book will not be a disapointment.