25 February 2009

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

One relatively minor accident changes her in ways she never could have imagined. With one random incident, her life has turned upside-down forever. Seventeen-year-old Naomi fell trying to save the yearbook staff’s precious camera, hit her head on the school steps, gets taken to the hospital, and now can’t remember anything following the time when she was in sixth grade. She doesn’t remember her parents’ divorce or her mom’s new daughter, or her best friend Will, or her boyfriend Ace, or her love for tennis, yearbook, or photography. Meanwhile, one of the things that Naomi does know about herself is that she was orphaned as an infant, and she struggles now – again – to discover her place in her family’s life, and in her own life. In her loneliness, she grows attached to James, the boy who saw her fall and went with her to the hospital under the charade of being Naomi’s boyfriend. James is tortured by his own past and unassuming of Naomi’s, unlike Will and her dad who keep expecting her to act like and be the “old” Naomi. When Naomi begins to remember, she’s more confused than ever.

While this isn’t a stand-out read, Gabrielle Zevin touches on just enough drama and angst to grab and hold onto the teen reader’s attention, without unrealistically stretching the reader’s imagination too much. This quirky read is recommended for older boys and girls who will enjoy the fully developed characters of Will and Naomi.

Recommended for high school readers.
Call number: YA ZEVIN (Teen Room)

Reviewed by kate the librarian

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