Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin- By millimeters or miles, you will get there in the end.

Delightful! Yeah, I think that's the right word for this book. Gabrielle Zevin creates a delightful story with a delightful yet complicated girl named Naomi.

As the title suggests, Naomi loses her memory, but with the loss of her past, she gains a future and a present.
Memoirs isn't incredibly complex, brimming with twists in turns. A lot of the story is normal, average, common... absolutely relatable. I could see myself in Naomi and I can guarantee a lot of young girls and women will be able to see themselves in her neurosis, her passion, her fear, her mistakes, and her success.

Naomi is a great character to get lost in. She's so much like us all. She struggles with being herself especially when she doesn't remember so much of herself. How many of us in junior high or high school looked around and didn't know how they got to that place or why they made the decision they had... how many of us truly didn't know who we were?

Naomi is intermingled with intriguing characters such as her father and her best friend, Will, her hero, James, and her new/old friend Alice. These people are great stepping stones along the story and you find yourself interested in their stories just as much as Naomi's.

I very much enjoyed Zevin's voice throughout the book. She has that tone that I love in YA books. Sarcastic, smart, funny, and neurotic. I guess a lot like me. I love a strong girl that can make you laugh and cry and think about who you are and where you're going. I also very much am a music buff and the conversations between Will and Naomi about soundtracks to life are practically carbon copies of conversations my high school friends and I from choir would have.

The love story or stories within the pages of Memoirs are so delicate and complex and in a way you want all of them to work out, but you know that just doesn't happen, but deep down, you do want the millimeters and the miles. You'll get that once you read!

I must say the ending was lacking, but not because I didn't like it, it was a good ending, but the beginning and middle was so compact and full and rich, you felt drawn into the details and nooks of Naomi and her struggle, then it's done. I wish there had been more... I wish we could've seen more of what Naomi found in her millimeters and miles, in her past, present, and future.

At the end, there is a note that Zevin has some deleted scenes from the book. This is genius! I absolutely love this and I will be checking the site to see what Gabrielle has there for us.

I'm just not quite ready to let Naomi go.

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