Book Review–Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin


This is the 51st book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Published August 21st, 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.

 After her remarkable debut, Gabrielle Zevin has crafted an imaginative second novel all about love and second chances.



At first, I wasn’t so sure about this one. Then the main character, Naomi, and the rest of the characters pulled me in. This book deals with an interesting issue that I’ve never read about before. I know little about the subject, but it seemed pretty accurate to me, minus a part about the doctors not being too concerned (which may also be accurate but also seemed a little odd to me).

Naomi is a quirky, passionate character. Even when I disagreed with her decisions, I still liked her. Even without losing her memories, it sounded like she was already in a sea of confusion. I didn’t really care for her boyfriend, Ace, or her love interest, James. James has his own issues and while I found him to be pretty interesting, I also didn’t like him as a love interest.

Will is hands down my favorite male character in this book. He probably makes my Favorite Males in Fiction list as well. He’s sweet, interesting, but also has his flaws–and his mix CDs. I won’t spoil the book, but I was very happy for his character in the end. Couldn’t have worked out any better.

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Naomi and her family, especially her dad. The writing style was pretty easy to get into as well. I particularly liked how two characters were at one time described as being a “rooster” (morning person) and a “vampire.” (night owl). There were other little descriptions/metaphors/similes/etc that I also liked, but the rooster/vampire example is the only one that I can recall off the top of my head.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read that I would probably pick up again. I’m definitely adding Will’s Mix CD songs (which are conveniently listed in the back of the book) to my To-Listen list. If you enjoy an interesting storyline, deep and memorable characters, and realistic relationships, you’ll probably enjoy this one.






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