Gabrielle Zevin’s debut novel, Elsewhere, is one of those once-in-lifetime books that steals your soul and sticks in your head forever and ever. So the bar was set exceptionally high when I decided to add one of her more recent stories to my list of books read.
When sixteen-year-old Naomi falls down and hits her head, the resulting amnesia causes her to examine her life and who she truly wants to be. Waking up in the hospital, she soon discovers that the past four years of her life have disappeared. She has no memory of her popular star athlete boyfriend Ace. Where is her mom and why are they no longer on speaking terms? Who are these people talking to her when she returns to school? Even her house is different from the one she remembers. Of course there’s a love story twist thrown in for interest. James is the mysterious new kid in school who was there when she fell and rode with her to the hospital. And then there’s Will, her quirky best friend who is probably the best character in the book. Lots of decisions to be made by Naomi as she comes to terms with what she remembers, what she wants to forget, and what she wants to change.
So did this one measure up to my admittedly very high expectations? Yes and no. It’s really not fair or compare it to Elsewhere as they’re two completely different kinds of stories. Whereas Elsewhere is a story full of mysticism and the afterlife, Memoirs is more of a true to life, coming of age story. Still, it’s an excellent young adult book with highly likeable characters and enjoyable dialogue written by an outstanding author.
Buy it Now: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac