BOOK REVIEW: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

memoirs of a teenage amnesiac

4 stars



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.

*Spoilers under the cut*

Let’s start off with the things I didn’t like:

  • The main character
  • The main character’s love interests

Naomi is so unappreciative, whiny, and even a little dimwitted.

Like when she lied to her father (who is the most reasonable, forgiving, “loosely responsible” type of parent) just to visit her boyfriend James who could’ve been damaged but still likable in a way, but after he was telling about his past he just seemed really erratic and crazy; you can grieve without going insane. Also, something about what he said, that he’d just randomly gone into Sera’s room and just decided to cut his wrists. It’s a bad type of impulsive; it’s a badly written type of impulsive. He does things without a specific reason, he was just said to “go bad” because of his brother dying, it’s like it gives him a viable excuse to cause conflict between Naomi and everyone else.

That just turned into a rant about James, but anyway, Naomi is really unappreciative.

Yeah, you forgot your memories, you’re a little banged up, you don’t have to take it out on your family and friends. She definitely went wrong by quitting yearbook, something she loved, for some guy. Just like how rude she was to Ace (at first I didn’t like him, but he began to grow on me towards the ending) all because she was falling in love with James.

She’s always crying about how she doesn’t like her mom and about how she was unfaithful to her dad but seriously, couples divorce is a normal thing, people get divorced all time. 95% of the time, divorce is a good thing.

I covered the whole “hate her love interests” part in the rant above.

But overall, it was pretty good. The blurb/synopsis sounded really amazing! I really liked when she started appreciating Will more and taking him more serious than “best friend material”

It was a good contemporary, realistic fiction story. Wouldn’t recommend so highly, recommended for people who like sort of mainstream “blah blah lovey dovey” sort of things. It was a lot of “blah” and not enough of the “lovey dovey” part.

Significant quote that stood out to me:

“You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.”

I started weeping like a baby.

A gif that sums up my reaction:


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