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.
"Aren't there things you'd rather forget?"
In one sudden moment, Naomi Porter had forgotten everything that happened starting from 4 years ago up until the time she hit her head on the steps of the school.
I found the premise really interesting - if you were ever going to lose your memories, will you be still be the same person?
For Naomi, it was a chance to re-discover herself.
Zevin wrote the novel in a first person POV which I didn't mind. It started off as entertaining, then suddenly became angsty. I did like the humorous parts and that kept me going to finish the story.
I couldn't like Naomi no matter how much I tried. Probably because she was rude and sometimes it was all too much. James showed a lot of promise, but later on I felt tired with all of his emotional baggage. I did have characters which I loved - Naomi's dad, who was awesome and most especially Will, Naomi's best friend. Quirky and adorable, someone you'd wish to have in real life. Plus his taste in music is great.
I did feel as if there were many things that the author hasn't been able to expand on that much. The conflict between Naomi and her mom wasn't resolved properly and other parts felt like it was rushed.
However, I did really enjoy reading the book - finished it one sitting. It helped that I actually watched the movie years ago and I liked it for some reason (maybe because I was in high school then and I was able to relate with some parts of Naomi's life?)
A story of discovering yourself and second chances, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is a good book with a certain charm. Recommended for those who enjoy YA novels.
PS: The Beatles' I Will is stuck in my head because of this book. It's a good thing.
Title: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Young adult, romance
Published: August 2007
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Rating: ♨♨♨ 1/2