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Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 (Awesome)

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.

My Thoughts

This story blew me away. I couldn’t imagine being Naomi, losing my memory of the past four years, forgetting who I am, who I was. The way she dealt with her memory loss amazed me. I wondered; how is she not frustrated or angry? How does she sit there so calmly wondering about what her life used to be like? Instead, it was her best friend William asking those questions too.

Naomi is a seventeen year old girl who is sporty, laidback and extremely popular. Our first impression of her isn’t much though, considering the fact that she has no memory of herself. However, she is trying to figure out who she was, but she’s more interested in the person she wants to be. She learns things about herself that repulse and surprise her. And she begins to wonder if losing her memory was for the better, or at least I did. Something that repulsed her was when she realized she was mean, very mean actually, and she begins to change that right away. Her meanness seems to be fueled by her anger towards her parent’s divorce. While something that surprises her is that she is insecure with her body just like any typical teenage girl but the part she was shocked about was that she kept a food diary.

Will is one of my favorite characters in the book. He’s the jealous, protective and patient best friend. He knows you like the back of his hand, and he’d take a bullet for someone he especially cares about. He’s funny and playful and always creating mix CD’s for Naomi. He’s even hardworking and dedicated but he has his flaws too. He sometimes is annoying and on the rare occasion gets up Naomi’s face, and has a slight problem controlling strong emotions such as anger and jealousy.

James is the dark, brooding mysterious love interest in the story. He’s the guy who finds Naomi and rides in the ambulance with her to the hospital. He sounds like a cool guy with his leather jacket and all. Naomi wishes he had told the paramedics he was her boyfriend rather than her brother. When we finally reach into the depths of James’s secrets we realize he’s severely depressed and in need of great help. And he knows it, but he doesn’t let anyone get too close.

Ace is athletic and “hot” according to all the girls, even Naomi. But he doesn’t seem to do it for me. He seems quite full of it but genuinely he is a really sweet guy. The shocker is the Naomi is told that this is her boyfriend and she wonders how she’s supposed to handle this one after laying eyes on James and drooling and all.

I fell completely and utterly in love with this story. I want to read it all over again right now. He characters are so real, so funny, so interesting. The book covers such serious matters with hints of humor throughout the story, Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac is something you hope you’ll never forget.

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