Monday, February 1, 2016

"Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac" by Gabrielle Zevin

I think I have a pattern.
I start interesting books either on Sundays, or at the end of any holiday, and I go to bed too late, because goddammit, interesting plots! Not that I ever regret reading, even when it eats from my precious sleep.
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is like that one person you chat with till the sunrise, and you can feel your eyes burning already, but no, you'll stay awake for them. That's a little what I did with this book to finish it - I skipped my usual Friday nap (I mean my three-or-four-hours-long "nap") and devoured Gabrielle Zevin's masterpiece in one sitting, after having read only a hundred pages in the course of one week.

Above all, mine is a love story.
And like most love stories, this one involves chance, gravity, and a dash of head trauma.
It began with a coin toss.
The coin came up tails; I was heads.

Naomi Porter wakes up in a hospital bed and realizes she has no idea who she is, or what has happened during the last four years. No memory occurs of her parents' divorce, her boyfriend (does she have one at all?), her friends at school, French (which she used to be so fluent at). Diagnosis: amnesia. The one to help her remember her life is her best friend, Will, who does it the old-fashioned way - with a letter, written on an old typewriter. That's just who Will is - old-fashioned, but always willing to help.
Naomi is perplexed. All the activities she was passionate about before the accident, now seem... ordinary to her. And she doesn't know what connected her with her friends in the first place. Only after going back to school and trying to get her memory back, does she realize the past can sometimes be too overwhelming, and her head trauma might be a chance for a new life.

I was going to be all about now, about am, about present tense.

I prefer reading books in one sitting, or if not one - just reading them quickly in general. I like the slight headache I get after staring at the pages for several hours straight, and I like the occasional blurriness of my sight when, ahem, someone's cutting onions again! That was the only reason why I preferred to devour Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. I could truly connect with the characters and the plot itself. I didn't always agree with Naomi's actions, as they could be unreasonable at times, but, for me, she is one of the best YA heroines I've read about. She wasn't the typical one-dimensional character, which is something I always look for in good books - Naomi was flawed, she showed emotions and atitude; she built a new friendship, got her heart broken several times, disappointed people and then managed to give them reasons to forgive her. 
Although the writing style could've been more complex, indeed. I'm fine with it the way it is - beautiful and flowing, yet simple. It didn't worsen the book; it even added for a better experience in some way. 

I've been reading a lot of contemporary YA fiction lately, and I find myself again and again in every book. 15 and 16 are the perfect ages, I guess. So, if you are as confused and emotional as me, and are looking for answers to questions bigger than you, pick up Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. It may not answer the questions you have, but books always make things easier to bear, I promise.

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