Saturday, January 5, 2008

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Naomi Porter regains consciousness as she is being put into an ambulence. She hears an unfamiliar voice claiming to be her boyfriend and opens her eyes to see him sitting beside her on the way to the hospital. The pain in her head is so severe that she doesn't worry about the fact that she has no idea who the guy is holding her hand and telling her everything is going to be okay.

In the hospital, Naomi learns that she fell down the steps of her high school and hit her head hard enough to cause brain trauma. The mysterious boy who kept her company in the ambulence and stayed in the hospital with her until her father arrived turned out to be a boy she didn't really know. James is a boy with a troubled past and new to her high school and just happened to be there when Naomi fell. He didn't want her to be alone so he lied to the paramedics in order to get permission to ride to the hospital with her. Naomi feels an immediate attraction to him especially after she realizes she can't remember anything in her life from the past four years. She can at least remember James since she met him after he woke up.

The next several months are difficult for Naomi. Her father, a writer by trade, calms his nerves in the hospital by starting a list of things Naomi doesn't remember. Things on the list include:

1. Will Landsman - her best friend and her co-editor on the high school yearbook.
2. The divorce of her mother and father.
3. The fact that her mother has had a child with her new husband and she now has a sister.
4. Ace - her boyfriend.
5. How to drive.

When her father is finished with the list it is five pages long and contains one hundred and eighty-six items on it.

Once Naomi starts the school year everything becomes more complicated. She has to deal with people that knew her as she was before the accident and change her behavior based on their cues. She begins to analyze her life and make decisions about what is important to her now - and sometimes she realizes that what was once very important to her might not be as important to her now and visa versa.

MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC is another wonderful novel by Gabrielle Zevin. The characters come alive on the first page and find a place in the reader's heart. It is a love story without being a "love story." Pick it up and you won't be disappointed.

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