Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Saturday, April 23, 2011

Plot Summary:
Life would have been much different for Naomi if she just watched where she was going. After losing a coin toss to retrieve the camera, from the Yearbook classroom, Naomi slipped on her way out and hit her head. When taken to the hospital, she was diagnosed with Retrograde Amnesia where she cannot remember the last four years of her life. Moreover, these years happened to be the period of time where her world took a turn for the worst--her parents divorce, kissing her best friend, loosing her virginity, and learning she has a sibling. Scared, and confused, Naomi must return to a life that not only involves a series of events that made her into she "is," but her only source of solace is the boy she loves who is not her boyfriend. The story starts off with Naomi's life story of being adopted and not knowing where she comes from. Readers will learn that sometimes not knowing things isn't always great, especially when you have a condition that won't let you remember the good times as well as the bad.

Critical Evaluation:
Memoirs of Teenage Amnesiac is a compelling story about a girl who must not only grapple with her memory loss, but re-visit a life that she no longer agrees with. Although the circumstances of her self-realization are not exactly the most pleasant, this incident has allowed her to start all over again. After re-learning her life, and going back to school, Naomi realizes that everything she was involved in really wasn't what she wanted. What is amazing about this story is the power of forgiveness, especially when it comes to parents who have done something terrible. The relationships in this story are not only real, they are beautifully complicated where we all must take a look at out own and realize how special they are. Moreover, we must all recognize the little things in life where one look, one touch, and one smile can be a start of something beautiful.

Information about the Author:
Born in 1979, Gabrille Zevin has accomplished quite a bit. After attending Harvard University, she has had a successful career as a screenwriter and author. In 2007, she received a Best First Screenplay nomination for an Independent Spirit Award for Conversations with Other Women starring Aaron Eckheart and Helena Bohnam Carter. When she is not writing screenplays, she has made a name for herself as an author where her teen, and adult, novels have been praised for their originality and though-provoking stories. According to an interview with , Zevin said: "When I was around eight, I learned how to touch-type at school, and I received a computer as a present. I started writing plays, and for many years I thought I would be a playwright. Over the years, I had studiously managed to write everything but novels --- I had been a copious pen pal, a first-class transcriptionist, a professional screenwriter (still am, actually), a teen music reviewer, a mediocre research-paper writer, and, of course, a writer of plays" (para. 2). Like many authors, Zevin made her passion into a career where she has been very successful. Zevin currently resides in New York and her latest novel All the Thing I've Done will be released on September 27, 2011. 

Teen Chick Lit

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac:

Awards & Recognition:
  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2007
  • Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • BookSense Pick
  • Kirkus Reviews Editors Choice
  • VOYA's Perfect 10s

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    Deborah Takahashi
    Pasadena, CA, United States
    My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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