Friday, June 15, 2012

Brain Fade: FROM WHAT I REMEMBER by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

YA Contemporary
462 pages, hardcover
Available now (June 2012)
Publisher: Hyperion
Review copy purchased

KYLIE: Tijuana WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.

MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.

Positive: The quotes and pop culture references. At the beginning of each chapter, the authors found a movie quote to match the events--loved it! And there are band names and other current pop culture references sprinkled liberally throughout. Of course, this doesn't lend itself to a timeless novel but that's not the point of this book. It's an "in the moment" kind of story, especially since it's pitched as a Hangover for teens in Mexico.

Positive: The multiple points of view. It's difficult writing a multi-POV story, especially with five points of view, but it really works for this story. Through Max and Kylie, we get to know them as people and see what happened that led them to waking up in bed together with wedding rings (eep!). Through Will, Jake, and Lily, we get different perspectives about the main characters as well as see what's going on back home while Max and Kylie are away. And it's still possible to connect with the all characters--there's depth in their personas.

Positive: The inclusion of Jake's POV. Jake is Kylie's younger brother and he has Asperger's syndrome. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Asperger's, it's a disorder in which the person who has it has serious difficulty with social interactions and usually has some significant, restrictive, and repetitive patterns of both behavior and interests (paraphrased from Wikipedia. Don't judge). Jake is a great character and through him, we learn a lot about Kylie, her family, and the reasons she puts so much pressure on herself.

Wish: That the cover wasn't white-washed. The two guys and the blond (Lily) are fine--they're pretty much how I pictured them. But Kylie? She's half Latina and half Jewish. Her best friend Will describes her on p. 21: "Girlfriend wears her gorgeous fro so tightly slicked back it looks like a helmet. She needs to embrace those kinky Latina curls. With her bronze skin, her golden eyes, and those massively long black lashes, she could look like a movie star." Does the brunette match that at all? I think not.

Overall: Loved this book! Filled with sharp-witted dialogue and intriguing characters, FROM WHAT I REMEMBER will have you laughing out loud and speeding through the pages to find out what really did happen to Max and Kylie. I picked this book up after hearing the two authors speak at the Teen Author Carnival in NYC. I just couldn't resist--and I'm so happy I didn't!

19 comments:

  1. I'M DYING to read this one! DYING! I wish the paperback would come out already!!

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    1. SO AWESOME!! Make your library buy it so you can read it now rather than next year (which is what I'm assuming when the PB will come out). :)

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  2. The book sounds really good!

    PET PEEVE: I hate when they do that to covers! OMG it makes me want to write a nasty note to the publisher about appreciating the artist visual especially when they are specific :)

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    1. I know! Because Kylie was described so beautifully, I really wish they'd followed the writers' vision of her. *sigh*

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  3. I really need to read this Mary! You and Danny both adored it, and I trust you guys implicitly so it's going on the list for sure. Love what you said about Jake's POV, I'm really looking forward to that:)

    Bummer on the cover though, it's always frustrating when the image doesn't match the description of the character. Grrr.

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    1. It's a fabulous, fun read--especially for summer. And I feel the same way about your recommendations! :)

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    2. Yes yes Jenny read it!!!! It's so wicked funny, awesome and heartbreakingly sweet - altogether!!! :))

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  4. Sounds awesome. Would love to read this! One of my best friends has Asperger Syndrome and I agree with the description, he's brilliant though :)

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    1. Oh, yes! Jake is incredibly brilliant and I felt he was portrayed beautifully and very respectfully.

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  5. Oh, yeah, that doesn't look like a "latina person", not that I do either, but yeah, if there is a clear description of her, why not try to find a girl who looks like that? or style her so she does?
    Makes no sense to me.

    Other than that, this book sounds terrific and I'm really looking forward to getting my paws all over it.

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    1. This book really is so great--I hope you read it and love it!

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  6. I loved this one too! But I agree, that does not look like her on the cover!

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    1. Yay! More book love. I want more like this book!

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  7. I LOVED your review and i agree with you about the cover. sometimes, the powers that be make the decisions.;) stacy

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    1. Totally get that the PTBs make the cover decisions (and usually do a great job)--I really like it otherwise! The expressions on their faces are priceless. Plus, what's between that cover more than makes up for it! You rock!

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  9. Marrrry!!!!! Soooo happy to see you loooooved this one.. yes I am a little excited over here, but I loved this book so much!
    And duh! I completely forgot to mention the movie quotes in my review ( I think) but I loved them so much!
    In fact, I think this whole story would be a perfect movie!

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  10. Thanks for the review! I am going to pick this one up. Thanks. Another book I have fallen in love with is called, "Jan's Excellent Romance: Applesauce and Andy" by Lindsay Hall. This a humorous fiction romance novel, which takes place in a café in Long Island, NY. http://www.lindsayhallromance.com

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  11. This one was soooo much fun!! I definitely really liked it.

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