Review Blog

Jan 21 2008

Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

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Bloombury, 2007
(13+) What if you were 16 and had lost your memories of the last three and a half years? Naomi wakes up in hospital after falling down the school stairs to find that she can't remember who her boyfriend is, why her parents are divorced or anything that has happened in those crucial years of teenage life.

The back cover blurb describes this as a love story, but it is much more than that. It is a coming of age story that gives Naomi a chance to gradually rediscover her life and decide if that is the way she wants it to be now. It traces her growing feelings about the troubled James, the boy who had found her on the steps and rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital and her awareness of how she had treated her parents in their divorce. She re-examines her friendship with Will, her partner on the school yearbook and her relations with her friends. Readers following Naomi's questioning of who she is will realise that there are choices to be made and that people can gradually change their attitudes and the way that they treat people.

Teenage girls will like this story because it has so many appealing ingredients: teenage problems, divorced parents, and three love interests - the bad boy, the stalwart male friend, and the tennis ace. However the questions that Naomi faces about identity and starting teenage life afresh provide plenty of food for thought for the reader.
Pat Pledger

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