Book Review – Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

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

Sixteen years old Naomi Porter fell from the stairs on her school after taking a camera at her yearbook office. She passed out for a while. And then.. she woke up just to found herself forgetting the last four years of her life.

In a nutshell, this book tells you the story of Naomi Porter in her amnesiac days and how she faced all her lost memories. After she woke up, every information were confusing to her. From her stepparents divorce (yes, she’s adopted), her father’s plan marrying a dancer named Rosa Rivera, her relationship with her mom who she barely met, her sisterhood with her stepsister Chloe who annoyingly called her ‘Nobody’ instead of ‘Naomi’, her relationship with a social butterfly tennis player in her school named Ace Zuckerman who set questions to Naomi why she loves him at the first place, and else.

Fortunately, Naomi has a best friend who’s so kind-hearted and loyal to her, Will Landsman. They both used to be the co-editors of the school’s yearbook. Trying to bring his best friend on her feet again, Will told Naomi everything, everything about things she should catch up and who she used to be.

Being told by someone about what we should do sometimes annoying though we know that he or she is just helping. And that’s how Naomi eventually felt to Will. Will told Naomi that James Larkin (the one who brought Naomi to the hospital after she fell down) is one of those creepy guys who she shouldn’t date with while Naomi fancied him a lot. Stuffs like that happened, Naomi felt annoyed by Will’s presence and warnings and advices. Couldn’t hold her anger longer, Naomi went overboard. She ended their precious friendship for catching up with James. The broke up tore both hearts but it tore Will’s deeper. Naomi hadn’t knew yet what’s actually between them before she’s an amnesiac.

When Naomi was having a French lesson in the middle of her date with James, she somehow got her lost memory back! She then remembered what happened between her and Will, they kissed the night before she fell. And that made everything crystal that Will really do have feelings for her, even after he has a girlfriend. She came to know why did she loved working in a yearbook (she quit after she ended her friendship with Will) and why did Will became her best friend. She came to know everything, everything. And Naomi questioned, what will happen if instead of choosing James and Ace, she chose Will? Will their friendship ended like that or ended in another beautiful ending?

Well, first thing first, a few weeks ago, my aunt gave me 5 books. From those 5, I chose to read Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac first because something from the cover tells me that the book is special. And yes, this book is something.

In short, I can tell what Gabrielle Zevin wants us to know from this book: give yourself a second chance. This whole book is about giving ourselves a second chance. It’s crystal. After Naomi became an amnesiac, Will is right there to lead her to her past. But then, Naomi refused to be what she used to be. Instead of staying in the yearbook, she quit and rebelled. Instead of being with the school’s heart-throb Ace who she knew from the tennis club, she dated a creepy guy named James. She changed her self by simple things, like cutting her hair short, a motion most girls do when they’re getting rid of their old self. And when she gained her memories back, she’s also in the crossroads of her destiny: will she still be the rebellious girl who dated a creepy guy or will she be the sweet Naomi Porter she used to be? Even though she can be a different Naomi (in a bad way), she didn’t be that girl. She chose to give herself a second chance to be the sweet Naomi after considering what’s so bad about being a bad Naomi. I like that. Even though it is kinda a waste of time creating a character that doesn’t really developed in the end compared to what she is in the first pages, the journey itself is pretty and educating.

I love this book because it speaks what most people need which is giving themselves a second chance. Nowadays, when people are so depressed, instead of giving themselves a second chance to start a new life, they committed suicide. And that’s not cool.

This book also tells us that we should always give people in our life second chances. Naomi used to hate her mom for having an affair, Naomi also used to hate Rosa Rivera. But when she became an amnesiac, she learned what made she hated them and try to find a spot, a part of them, which is worth to be loved. And Naomi did give them a second chance to be loved by Naomi.

Overall? This book is a MUST-READ for people who is still concerned whether should they give themselves and other people a second chance or not 😉

Title: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Writer: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: BloomsburyGabrielle Zevin - Memoirs of A Teenage Amnesiac

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