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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  23,165 ratings  ·  1,845 reviews
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would und...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen

there may be spoilers*, but mild and gentle ones, not "it was earth all along" spoilers. this is a book i was reading for school, not because i am a big fan of realistic teen fiction. if you are a teen girl wondering if you should read this book, this is probably not going to be the review for you. in fact, you should stay away from most of my reviews because i am careless and i don't want to be responsible for shattering any beautiful innocence about life or anything. stay gold and all that.

the...more
Ariel
I went into this with a quest. To discover if after several years this was still my favourite book.

I think it is. I think it is my favourite book.

You'll be seeing quite a few videos from me about this book in the next few weeks to hear more of my thoughts, but here are a few :)

- This is the book that I think about the most often. I wouldn't say it haunts me, but it makes me think about myself and who I am and how I want to portray myself.
- the fact that the character goes through 3 romantic pros...more
babyhippoface
This is the kind of book that reminds me why I am not a middle school or high school librarian. I need to be able to choose two-and-a-half stars. There were things I really liked about this book, and other things I really did not like.

The idea of a teenager who has, basically, "lost" 4 years of her life is compelling and thought-provoking. That would be so strange. Interesting to think about, and I liked that part of the story. I wanted to find out what happened to Naomi. But the more I read, th...more
Karin
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 br...more
Annabelle Marie Veronica
FINAL RATING: 1.5 STARS

Where to begin?

First off, I suppose I should say that I wanted to read this book the moment I laid eyes on it in the bookstore. I bought it that same day and squealed as I took it home. Yes, I was that eager to read it.

Before I could do that, I had to get through City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, Clockwork Angel, Paranormalcy, and Supernaturally. Each of these books was exquisite and original, so maybe that's why this book sucked so much.

Oh, yes, and this review will c...more
Janina
This book really could have been good if I hadn't disliked the main character and her love interest so much.
Towards the end, it got a little bit better, but up until then, I was mostly feeling annoyed by Naomi and her behaviour. Especially since she decided to treat the characters I really liked, namly her dad and Will, rather badly. And didn't even care enough to apologize to them later when she realized she had been mean.
Tatiana
Oct 21, 2009 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Shelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2008
Once in a while you come across a book that grabs your attention by its profound understanding of human nature and skillful characterization. "Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac" is one of these books.

This book is not your standard YA novel with first love and boys and kissing. When I opened the book, I expected to get something like an YA version of Meg Cabot's "Remember Me?" but ended up with a story of a girl who loses and then finds a piece of herself.

Naomi forgets 4 years of her life and is fo...more
Annalisa
Jun 25, 2010 Annalisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Annalisa by: YA book club
When you hear people talk about voice, this is what they are talking about. The voice in this book is fabulous: strong, funny, and intelligent. I loved it, and I loved that Zevin tells us absolutely nothing. She shows it to us. She never tells us whether to like Naomi or always what she's thinking or what to expect her to do or want or become. I can see how that could be frustrating for girls who are used to books that tell them what to think, but I thought it was refreshing and made the book al...more
oliviasbooks
Such an interesting concept ... and yet I stopped reading at page 90. The trail of unfinished books I've left behind me since the beginning of this year starts to become alarmingly long. Still I refuse to read on when processing the scenes becomes an effort instead of fun.
Although I can understand the heroine's motivations - forming a stance, an opinion on something, coming to terms with personal calamities, growing really fond of someone takes time, and therefore it is natural that somebody wh...more
AH
My initial reaction to this book was a look of disbelief at the title. I mean, how could an amnesiac have memoirs? I opened the book and started reading and I was captivated. What an interesting concept for a book.

Naomi Porter loses a coin toss and must return to school to pickup a camera. There, she falls down the stairs and hits her head. When she regains consciousness, she can't remember anything that happened in the past 4 years. Important things, like her parents are divorced, her father is...more
Heather
This author’s got talent! It is such a rare treat to read such remarkable and undeniably realistic characters. Zevin weaves the tale of Naomi’s self discovery with extraordinary skill and creates characters that are so alive, I feel like I know them and experienced the events of this story right along with them as opposed to merely reading about them.

In one misstep, Naomi lost years' worth of memories. After hitting her head on the steps after school, she wakes up in an ambulance, more aware of...more
Lucia
If you happen to be one of those teens who just wants to forget what has happened the last few years, here is what you do: throw yourself down a flight of stairs!

Crazy I know! but this is a sweet book. Here is one of my favorite passages:

page 259:

"It happens, baby." Dad nodded and patted me on the hand and then he read my mind. "You forget all of it anyway. First, you forget everything you learned-the dates of the Hay-Herran Treaty and Pythagorean Theorem. You especially forget everything you di...more
Nomes
I was surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did. Surprised because despite loving the premise of Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin I kinda got bored in it.

I think to enjoy a head trauma/amnesiac book, it's best just to go along for the ride and read the story not getting all caught up in the logistics of the scenario, yeah?

About the book:
Naomi was a popular girl, with a jock boyfriend and a goofy best friend, Will. When she loses four years worth of memories, she doesn't really get who she turned out to be. Doesn't find anythi...more
Natalie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lalitha
Oct 20, 2007 Lalitha rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teens 9th and up
Shelves: teen
I didn't find this book as appealing as her earlier book, "Elsewhere." The protagonist, Naomi Porter, was barely likeable, and came off as extremely selfish, cranky, and just generally bitchy for no apparent reason. I'm not even sure why this book is called "Memoirs" since we get very little insight into her amnesia (she loses her memory and has to deal with the resulting high school drama, or lack of). I also disliked how there was very little resolution w/the mother-daughter issue--it's almost...more
Jen Warren
Ever pick up a book with good reviews, a great cover, and a thought-provoking blurb, only to realize at the conclusion that all the crazy/interesting scenes you'd imagined were never going to happen? No? Well, I'm happy for you.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac had one hell of a lot of potential. Teenage girl must adjust to life she doesn't remember. She has to catch-up in every relationship, from close friends to family. Worse, she isn't crazy about the people she'd surrounded herself with. She doe...more
Victoria
A beautiful book that explores the power of memory and self, in a way that made me stop and think many times.

It all began with a coin toss. A coin toss that Naomi loses, leading to her having to back to the yearbook room to get a camera, before slipping and falling on the school steps. When she awakens, a four-year chunk of memory is gone, and Naomi is forced to reexamine every facet of her life. Who was she before the accident? How did she feel about her family, friends, boyfriend, hobbies? An...more
Kristi
It all started with a coin toss. Naomi picked heads and now she can’t remember the past four years of her life. Well there was a little bit more to the accident than the coin toss, there is the part about falling down the stairs head first, but the coin toss was the ultimate downfall.

She doesn’t remember her best friend Will, she doesn’t remember her boyfriend Ace, she doesn’t remember her parents divorce, but she does remember James the boy who found her after the accident.
Everyone tries to tel...more
Cass -  Words on Paper
Picked up @ Basement Books for $3. (Hooray for short days at uni and being able to drop by BB on the way to the train station!)

I'm kind of already engrossed in the voice, narration and story. I'm already reading so many books right now though... :/ Oh, screw it.

This book was published first, but I'd like to say that I feel a resemblence to IF I STAY. In every sense. The overall feeling is just awesome.

--------------------------------

5/5

Perfection. This story is kind of bittersweet, beautiful and...more
Lisa Vegan
I wasn’t expecting this book to be funny, but much of it was quite amusing.

I’ve always been interested in amnesia. To me, we are our memories. If we lose our memories are we the same person? Do we like and dislike the same things/people, have the same beliefs? It’s one reason I was so interested in reading this book, and I think the story did a good job of addressing this issue.

This book had been languishing on my to-read shelf so I’m very grateful that the YA Book Club here at Goodreads chose i...more
Rebecca
In high school, no one knows who they are, right? Well in her book Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, Gabrielle Zevin takes this truism one step further. When Naomi Porter finds herself waking up in a hospital bed, stranger at her side, she truly has no idea how she got there - or who she is.

After the seventeen year old Naomi takes a tumble down the school stairs, she loses all her memories after the age of twelve - she has no idea how old she is (though she "feels" older), doesn't know why her moth...more
Steven
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is well worth the read. It is truly a novel written for teenage girls, not just well written young adult fiction. The plot is good, taking you to places that you don’t anticipate. The pace is good, everything well timed. The characters are not two dimensional.

I had some problems with the first person voice. Zevin used that in her other novel, Elsewhere. It is very distinctive, made the heroine of each novel blend. At first I thought that they were too similar. Both...more
Angela
I adored this novel, mainly due to the authors beautiful writing style and fluid story telling. If I were to make one complaint it would be that I wish one of the characters, who's name I shall not state due to my fear of spoilers, had more of a resolution. I fell in love with them and my mind is reeling wondering what will become of them and if they move on, find happiness, and heal. This is one novel I am dying to read a companion to.
Morgan F
Sixteen year old Naomi is given the chance that hardly any of us have. With her recent bout of amnesia, she is now able to re-evaluate her life from an objective point of view. But this oppurtunity does not come without it's burdens. She can't remember her friends, her parents' divorce and their respective new partners, her boyfriend, French class, why she likes yearbook so much, why she has birth control pills, or even how to drive a car. Naomi must decide whether or not to try to relive her ol...more
Kristy
okay, so this book was definitely a good read. I don't know how accurate some of the medical conditions are, like can you really get amnesia that only forgets four years of your life??? Or is it just repressing memories??? Naomi falls down stairs and hits her head, causing this 4 year amnesia to set in. We follow her character as she tries to get on with her life and while she starts remembering her old one. It is sad at times.

Things I didn't like: This James Character, he was just way too shad...more
Caroline Potterf
Feb 04, 2008 Caroline Potterf rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults, girls, romantics who like good stories :)
Recommended to Caroline by: I saw it at Borders
There are many reviews of this book, and I agree with most of them.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac was a good book in general. I really enjoyed it. But to tell the truth, the inside flap was written better than the story.

This book is a story of a girl who gets amnesia - and for the first part of the book, cannot remember anything for the past four years. This means she doesn't remember her best friend Will Landsman, her boyfriend Ace, or her parent's divorce. I won't try to spoil anything if you i...more
Josh Lewis
"Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac" by Gabrielle Zevin was one of the best books I have read so far this year. The idea of losing a piece of one's memory instantly intrigued my interest when I read the synopsis on the back cover. One of the major conflicts that happens during the story is between Naomi and her best friend Will. Having lost all her memory of the past couple years, Naomi can't remember him and he tries to reconstruct their damaged friendship. Since Naomi's personality has changed some...more
Brooke
The story begins with a coin toss. Naomi lost. She had to go back and get the Camera from the Yearbook room at her school. She fell.

Naomi can't piece together the last four years of her life after slipping and hitting her head in a freak accident. She wakes in an ambulance with a stranger telling the paramedics he's her boyfriend, only she has no idea who he is. This boy turns out to be James, mysterious, with an even clouder past and some nasty rumours which may or may not be true.

Naomi is visi...more
Lucy
Feb 28, 2008 Lucy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like really, really, really good YA
Shelves: teen
Things would have been different if only Naomi had chosen tails. But she chose heads, and so she had to go back to get the yearbook camera. And so she slipped on the stairs and hit her head, and now she can't remember the last four years of her life.

She can't remember her boyfriend, Ace, or what she saw in him in the first place. She can't remember what happened to her parents' relationship. She can't remember all of the in-jokes she shared with her best friend in the world, Will Landsman. And s...more
Em Panke
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin is a delightful story that kept me excited while reading. Naomi Porter, the main character, is a 16 year old girl who suffers from amnesia after experiencing a fall down a set of icy steps. Naomi cannot remember the past 4 years of her life, forcing her to start all over. Her friends, her boyfriend, and even her parents feel like complete strangers to her. Many teenagers can easily relate to Naomi as she has to endure the harsh reality of not bein...more
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Book Swag Book Club: Discuss 1-2 1 1 Jul 01, 2014 10:01PM  
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Personality Change? 4 48 Aug 10, 2013 02:07PM  
ending 18 125 Jul 15, 2013 08:49PM  
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Gabrielle Zevin has published six novels. Her debut, Margarettown, was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. The Hole We’re In was on Entertainment Weekly's Must List and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Every day newspaper articles chronicle families battered by the recession, circling the drain in unemployment and debt or scra...more
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Elsewhere The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1) Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2) In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright, #3)

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“Someday, we’ll run into each other again, I know it.
Maybe I’ll be older and smarter and just plain better. If that happens,
that’s when I’ll deserve you. But now, at this moment, you can’t hook
your boat to mine, because I’m liable to sink us both.”
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“It was strange, really. A couple months ago, I had thought I couldn’t live without him. Apparently I could.” 608 likes
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