Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
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Jun 30, 10

bookshelves: fiction, novel, young-adult, gr-a, groups-buddies, orphaned-and-quasi-orphaned-kids, reviewed
Read from June 27 to 30, 2010

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 it for their July book because it motivated me to finally read it.

There was one false note for me when a character addresses another character by first and last name when a person in real life would address that person by first name only; I’m always annoyed when authors do that. (not Rosa Rivera, but Naomi Porter) But, overall, most of what happened rang true, though possibly not all of it was completely plausible.

Naomi is not the type of girl I’d want to be friends with. In fact, she doesn’t seem to have many girlfriends that she does things with. (I did like her two sort of friends who were a lesbian couple and appreciated that that subplot was told without any fanfare.) I did appreciate Naomi’s honesty about herself. And I enjoyed reading about her, and the other people in the book.

The book is well written, and there are some incredibly lovely lines. I wanted to write a bunch down to put in my review but I decided not to interrupt the flow of my reading.

I expected to really like this book and I did.

Addendum: I've always loved The Beatles song I Will, and now I can't get it out of my mind; it fit within this story perfectly.
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Reading Progress

06/27/2010 page 1
0.0% "Perhaps I'll start this today. It's the July book for the YA Book Club and it's been languishing on my to-read shelf. Another interruption from my long novel."
06/28/2010 page 100
37.0% "I like it. I wasn't expecting so much humor, and I'm enjoying being amused."
06/29/2010 page 159
59.0% "I'm enjoying it. It had been on my list, and I'm really glad the YA Book Club is reading it for July as that motivated me to read it. It's better than I'd anticipated, and I really like the humorous parts."

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Angie Waiting to get this from the library!


Lisa Vegan So far I like it. It's funny.


Jackie "the Librarian" I liked this one, too, Lisa! It was fun, and yet it also addressed some issues, about being true to oneself.


Lisa Vegan Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "I liked this one, too, Lisa! It was fun, and yet it also addressed some issues, about being true to oneself."

Yes, What's interesting is how one's view of oneself can be entirely different if your past is hidden from you.


Annalisa I wasn't expecting the humor either. I really liked it, even though Naomi bothered me.


Lisa Vegan Annalisa wrote: "I wasn't expecting the humor either. I really liked it, even though Naomi bothered me."

Annalisa, I read your review and I agree with a lot of what she said about Naomi, but I did like it that she often honestly looked at herself, and she often didn't like what she saw either. I really liked Will too.


Annalisa I adored Will. And I didn't hate Naomi; I just often shook my head at her choices. But I think that made her a very authentic teenager. It was a great read.


Annalisa I forgot to mention that I love The Beatles too and that song was running through my head after this book too. Always a bonus when a book makes you think of The Beatles :).


Lisa Vegan Yes, I loved the songs Will put on the mixes, at least the ones I know.


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