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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac > James-what do you think? (spoilers)

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angie | 2691 comments Mod
What do you think about James?

From twilightmoms website I found this:

Though I have noticed the common feeling about James is that he is the "bad boy" everyone, including himself, sees him as, I would like to disagree. I think that James, though mentally ill, was not a "bad boy" any more then Naomi was really her "pre-amnesiac" teenage self. I feel that he was an "amnesiac" too, because he lost his brother at such a young age and could not find his "self" because he was stuck in his (and his brothers) past. A bad boy doesn't think about others the way James did. He even shows that he is beginning to find himself when he tells Naomi
"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, Naomi. But now, at this moment, you can't hook your boat to mine, 'cause I'm liable to sink us both."
I think that he was finally beginning to recover from his "amnesia" that was caused by this brother’s death. What do you think?

A.T. (Meandonlyme) | 21 comments I liked James. To me a "bad-boy" is never really a bad boy. He was nice and creative, but just the slightest bit crazy. Maybe if he hadn't been, crazy that is, i would have liked him more. Frankly speaking, he totally wigged me out when he had his breakdown.

Unimportant: But when I was reading the part where Naomi and James were at the facility he checked into, I couldn't help thinking I had "seen" it somewhere before. Now I've come to realize that it really reminds me of the facility in Rob&Sara.Com where Rob stayed. So technically I read it somewhere else before.

Alyssa (shyluck13) | 25 comments James. Huh.

I read this one before the club started it, and that was a while ago...but I do remember James.

There was something off about him...I'm not sure, wait, James was mentally-ill?

message 4: by Annalisa (last edited Jul 02, 2010 01:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) I don't think James was a bad boy, but in some ways he was just as bad for Naomi. He was the type of person you could drown trying to save or even just love. The way he pulled into himself whenever Naomi got too close while maybe not intentionally manipulative only encouraged her to fall harder. When he left her on the beach all day, I thought for sure she had to get out fast. She was losing herself and not helping him in the process. While I didn't dislike James as a person, he didn't make good boyfriend material.

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) I liked James and felt compassion for him, but I always loved Will and hoped Naomi would come around to him.

Lani (Crahfty) I too was upset when James turned out to be a little crazy. I liked that he was there for Naomi and I saw such potential, until he went off the deep end. I'm glad he decided to get himself together.

Julia | 429 comments James is bipolar. Period. Not a bad boy, but a boy who makes poor decisions when he is having a breakdown, like leaving Naomi on the beach. If he's bipolar, this would have happened to him whether or not his brother died. I hope he will get better, but he will likely deal with this his whole life. I'm glad he was able to graduate with his class.

FYI: There is no Sweet Lake Hospital in Albany. There's an actual psychiatric hospital there, and one in Saratoga 45 minutes further north and two in Poughkeepsie. Why did she make one up, instead of using a real one?

Kelly Aley (kraley) | 100 comments @Julia: she probably made up a fake one to avoid liability issues. People get touchy. I have three daughters and have dealt with bipolar people in the past. I have strongly encouraged my girls nit to date anyone that has bipolar in their families. It is a hard, unpredictable life, especially for kids. (See Glass Castle- Wells, Love Walked In-de los Santos and numerous other books showing the ill affects of biolar parents on children.)

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Julia,
I agree that James is bipolar, and an incredibly accurate bipolar person. I felt bad for him, but at the same time wanted to protect Naomi from him. I think it's interesting that she chose someone with mental illness as the person who could understand and help her through her amnesia. But I guess amnesia is often mentally triggered.

Kelly Aley (kraley) | 100 comments Yeah, she never really addresses the fact that she repressed the divorce and new family.

message 11: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angie | 2691 comments Mod
Annalisa wrote: "I don't think James was a bad boy, but in some ways he was just as bad for Naomi. He was the type of person you could drown trying to save or even just love. The way he pulled into himself whenever..."

It was very irresponsible for James to leave Naomi at the beach all day. In fact it was a little scary. Mental illness can do this to people. I have anxiety and know when my bad days are. I didn't have it as a teen though so I can't imagine trying to deal with it and adolescence at the same time. Awful. But Naomi is also too young to really be able to help James. I know she meant well... but she should've never went out to California. That was a terrible choice.

Kelly, I don't have kids but I also know what it is like to have a family history of mental illness. And it does get passed on. My dad's side has anxiety disorder, some worse then others. I would explain to my kids about the difficulties of having it passed on might do, but I do think those with bipolar and other mental illness can lead a normal but hard life. I love that his mother tried to protect him the best she could.

I liked James the most in the book, but maybe that is because I relate to him on some level. I felt his character was a deep one.

Courtney (cklueh) Although James was bipolar, I think he was still a bad boy. I'm thinking about what makes someone a bad boy in high school. He smoked and cut class. He was also the brooding, silent type, and ran hot and cold. His past was a mystery for most of the book. These are all classic bad boy traits in my book.

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I didn't really consider James to be a bad boy while reading. Yes, he smoked but apart from that he was quite a nice guy, a little sad and mysterious, yes, but he never really treated Naomi badly on purpose.
At first I really liked James, his introduction in the hospital was great. Later on I thought he was weird because he kind of ignored Naomi. When they got together I still liked him but the more the story moved forward the more annoying he got. I know he is ill and that justifies some of his actions and words but there were several moments in which I just thought "get it together, dude, she really does like you, can't you just enjoy that???".

Kayla (Kaywaa) If anything I would like to say I liked how the author depicted him. She not only depicted what its like to be a bi-polar teen but she showed how it affects the people around them. I like how she didn't demonize him, but instead showed his desire to be better. He wanted to take control of his life, and this eventually led him back to the rehab center. I think his character was an essential part of Naomi's growth and I got the impression that she was an essential part of his growth as well. I think he appeared to be the bad boy because that's how Naomi saw him at first, but as we the reader, and Naomi get to know him better we know he is withdrawn for his own private reasons. Overall he was a key part of the book for certain.

message 15: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angie | 2691 comments Mod
Good points Kayla!

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