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Notes to Self

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,544 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
Two climbed up. Two fell down.

One woke up.

Robin Saunders is a high school sophomore with an awesome best friend, a hard-working single mom, and a complicated relationship with a sweet guy named Reno. She's coasting along, trying to get through yet another tedious year of high school, when Em suggests something daring. They live in Florida-- tourist central--and Emily wants
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published November 20th 2011
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Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
After a brain injury, Robin is dealing with amnesia, having to learn her likes, dislikes, but most importantly: what really happened that night, the night she and her friend fell. A short book, but one dripping with emotions and filled with mystery.

From the very start, Robin is someone I understood. She took me in her head and made herself open so I could see her vulnerability, her worries and fears. She also has a great sense of humor that I adored. It's incredibly easy to get caught up in her
A fabulous read! Robin wants so badly to remember what happened to her and Emily the night they fell from the amusement park ride that they so stupidly climbed. Sadly the fall has affected her memory and there is a lot more than what happened that night that she can't remember. Robin has to face all of the students back at school without Emily, and finds that many of her classmates blame her for Emily's accident. Between the traumatic head injury and what boarders on bullying at school Robin is ...more
Laura Schaefer
Notes to Self is about a high school sophomore named Robin Saunders. She makes a bad decision and ends up with a traumatic brain injury. Her best friend Emily was there that night, too, and Emily is in a coma. As Robin recovers, Emily does not--and Robin has to learn to cope in the wake of the tragedy. As she tries to remember what happened, her reality and her past shift and settle as she writes a series of Notes to Self.

Notes to Self is a story about identity, family, memory, growing up in a w
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you're a long time reader of my blog/reviews, you'll probably know that I'm always up for a contemporary read. Therefore, when I first heard about Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer, I was beyond excited. It sounded like such an interesting read and with even a little mystery thrown in as well. Plus it sounded a similar to another all time favorite book of mine- Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott. Anyhow, I recently dove right into, and I ended up loving it! Suspenseful as well as insig ...more
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I saw a couple of people receiving this book for review in their mailboxes, so I decided to pick it up and give it a try. I was a little reluctant at first, since I thought it was one of those in-a-coma, out-of-body-experience types of books, but it turned out to be much better than what I expected: a beautiful story about friendship, growth, and love.

The setup for this book was unique: it was in present tense, and then it often took the reader back to Robin's old memories with her friend, Emily
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
"Why don’t they let you sleep if you’re supposed to sleep? Nurses kept coming in to check on me. All I wanted to do was pass out, because every time I opened my eyes, everything was too bright, too loud, too painful. I didn’t want food. No, I don’t want a drink of water. Yes, my head still hurts. Yes, I still feel like puking my brains out. When will this all stop?

Please, just leave me alone.

I fell.

I fell."


Beautiful cover, no?

I have to admit I refuse most self-published requests that come m
Autumn Review
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
Well, this certainly was an emotional story. I was drawn in on the first page. It begins with a brief glimpse of what happened the night of the accident. Once Robin wakes up, she doesn't remember anything, accept that she and her friend Emily fell. This story is about how Robin puts the pieces of her life back together.

Despite the fact that Robin has a brain injury, she does heal relatively quickly. The problem is that she doesn't remember the details of the accident. Her best friend is in a co
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book took me by complete surprise.

I started this book a little while ago and got to about 46% before I stopped reading it. i don't have an ereaders so I had to read it on my computer. I was beginning to worry that I would never read all of the fabulous sounding books I'd downloaded.

Filled with more gumption I started reading it again where I'd left off and kept reading until today, when I finally finished it. In the beginning I was a bit confused about where the line between present and pa
Mandy (I Read Indie) Anderson
Robin and her best friend Emily have fallen from a ride at the Fun Towne Amusement Park after climbing up the maintenance ladder to look at the view of the town. Both girls ended up falling from the ride, but only Robin woke up. With Emily in a coma, life has to go on for Robin; school, family, and learning to remember things all over again thanks to her Traumatic Brain Injury. But one thing keeps bugging Robin, she was supposed to remember something from the night of the fall, but her brain jus ...more
Anne Pfeffer
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I came across this book by accident. A random tweet announced that it was being offered free for one day, so I snapped it up, knowing nothing about it. Then I started reading it and couldn't put it down.

One reason this book pulls you in is that it's a mystery. From the first page, no one knows what those two girls were doing up on that FunTown ride late at night or why they fell. Emily's in a coma, and Robin's trying to remember what happened.

You also read it because Robin's an interesting, lika
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have a tendency so say things like "I don't really enjoy contemporary YA" and then realize later that I clearly don't know what I'm talking about. I love a good emotional roller coaster of a book--the kind of books that tugs on your heart-strings and makes you so engrossed in the characters' well-being that you can't stop turning the pages. This week, Notes to Self became one of those books.

I don't believe everything happens for a reason. But I still search for reasons anyway. It's like I don'
"Two climbed up. Two fell down.

One woke up.

In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is and find out what happened the night everything changed."

Robin and Emily are best friends who are very different yet not so. Emily is the daring one while Robin is the carefully crafted teenager who typically sticks to rules. Since Robin has done come up with random things, it's no surprise they end up on top of a amusement park ride. When they both fall, Emily lands
Lulu (The Bookworm is Here!)
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I first want to thank Ms. Sawyer (or should I say Ms. Schaefer) for giving me an ebook version! Notes to Self was a very captivating read that had me absorbed in Robin's story. I'm usually not too big on the whole 'sad' experience/re-growth/traumatic idea but I felt differently about this one compared to others I have read!
Robin to me was the perfect narrator for this story. She had such a distinctive voice - a fifteen year olds to be exact - that I felt myself nodding at her feelings and explan
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for reading and reviewing it.

Avery Sawyer’s Notes to Self is a short, mostly introspective book, her first for young adults. The premise is straightforward – two friends, Robin and Emily climb the “Sling Shot” ride at a theme park one night. Both of them fall, but only Robin wakes up in the hospital while Emily remains in a coma. The story is told from Robin’s point of view as she tries to come to terms with her injury, its traumatic effects and
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"...Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after." - Traditional English Nursery Rhyme

Robin Saunders and her best friend Emily Sampson sneak inside the Fun Towne midway after midnight. they climb the maintenance ladder of the Sling Shot ride and are about five stories up when an accident occurs. they fall down and are rushed to the hospital. only one wakes up...
writing as Avery Sawyer, author Laura Schaefer's novel invites the reader to experience vicariously the slow and pain
Majibookshelf Juhina & Farah
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
As i read the synopsis of the book, i knew it was going to be a very touching story that i'll remember. I enjoy reading real-life stories tremendously. To know that this story can actually happen in real life, or has happened to someone in this world, breaks my heart.
Robin and her best friend Emily fall, and only one of them wakes up, which is Robin. Robin struggles between praying that her best friend Emily wakes up from a coma, and remembering how to do simple automated activities, such as how
All Robin remembers is that she and Emily both climbed up the Sling Shot at Fun Towne, and then they fell. When Robin wakes up she can’t remember the details of that evening, but knows there is something important there. Worse, Emily hasn’t woken up yet and Robin must learn to live her life anew with the results of a traumatic brain injury.

I can’t tell you how much this novel amazed me. The premise intrigued me from the beginning, but the writing and the story are so engrossing I couldn’t put
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin doesn't remember much about the night she and Emily climbed up on an old amusement park ride, only that she fell and now Emily is in a coma. Robin's traumatic brain injury makes it hard for her to do even simple everyday tasks, so she starts writing notes to herself. She really wants to remember that night, but as she sifts through her memories, she begins to discover many new things about her life.

This was an interesting idea, but I felt like through most of the middle of the novel, it we
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I agreed to review Notes to Self, I had no idea how much I was going to love this book. Everything about it was amazing. The characters, the writing, the story, everything was beautiful. I have absolutely no complaints!

The book starts off with Robin and her best friend Emily climbing up one of the rides in an amusement park. What started off as something fun to do, turned into a terrible accident, which left Robin with some brain damage and Emily in a coma. Robin is forced to deal with ever
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
As Robin wakes up in the hospital with a brain injury the only thing she repeats over and over is "we fell" we spend the rest of the story piecing together what happened and wondering if Emily will ever come out of her coma. Robin decides to go back to school, maybe sooner than she should have. By writing little notes to herself to help her remember how to do things, because her brain is having a hard time making connections as easily as the process of showering and remembering her locker number ...more
Rebecca Becker
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I finished it in two days it seemed short or maybe I am just a fast reader but I loved it. It had a great story line and it was interesting couldn't put it down. only thing I didn't like was the cussing but other than that I loved it!!
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Loved the idea of this book and was ready to give it four stars until the last page. Just didn't care for the ending at all.
Rebecca Pates
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it
For full review:

This is one short read, I can tell you. But boy, is it intense.
The book starts with just before the fall and much like Robin, the narrative jumps to when Robin wakes up. From then on, we, and Robin, are trying to find out her past and more importantly, the accident itself where something is nagging Robin that if she remembers, it will save Emily. This all happens in a series of flashbacks throughout the book which piece together all our qu
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow. Where do I start? First, let me say I'm having issues with my vision right now, so please forgive any issues with my writing.

I read about a third of this novel and had to find out, before I continued, the back story. I contacted the author on Twitter and learned, to my disappointment, that she researched TBIs. I was so hopeful that she, herself, or someone she knew had one. So with that sad reality, I continued after looking into other's reviews.

I have to point out there are many reviews,
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read the complete and original review at Word Spelunking

When I first began Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer, I never imagined how deeply and profoundly this book would end up moving me, but it did.

One windy night in Florida, 15 year old BFF’s Robin and Emily climb up an amusement park ride and end up falling. Robin wakes up, Emily doesn’t. Suffering from a brain injury, Robin has trouble remembering even the most basic things and cannot recall what happened the night of the acciden
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it

Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer is Robin Saunder's story about both forgetting and remembering, even when it's tough, and true self discovery. It's about struggling to come to terms with the night of the horrific accident that changed her life, and it centers on her finally believing she should live, even though she feels guilty and undeserving of the chance she has when her best friend Emily is stuck fighting for her life. This book is unbelievable, it's the kind of story that truly makes yo
Jill Elizabeth
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My review copy of Notes to Self was graciously provided by the author, Avery Sawyer.

Notes to Self. I love this title – I actually have a work-in-progress WITH this title, actually. (teehee) It could not be more different than Avery Sawyer’s delicate novel about the weighty angst of being a teenager though. Sawyer’s Notes to Self relates the aftermath of a mysterious “accident” that has left her protagonist, Robin, memory-less and her protagonist’s best friend, Emily, in a long-term coma. (Mine i
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer gets 4 stars.

This book is about 15 year old Robin who, along with her best friend Emily, climbs a rollercoaster at a local amusement park. Robin and Emily both fall causing Emily to be in a coma and Robin to have a traumatic brain injury. While Emily remains in the hospital, Robin has to go back to her life. But life isn't so easy for Robin. She feels like she doesn't know who she is and she's not sure she knew before the accident either. So, she proceeds to write
Alisia Compton
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
“Two climbed up. Two fell down.One woke up.”

That’s the tag line of Avery Sawyer’s Notes to Self, a contemporary and realistic YA novel. The girl who woke up is our narrator, Robin Saunders. Robin is reeling from an accident that’s she’s unable to remember. Robin and best friend, Emily, climbed the Sling Shot, a ride in a local amusement park. Both girls fell thirty feet to the cold pavement below and were rescued by local paramedics. Only Robin awakes with a serious brain injury, while her best
Tara Calaby
Notes to Self is a moving and yet enjoyable novel about a teenager's slow recovery from the traumatic incident that completely changed her life. While the content of the book is emotive and sometimes confronting, as Robin deals with the intellectual and social consequences of her injury, it is never cloying nor melodramatic. Robin is not represented as a victim to pity, or the archetypical Brave Invalid, but rather as a very normal teenager who is just trying to learn about who she is. In this w ...more
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Notes to Self now at, iTunes 1 3 May 12, 2012 05:51PM  
The ending of the book (spoiler alert) 2 25 Feb 15, 2012 09:55AM  
Robin at school 1 11 Feb 07, 2012 04:43PM  
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“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.” 393 likes
“I don't believe everything happens for a reason. But I still search for reasons anyway. It's like I don't want to admit that maybe everything really is totally random...that people are just molecules in the air, bumping into each other and floating away again."
More quotes…