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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac > Naomi (spoilers)

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
What do you think of Naomi as an overall character? Do you think it's important to the story that Naomi is an orphan? Would she have made the same choices in life if she had not had amnesia?


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) I'll write more later, but I've noticed a lot of people don't like Naomi all that much. One thing I really liked about her was how she was often honest with herself, including admitting when she didn't like herself very much.


message 3: by A.T. (new)

A.T. (meandonlyme) | 21 comments I did not like her. Maybe at first I did, but then she became extremely annoying to me. I did not like how she treated Will towards the middle of the book, when all he ever did was try to help her. I know she lost her memory and all, but a best friend is still a best friend. I also didn't like that just because they told her she didn't like Rosa and her mother that she acted so rude (not the word I want) to them.


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) A.T. wrote: "II also didn't like that just because they told her she didn't like Rosa and her mother that she acted so rude (not the word I want) to them."

I don't think that's why she didn't like them. Not exactly. She was 12 and her parents were together and they were a happy family of 3. She "wakes up" 4 years later and her mother has left her by having moved out and having a new husband and another child. Her father has "left her" by being engaged to another woman who has 2 other kids. Hmm. I'd think that would be very, very tough. I had a lot of compassion for Naomi about that situation.


*Mrs. Brightside* I didnt like Naomi that much. I liked her in the beginning, but she started acting different to ME later on in the book. I was hoping Will would just bail on her, because she didnt deserve a best friend like that! Not the way she was acting. But I guess having amnesia can change a person..since Im guessing it changed her!


message 6: by Grace (last edited Jul 05, 2010 11:54AM) (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments A.T. wrote: "I also didn't like that just because they told her she didn't like Rosa and her mother that she acted so rude (not the word I want) to them. "

I disagree with you on this. Naomi was curious about why she didn't like her mother before she lost her memory. All she could remember was the love she felt for her mother and she missed her. She was rude only after she learned what her mother had done. I found her reaction to be honest - even if it was hurtful to her mother.

As for her feelings about Rosa, she didn't like her on the second acquaintance because her father had lied to her. She was reacting to the hurt from that deception.


message 7: by Grace (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments I liked Naomi, warts and all. One of her redeeming features is that she regretted when she mistreated Will - she disliked herself at the same time that she was most dislikeable.

However, there were hints that the pre-amnesia Naomi was rather shallow and self-absorbed but the author didn't really develop this story line.


message 8: by Lani (new)

Lani (crahfty) I felt Naomi was a very honest character. I felt I might have made the same decisions she made. I can imagine if you don't know who you are that you would make decision based on impulse rather than knowledge, and I felt that's what she did. I too appreciated her honest look at who she was and the realization that she, at one point, didn't like herself.


message 9: by Julia (new)

Julia | 432 comments Once Naomi gets her memory back, she doesn't tell anyone. I didn't like that about her. Those are not the actions of an honest person in my opinion. She allows the people who love her the most to continue to worry about her, instead of allaying their fears.


message 10: by Lani (new)

Lani (crahfty) I agree Julia. I didn't understand why she wouldn't at least tell her dad. I can understand why she would want to wait to make it known to Will, until she figured out how she felt.


message 11: by Grace (last edited Jul 07, 2010 05:01AM) (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments Julia wrote: "Once Naomi gets her memory back, she doesn't tell anyone. I didn't like that about her. Those are not the actions of an honest person in my opinion..."

I'm not sure I would have acted differently from Naomi - I guess that's called having empathy with the character. By the time her memory returns she and her family have adjusted to the loss of memory. They've built new memories and the loss of the old probably doesn't seem as terrible as it did at first.

She has recovered from her fall and probably isn't as fragile as she was just after the accident. I don't think they're very worried any more about her physical condition. They may still be concerned about her emotional health but regaining her memory isn't guaranteed to help with that - it might actually make it worse.

The main thing is that now she remembers why she fell - and she has a better understanding of her relationship with Will. And of course, she now knows how to drive.

Yes, it would have been better if she had told her father, at least, that she had regained her memory. But I don't think that makes her a dishonest person - just someone who makes mistakes.


message 12: by Julia (new)

Julia | 432 comments I don't think Naomi had empathy for her Dad, when she withheld this from him. I also think she wasn't being truthful with James, she should have told him, too. Will, I get.

The first half of the story was about her amnesia. The second half was about her love life.


message 13: by Kelly (new)

Kelly RAley (kraley) | 100 comments It is funny that a lot of people don't like Naomi near the end of the book. I had mis-remembered the title as "Confessions of a teenage Amnesiac." I was going to comment that due to the title, the confession expresses feelings of guilt. But, seeing as how it is just a memoir... no guilt? I don't think I would have told either. I think she knew her relationship with James would have been over if she could remember. I don't think she wanted to end up alone. Maybe she didn't tell her dad either because she felt like she'd have to go back to behaving like bad-Naomi who didn't like Rosa Rivera.


message 14: by Jessica (last edited Jul 09, 2010 07:35PM) (new)

Jessica (JessfromTex) | 10 comments @Grace, you made good point about how post-amnesia Naomi doesn't seem to like pre-amnesia Naomi. We see pre-amnesia Naomi as someone who wants to be popular, who has a calorie diary,etc. When she gets her memory back she never really talks about the diary or how she feels now about sitting with the popular crowd. Like, wouldn't someone go back to their old ways after having amnesia and recovering? Or at least be tempted? I understand that she basically got a third person pov-type look at her life, so of course she's going to change, but it still felt like some of that should've been adressed.

As for how people are saying she treated Will badly as a friend... during her amnesia Will was basically like a stranger to her. Yes, he was being kind and all, but I think he expected too much from Naomi. I think everyone just wanted her to remember how she was and gp back to that. I think both Will's behavior and Naomi's behavior were both understandable. There's really no right or wrong in that situation


message 15: by AH (new)

AH I think that Naomi pre-anmnesia was a very different girl. She was popular, extroverted, shallow, nasty to her parents - she hadn't spoken to her mother for 4 years! Post-amnesia Naomi was much more likable to me. I mean, she quits yearbook, joins the play, can't remember why she liked Ace, goes out with a "bad" boy...

But then it seems like a light bulb goes off in her head. When she regains her memory, she does not tell anyone - and I think the reason is that she is offered an opportunity for a "do-over" for her life. She has the perfect excuse to change and be the person she wants to be.

And that is what I loved about the book. Everyone undergoes a lot of changes at adolescence, but how many people have the chance to completely change for the better without any real consequences? After she regained her memory, she became more mature, she seemed to understand her choices in boys were not the best, and she rebuilt her relationship with her mother. She stopped being the bratty teen.

As for Will, I admire his patience with her. Instead of screaming out "We kissed last night," he patiently tried to remind her of all the things they shared through music and his many playlists. That is one special guy.

But that's my opinion - I truly enjoyed this book, it was one of the best YA books I have read this year. And the bonus - no vamps or weres!


message 16: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (chloebooklover) I read the book last year, but I still remember Naomi being a farly decent character. She had to face a lot, though I got really mad *SPOILER!!!!* when she got her memory back and didn't tell anyone!!!!!


message 17: by Andrez (new)

Andrez (andrez-ssi) for some reason, i really liked naomi. she was hones with herself and i especially loved the part where she said something like 'what if i dont want to meet the person i am?" i didnt mid that she didt tell that jher memory was back, im not sure if id do the same thing


message 18: by Grace (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments AH wrote: "But that's my opinion - I truly enjoyed this book, it was one of the best YA books I have read this year. And the bonus - no vamps or weres!"

You are so right about this. I know this is off-topic but - the craze with vampires, werewolves, and zombies is driving me crazy. It has even infected the classics. Jane Eyre with Zombies, Anna Karenina with Zombies. Enough already! Can't writers find different outlets for their creativity. If only the 'audience' didn't make it so easy for them by devouring every book that has a hint of the paranormal regardless of how good the story it or how well it's written.


message 19: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
What do you think about how her dad gave her a new book for every one of her birthdays? I wish someone would do that for me! I thought it was interesting when he gave her the journal for a book one year. Write your life. Sometimes I think about writing a blog, which is not the same kind of thing but then again it is. Write my life for the world to see!


message 20: by Roshini (new)

Roshini | 79 comments Tell me about it, despite everyone knowing about my love for books, no one gets them for me! Angie, I'm constantly being asked why I haven't started on my own blog:-) Are you thinking of starting one?


message 21: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Sometimes I think of starting one... but I don't know what to talk about? My day? Who wants to read that?

I liked Naomi. I thought she did quite well adapting back to life after not remembering anything. Later I was a little confused by her behavior though. Like all the secrets she kept. Getting her memory back, going all the way to Cali (which is dangerous for a young girl). I do like though that she was trying her best when she couldn't remember anything. She started trying to give people a chance. Though I felt bad for her step dad when she stood him up. I also thought James did her wrong.


message 22: by Lani (new)

Lani (crahfty) I think I identified with Naomi because I can sort of relate to what she went through. I haven't had amnesia, but I did just get divorced and have had the opportunity to sort of reinvent myself. I tend to test the waters and make decisions I might not have made 6 months ago, just to see the result. Like Naomi, I've made some mistakes but I'm glad I've tried thinking outside the box. Naomi, imo, was just reinventing herself and was bound to make mistakes and have regrets as we all do.


message 23: by Grace (last edited Jul 13, 2010 05:52AM) (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments Roshini wrote: "Tell me about it, despite everyone knowing about my love for books, no one gets them for me!"
Maybe they don't know what to get you. My sons and their significant others all love to read and I often think of getting books for them. But I often stop because I don't know if the book I've selected is one they already own or have already read. Lately, though, when I see or hear of a book I think they might like I ask them if they've heard of it or are interested in it.

A couple of times in the past year, I ordered books that I had listened to as audio books and I KNEW they would enjoy them. I was also pretty sure they had never heard of the books.

It's easier, I think, to buy for someone who is 'new' to books - there are endless possibilities.

In Naomi's case, her father knows what's on her library shelf. Also, he works from home so he probably has more contact with her than the stereotypical father has with his children. He's probably aware of every book she has read.


message 24: by Roshini (new)

Roshini | 79 comments Grace wrote: "Roshini wrote: "Tell me about it, despite everyone knowing about my love for books, no one gets them for me!"
Maybe they don't know what to get you. My sons and their significant others all love to..."


You're probably right Grace. But book vouchers would help too:-)


message 25: by Michele (new)

Michele | 10 comments I thought Naomi was an honest character but not very likable. I also never figured out why she was so in love with James.


message 26: by Miss Bookiverse (new)

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I just finished the book and I really liked Naomi. Why does almost everyone dislike her? o.O I thought she was interesting and sweet and also very honest.
I just wish she had reflected more on her old life once her memory came back. I know she wanted to leave the past behind her and just forget about it but I still would've liked to know what she has been like all those 4 years, whether she's been a popular mean girl or just acted like being part of the it-crowd etc.
I thought the relationship between her dad and her was very sweet and I enjoyed those parts a lot.


message 27: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Infinite Playlist wrote: "I just finished the book and I really liked Naomi. Why does almost everyone dislike her? o.O I thought she was interesting and sweet and also very honest.
I just wish she had reflected more on her ..."


I am surprised you thought she was honest when I found her to be a liar. It was strange to me how much of her old life she left behind when her memory came back. It was almost like she aged (matured) so much after the amnesia. Like how I am older now and I look back on my teens years and roll my eyes at how I tried to be cool, she seems to be doing that in her teens.


message 28: by Tatiana (last edited Jul 24, 2010 07:25AM) (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) I didn't dislike Naomi for her lying because IMO she wasn't ready to face her last 4 years and her own self during those years. Much of it she disliked and didn't want to get back to it - things like her relationship with her mother, etc. I thought she wanted to remain her new, wiser self. And how is that wrong?


message 29: by Miss Bookiverse (new)

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I thought Naomi was honest with herself, that's kind of what you're saying, Angie, because she acts so mature. Yes, she does lie to her father and she doesn't tell anyone she has her memory back but that doesn't make her a terrible liar, in my opinion, because in her situation I can even understand those lies.


message 30: by jheepi (last edited Jul 26, 2010 10:25PM) (new)

jheepi The Naomi before her accident doesn't seem that different to me from the Naomi after her accident (lying or otherwise).

Naomi is sensitive to the fact that she was originally an orphan, and thus tries very hard to be "normal," as opposed to a loner or outcast. Her parents' divorce and subsequent relationships hit her pretty hard because she feels like she's going to be orphan again. I think that's how you get the "in-crowd" girl before the accident.

After the accident, Naomi is essentially the same girl, but she's more mature about things because her amnesia gives her the room she needs to take a step back and realize that the future is more important than the past. In a way, Naomi needs her amnesia (plus her dad and James) to deal with her new family situation. Well, at least that's my take on it.


message 31: by Miss Bookiverse (new)

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) That's interesting input, GP, I hadn't thought of it that way. I didn't really see Naomi being an orphan being an issue for the girl. After all she probably doesn't remember losing her parents and being adopted. She always knew she was an orphan but she also always had her family around her.
It would explain why she wants to be in the in-crowd pretty well though. I think after the accident Naomi becomes more herself, trusts herself more and is comfortable with the person she is. Maybe that's because she has the possibility to look at herself from a younger (because she doesn't remember the past 4 years), more naive angle in which you still accept yourself the way you are and don't see anything wrong with it.


message 32: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Tatiana wrote: "I didn't dislike Naomi for her lying because IMO she wasn't ready to face her last 4 years and her own self during those years. Much of it she disliked and didn't want to get back to it - things li..."

Maybe my problem is how a person can go from being one form of their self to another form of their self in just a few months. It is weird that she gets her memories back but not the same personality type back?


message 33: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) No, I don't see that it's weird. People change based on their life experiences, especially in teenage years. Imagine yourself 4 years and then remove all experiences from these years. I think I would be a different person without my work, school and marriage.


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