Wednesday 9 January 2013

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

From What I Remember
Pages - 436
Published in January 2013 by Electric Monkey
I am jolted awake by sunlight flooding the room. What time is it? Where am I?
Disorientated, I attempt to open my eyes. The light is stabbing. my head is throbbing, my throat is raw and my stomach is roiling. Is this what a hangover feels like?
Amazon Summary
Life is nothing like you planned. Even when you've planned absolutely everything. Kylie Flores - class brain and movie addict - has been planning her big graduation day speech for three months. A scholarship student, she would never dream of mixing with the likes of Max Langston - rich, undeniably handsome and athletic, but totally dead from the neck up. So it's a total mystery when Kylie wakes up in Mexico, with the hangover from hell, in a bed she doesn't recognise, next to Max - and they are both wearing wedding bands...Rewind 48 hours to find out just how and why they got there!
This book is one of those books that I know I will read again and again. I want to keeping hugging it and grinning because it is just so wonderfully written. It has everything you could possibly want in a story, pushing you backwards and forwards between laughing and crying as you follow on this at times poignant coming of age journey on the road to happiness. By the end of the book I honestly couldn’t stop grinning.
I ‘m a real 80’s girl and grew up feasting on all the John Hughes style Brat Pack movies. On reading this book, I felt like he was still with us, creating a damn good story that breaks your heart occasionally but leaves you feeling happy about the outcome. The one that sticks in mind the most on reading this is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but the book also has elements of Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club too. It is just pure gold.
The book is told from multiple points of view and each character is vivid, unique with each voice firmly establishing their role in the plot. I loved them all except Lily, but really she was probably supposed to be one of the characters you hated. She has that whole ‘Mean Girl’ thing going on. She reminded me so much of Jennifer Grey when she played Ferris’s sister in the film. Her anger and hatred towards Kylie oozed off the pages. I adored the blossoming relationship between Max and Kylie. All the way through I was rooting for them to work it out. They come from such different backgrounds you felt their turmoil as they tried to overcome their differences.
The story deals with quite a few issues that really do affect the teenagers of today. It looks closely as the high school hierarchy system and tears strips out of it. It definitely proves that you should never judge someone until you have got to know them better. Listening to rumours will not help you to discover who someone really is. Jump in and introduce yourself before you judge.
This book also deals with the difficult process that teenagers often find themselves in when they begin to tell their families and friends they are gay. Will, one of the main characters goes into overdrive to make sure everyone knows, to the point where he wears women’s clothes to make a statement. As the book progresses he realises that he doesn’t need to do that for people to accept his choices. Another character in the book is struggling to admit his sexuality and I thought it was dealt with extremely well as you had the contrasting situations of both characters.
The book jumps back and forth between America and Mexico, so you get to see how the American teenagers react to the change in drinking age. To us, being able to drink at 18 is the norm, so it is funny to see how they embrace the change in law as they hit Mexico.
From the first chapter, you get a sense that something is seriously about to go wrong and before you know it the book has sped off into an accidental adventure that follows one incident after another down a long line of reactions to different situations. This book isn’t just an adventure, it is also a journey, a coming of age journey where each character not only finds their way back home, but they also find themselves. They find the blossoming seeds of the adults they will become in the future. This book is about realising just who you are supposed to be in life; finding your potential from each mistake you live through.
Each chapter begins with a quote from a movie, most of which I had seen and could remember. Each quote is totally appropriate to the chapter it leads.
If this book isn’t made into a movie I would be really really surprised because it is bursting at the seams with all that is needed to make a hilarious coming of age feel good film. If you still haven’t sussed it, I truly love this book. The writing partnership between these two authors works incredibly well and the seams are so flawless, you would never realise that it had been written by two people. I really do hope this is a permanent partnership because I can’t wait to read more from this dynamic duo.



  1. Always a good sign when a blogger says its a book they will read again and again. Great review as always, thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Wow your review is amazing. I got a slightly different take on it :)

  3. Brill review as always! I've seen this book mentioned on twitter. I think I'll have to add it to my buy list for when my book ban is up!

  4. brillaint review Viv, I really want this to be a permenant partnership too and wil be checking out the other book Stacey and Valerie have written as soon as possible! :)

  5. I read this book based on the recommendations of Viv and Raimy of Fabulous book! I was in the mood for a light hearted contemporary and this book fitted the bill and some. I read it in one sitting. Definitely a re read for me too!


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