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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac [Hardcover]

Gabrielle Zevin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 21 Aug 2007 --  
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Book Description

21 Aug 2007
When Naomi tries to piece back the fragments of the last three and a half years of her life, she discovers a lot. She has a boyfriend but can't remember him, her mother and father are divorced, and she has forgotten that she is supposed to hate her mother. She also has a group of friends which simply doesn't seem that attractive any more and, despite having meticulously kept a diary, she only mentioned what she ate every day in it! But it's not all bad, because when a girl loses three and a half years she gets a chance to reinvent herself. After all, who is to say that everything has to be the same?
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (21 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374349460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374349462
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,457,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gabrielle lives in New York City. She is the author of two books for young adults, Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, as well as an adult book, Margarettown.

Gabrielle is also the author of the screenplay for the film Conversations With Other Women, starring Helena Bonham Carter.

(Photo credit: Aaron Eckhart)

Product Description


"Zevin is completely convincing on the intensity of early passion and the way it can evaporate in the rays of something new, and she has a light touch with the deceptively shallow anguish of adolescence."--"The New York Times Book Review" "Sensitive, joyful . . . Pulled by the heart-bruising love story, readers will stop to contemplate irresistible questions."--"Booklist," Starred Review"Zevin is just a great writer. . . . [She] gets all the details right."--"The San Francisco Chronicle""Zevin blends romance, changing friendships, and familial dysfunction with themes of chance, loss, and choice, and the result is a quiet exploration of identity and self-realization that is simultaneously thought provoking and entertaining."--"Voice of Youth Advocates""Unique . . . Will be well received by teens."--"Kirkus Reviews""Honest and complex characterization grounds a thoughtful, suspenseful examination of memory and identity."--"The Horn Book""Zevin cooks up an entertai --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gabrielle lives in New York City. She is the author of one other book for young adults, Elsewhere, as well as an adult book, Margarettown. Gabrielle is also the author of the screenplay for the film Conversations With Other Women, starring Helena Bonham Carter. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written touching sensitive subjects 14 May 2010
By Book Angel Emma VINE VOICE
As you would expect from the title, it is written in 1st person narrative dropping us straight into Naomi's life following an accident where she gets a nasty head injury wiping out her memory of the past few years. Only certain aspects like all her personal life yet she can still remember things like maths & science. Funny how the brain works :)

The book is written in 3 sections. The 1st section is called I was. It deals with Naomi trying to piece together the type of person she was before the accident. It gives her new insight into events that have occurred within the years the is unable to remember. She is also able to look back at her previous reactions objectively which helps give her a different perspective.

The 2ND section is called I Am. Where although Naomi is still unable to remember the last few years she takes the opportunity to redefine herself into the person she feels like on the inside rather than the person everyone but herself can remember. She cuts her hair, dumps her boyfriend, drops a few things at school and starts a new relationship with James, the boy who was at the accident, finds some new friends and takes a part in the drama production. Gabrielle Zevin does a wonderful job of depicting the horror that is depression within the narrative. Although we as a reader can see that the romance between Naomi and James is doomed, you can also appreciate the qualities that draw Naomi to James. At points I literally wanted to scream at Naomi to leave James as she couldn't help him and was only hurting herself. Powerful writing to inspire that sort of reaction don't you think?

The 3rd section is called I Will.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 16 Sep 2007
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
When sixteen-year-old Naomi Porter takes a header down the front steps of Thomas Purdue Country Day School, she loses a lot more than her pride. Although she remembers the ride in the ambulance to the hospital with James Larkin, and recalls that her blood ended up on his shirt, and even remembers that he assured the ambulance driver that he was her boyfriend, she's having a really hard time remembering anything prior to that. Anything, say, that happened in the last four years.

Awake and alert in the hospital with her dad by her side, Naomi knows that something's wrong. She knows her name, and she knows where she is. What she doesn't quite understand is that the last tangible memory she has happened when she was twelve. She can tell by the way her body feels that she's not twelve any longer. And then comes the first of many shockers: her parents are divorced. Oh, and her mother is remarried to her high school sweetheart, and they have a toddler named Chloe, who happens to be her half-sister. And she has a boyfriend named Ace, who conveniently enough is away at tennis camp. And her best friend, William "Coach" Landsman, is also the co-editor of the school paper, The Phoenix, a position she shares. And on and on the list goes, until all Naomi wants to do is scream.

In the course of a few minutes and one bump on the head, Naomi has lost four years worth of memories. She still knows she's adopted, she recalls her life up until the age of twelve, but everything between seventh grade and her current position as a junior in high school is a blank slate. For some, she's a girl to be pitied. For others, she's just another teen looking for attention.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a heart-felt, awe-inspiring read 2 Aug 2008
I read this book in a few hours, and was left with that slightly depressing feeling of 'I can't believe it's all over now and I have to return to reality'... A rare feeling I get after I finish reading a book. I read a lot, and this is honestly one of the best things I've come across in a couple of years.

It simply blew me away. It's so fresh, so original, so inspirational. It's the kind of book that you fall in love with from the first word and then obsess over for weeks after you've turned the final page. The plot is fast-paced, the characterisation realistic and gripping, the tone genuine and the message so heart-felt.

A must-read for all teenage girls aged 13-16.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 16 Dec 2007
I was in the book store on Friday afternoon and was looking for something to occupy me for the upcoming Christmas vaccation.I am a keen reader but I had not read much for pleasure scince I started my GCSE studying.
I picked up "Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac" and started it when I got in. I am not a fast reader and I really liked this book as it is kind of freaky to think of having amnesia and how Naiomi was a different person. I feel like I really connected with her even though I am younger than her and definetly dont keep things blocked up inside. There is something about her that all girls love and I cant quite place it . I come away feeling great that I have read it. Surely thats a reason to read it?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Teenage Trouble 13 Nov 2009
A Kid's Review
I think Gabrielle portrays the feeling of everyone knowing who you've been but yourself not knowing pretty well. The story is light, and warm and gets you attached.
When Naomi suffers a severe head trauma she forgets what has happened for the last three and half years.
When she goes back to school she realises that person she was is not the person she wants to be now. She finds it hard to find her own feet and manages to lose her best friend and boyfriend. She seems to be lost without knowing who she really is.
It is perfect for a light casual read but I do think there could of have been more of a story behind it as at times I felt like the story was in the middle of nowhere.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 21 days ago by R. Hanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I thought it was a really good book and I enjoyed reading it
Published 23 days ago by Morgan Nicholls
4.0 out of 5 stars If you read and enjoyed Elsewhere I think you’ll like this one as...
As originally seen at [...]

This book was fun and creative, like I expected. I just wanted to keep reading it. If you like Young Adult books you should read this one. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ladybug
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving yet funny at times
As with Gabrielle's novel Elsewhere, she once again manages to take a compliated and sensitive issue and deals with it tactfully and yet with a wonderful humourous tone that i... Read more
Published on 13 July 2012 by Leanne Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read
This is without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read. It starts off with a teenage girl who flips a coin with her best friend and co-editor for the yearbook, and the loser... Read more
Published on 12 July 2011 by N. Meadows
5.0 out of 5 stars Another lovely little book by one of my favourite authors.
Elsehwere ahs to be one of my favourite books ever so I was very keen to read this, another book also
by Gabrielle Zevin. Read more
Published on 1 July 2011 by Ms. J. Clarke
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Quick Read
I have a thing for stories about memory loss and this is the fourth memory loss book I've read, the first being 'What Alice Forgot, then Remember Me? then picture Perfect. Read more
Published on 27 Mar 2011 by Samantha Jayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book.
This book is amazing! At first it seems a bit boring but when I got into it, I couldn't stop reading. I read the whole book in under 24 hours. Read more
Published on 30 July 2010 by Annabelle.
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing that exciting
I read this book not that long ago and i have got to say i didnt enjoy it. I didnt relate to the characters much and found the story a bit dull. I wouldnt want to read it again.
Published on 2 Jun 2010 by Margaret Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I loved this novel. It really made you think how much easier things would be if you lost your memory...in a way. But also frustrating. Read more
Published on 6 July 2009 by D. Beaton
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