Tuesday 18 December 2012

From What I Remember - Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

Pages: 436
Publisher: Electric Monkey (Egmont UK)
Release Date: 7th January 2012
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Other Titles by these authors: Karma Bites (not published in the UK)

I am jolted awake by sunlight flooding the room.
What time is it? Where am I?
I turn my head and that’s when I see him.
The gorgeous boy lying next to me.
Oh. My. God. Max.
This is bad. Very, very bad.

At midday, class brainiac Kylie Flores is due to give the most important speech of ehr life. And yet somehow she’s woken up in Mexico, in a bed she doesn’t recognise, with the hangover from hell and the hottest boy in school – and they’re both wearing wedding bands.

She might be a budding screenwriter, but even Kylie’s vivid imagination can’t come up with the ending to this movie.

Rewind 48 hours...

I’ve been hearing amazing things about this books for months so when a surprise copy arrived for review, I was extremely excited. I didn't even know it was being published over here!

One of the best things about From What I Remember is how filmic it is. It could have been a teen road trip movie itself. There is constant quoting of fantastic and famous movies, including two of my favourites, Mean Girls and 10 Things I Hate About You, between Will and Kylie. It’s kind of their thing and I loved it. There’s also a movie quote at the beginning of each chapter that gave a hint at what was about to happen. It’s also filled with authentic teenage dialogue that just seemed so spot-on in a way that can sometimes be better in teen films that books, but not this time!

There was a lot more substance to this novel than I thought there would be. So many issues were raised and explored by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas that it could have easily been too much, but it wasn’t at all. There was: struggles with sexuality, Asperger’s, bankruptcy and serious illness among others. They were handled brilliantly, and not as issues but as an inevitable part of life.

As well as the strength of dialogue, theme and my love of multiple narration, one of the best bits of From What I Remember is the characters and their growth and development over the novel. Kylie and Max obviously grew the most. From the uptight, straight-A student and the rich, arrogant jock to a girl in a beautiful dress letting go to the music and a sensitive guy with a camera and more going on under the surface than you’d ever think, they just became themselves when freed from the social pressure of their school. Then you have Kylie’s best friend, Will. Flamboyantly gay but terrified of what that means for him and Max’s bitch of a girlfriend, who although has problems of her own, I just struggled to feel anything other than hatred for until the very, very end. That’s only just scratching the surface of amazing characters in this novel!

I adored From What I Remember and if this is any indication of the standard of contemporary YA in 2013, then BRING IT ON.

Make sure to come back here on January 7th for an interview with Stacy and Valerie as part of the From What I Remember blog tour.

Thank you to Electric Monkey for providing me with a review copy!



  1. So glad you like this one! I got it from NetGalley earlier this year and it was so much fan. And yes, CANNOT WAIT FOR 2013 CONTEMP YA!!

  2. This sounds like such a fun read! I'm surprised to see they touched on subjects as serious as asperger's, illness, bankruptcy---interested to see how a book that seems to be about a crazy fun road trip handles those things! Great review! Definitely makes me want to read it!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! I hadn't heard a thing about it before it arrived, but after reading reviews like this I'm much more excited.

  4. I agree with this review completely! This book has a lot going on. The characters all have their own unique backstories, and the fast-moving plot is top-notch. These two authors are dynamite!


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