Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review: From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

KYLIE: MEXICO WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.

MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome. 

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started. 

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: I think that a lot of people are going to be surprised by this one. Even though I have loved every book I've read by Hyperion I think I still sometimes associate them with Disney films as opposed to being part of Disney publishing. That was basically blown out of the water because this book is fairly edgy, and deals with quite a few things that Ariel never did. Two of the characters are social outcasts (Kylie and Will) while the other two are at the top of the popularity pyramid (Max and Lily). It was nice to see that each of these characters was dealing with something beyond the typical YA tropes. The book deals very frankly with topics like sexual orientation, money, living with a disability, cancer, family expectations...phew that's a lot. The authors do a good job of streamlining all of this into one story (see my one nit pick below), and it's fairly accurate of the teen experience. I mean, we all have/had more than one issue to deal with. 

Nit Picks: While I really enjoyed getting to see the most from Kylie, I wish that the other characters could have been explored just a bit more. The reader is really able to experience the difficulties that Kylie is faced with. Her parents leave her in charge of her young brother who has autism (you get to see from his perspective, too!), and her father is distant. The other characters have similar issues (one of the best bits), but they don't get explored the way that they do with Kylie. Am I a bad person? Why do I want to see characters suffer?!

From What I Remember
By Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
Published by Hyperion
462 Pages
Received for Review
Rating: B+


Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review. I love the style of it. Best Bits and Nit Picks! Brilliant.

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