Tuesday, September 4, 2012

From What I Remember - a review

From What I Remember
Valerie Thomas, Stacey Kramer
480 pages

Ohhh. Look! A bunch of attractive people on the cover of a book. And they're dressed all stylish too. A chihuahua and a sombrero? Wow, what kind of quirkiness could be contained within the pages of this book?

It's a book about the beginning of an endless summer of romance. It's a book about teenage hopes and aspirations. It's a book about social pressures to conform. Okay. Not really. It's a book about drinking too much tequila.

Really, it's about a couple of teenagers who go out to Mexico, get too drunk, and can't remember exactly what happened. Enter Our Alternating Point-of-View Characters: Kylie (valedictorian, social outcast), Max (mysterious rich boy with a heart of gold), Chris (Max's best friend), Will (Kylie's homosexual best friend)*, and Lily (Max's bitchy girlfriend).

My entire time reading this I thought "Gee. Is this where the killer pops out and starts a-killin' these people?" Because every road trip novel could go that direction. Especially when alcohol and sex and juveniles are concerned.

It's the last day of graduation and Kylie and Max meet up to do some kind of homework assignment. I can't really remember because it's never addresses the rest of the novel. But the point is, the two end up stuck in Mexico, just a day before graduation, and might miss graduation. The two also--ahem--might've done some things after a night with tequila. Like, oh, get married, or oh, have sex, or oh, drink too much tequila. This has happened to everyone, right?

I have a lot of good things to say about From What I Remember. I remember laughing. I remember not liking or empathizing with a single character. I remember reading it with a bottle of Ketel One by my side.** I remember thinking "It's great that these characters curse and drink like real teens." I mostly remember laughing, though.

I have a few bad things to say about From What I Remember. Okay. Nothing too bad. But it was entertaining as fuck.

There are no morals that I can really pull from From What I Remember. Just that the characters learn to live in the moment. Which is surprising, because most teenage characters can't see five minutes ahead, yet these kids are planning five years in advanced. There's also that rule about tequila. Too much is a bad thing. Too much is trouble.

Too much of the airy-ness that is From What I Remember is also a bad thing. So after finishing it I put away my Ketel One and reached for something with deeper meaning. I won't remember the characters next month, I'll probably forget the plot in a few months, but it's a fun little book. It'd make an okay movie.

*I'm getting tired of books--and movies--where the girl's best friend happens to be male and gay. It's been over played these past few years. Why can't he be straight? Is it that hard for an author to explain that nothing is going on between two best friends? One is female, one is male, it doesn't me they're banging. And where is it written that all gay males have female best friends? Hollywood, men and women can be just friends. Hollywood, men can be friends with gay people and not be gay. Get over it.
**I am not kidding.
Note: This is my first review in over a month. I'm a little rusty. Excuse me while I get back into the swing of things.


  1. You are not rusty! You're in fine form! And now I'm humming Back in the Saddle Again. Thanks for that.

    1. Now I'm going to be whistling that for the rest of the night.

  2. Ohhh. Look!
    Words on the blog! What is this business?

    Looks fun. I hope to read it sooner rather than later!

    Welcome back, Adam!

    1. It was a lot a fun!

      Thank you. I'm glad to be back.

  3. Is this like The Hangover with teens? That's what it sounds like to me anyway. I thought that movie was funny. But this book doesn't really appeal to me. However, I am all for mindless book, with no deep meaning - every once in a while. Especially if they make me laugh.

    Welcome to September.

    1. I didn't want to go there, but yeah, it kind of is. It was mostly laughs. Don't go looking for anything more than that.

      Thank you. I'm enjoying this month so far.

  4. When you were describing the book, I kept thinking Dude, Where's My Car? Which is odd because I've never seen the movie. It's amazing what tequila makes people do, isn't it?

    1. Either that or The Hangover. I could see the comparisons to both.

      It's amazing what people do when they're on tequila. It's why I try to avoid it except in margarita form.

  5. Good to see you back!

    Yeah, I imagine this is the sort of book you read with beer while at the beach and then forget all about it when you get home. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Also? Yay for teens cussing and behaving like teens!

    1. Thank you!

      I absolutely did read this with a drink in my hand. It made it even more enjoyable.

      Yes, I sometimes hate it went authors completely avoid cure words in contemporary novels. I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve or avoid, but it's just not realistic.

  6. lol great review! Not rusty at all. I wanted to read this book before but now I definitely want to read it.

    1. Thank you! I was worried because I hadn't written anything in a month or so. Sometimes I forget how to find my voice again. If that makes sense.

  7. I loved this book!! I never knew what would happen next!:) I recommend this book to anyone who likes books about a romance in progress with the occasional ups and downs!
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  8. I loved this book! It was silly, so funny, and overall it was an awesome read. I'll definitely be looking out for more books by these authors! I would highly recommend From What I Remember to anyone with a functioning sense of humor.
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  9. Recommended for lovers of light, funny YA contemporary. Strong language, drinking, sex. Use you best judgement as to whether you're mature enough to read it.

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  11. The writing is funny, witty, serious, thoughtful, it's just everything and then some. The authors poke fun and really don't take themselves too seriously which makes the story all the more enticing.

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