From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer & 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.
Yes, yes, yes! I loved this book! As is clear from many of my recent reviews I have a soft spot for contemporary and this book just combined everything I love about contemporary YA into one big package. From What I Remember... had romance, adventure, mystery, and fun. I've heard this book described as The Hangover for teens and I can see where that comparison may make sense, but this book was so much more. Sometimes books told from multiple points of view just do not work, but even though From What I Remember... was told through the eyes of four different people, it worked perfectly and made me enjoy the book that much more. I have to say, this just may be one of my favorite contemporary reads of the year and I am so glad I picked it up.
The plot of From What I Remember... was terrific and it had me glued to the pages; just having to know what was going to happen next. A lot of crazy things happen in a short amount of time, but I loved experiencing everything alongside the different characters. As much as I adored the plot, the characters made the book for me. Kylie, Will, Max, and Lily were each so different and complex and I loved that none of them were "cookie-cutter characters". Every chapter peeled back more of their individual layers and proved there was much more to each of them than met the eye.
I don't want to spoil anything, but let me tell you, these characters get themselves into some sticky situations! While From What I Remember... often had me laughing, there was also a serious side that dealt with intense issues. Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas seem to have a real knack for understanding teenagers and it showed in their writing. They weren't afraid to take risks and I enjoyed every minute of this book.
This review would not be complete without mentioning all of the film references. There was a quote from a movie at the start of every chapter and many more references sprinkled in-- which I LOVED! Many of my favorite films were mentioned in this book and I learned about several others that I know I need to check out now.
From What I Remember... was a wonderful summer read and one I will surely be recommending to my friends. My only regret is not having picked it up sooner because I enjoyed it so much. I stayed up until 3 AM reading because I just had to know how everything would end. Even though this book might seem long, it is a fast paced read that I had a hard time putting down. This is now going to be one of my go-to contemporary recommendations and I am eager to see what Stacy and Valerie write next!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
May 15, 2012/Hyperion/462 pages/Young Adult
Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books by these authors: Karma Bites