Sometimes it feels as though we can live a lifetime within a few short days. The adventure, the new experiences, and the friends we make set our normal lives light-years away. Reading can also create this phenomenon. When you live in the heads of these narrators for so long, your own life feels empty and distant. From What I Remember… is a literary example of this feeling, throwing three graduating seniors into a small Mexican town and into an action packed, romantic adventure where they each find something they were missing– all of this a day before their graduation. This is another gem by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, the same authors of Karma Bites. Where Karma Bites was geared towards a middle grade audience, From What I Remember… is definitely intended for older teens.
Anyone who knows me personally and what I like to read and write knows for a fact that I am a sucker for alternating first person narrators. Kramer and Thomas juggle the inner monologues of several characters without a single drop. Their shift between characters is easy, the reader is able to follow the train of thought without wondering where this new voice came from. They also do not fall into the trap where voices blend together and sound similar– each character is a bold statement and feels something different from everyone else. Kylie’s insecurity, cool head, and determination stands out from Max’s anxiety, eagerness, and aloof mask. Will’s desire to stand out is different from Lily’s desire to be on top. All of them are teenagers that just want to make it to their graduation, but who can fault them their fun along the way?
This is a true coming of age story. Each character develops in a way true to their experiences and their personalities. They become new people, the people they were always meant to be. This book was a John Hughes movie, and I mean that in the best of ways. It made me long for the adventure of being young, the courage to do something stupid and stand up to those that belittled me. I wanted to be Kylie while I read this book. Sure she was insecure, but she was growing.
If you love the warmhearted, screwed up yet perfect coming of age stories John Hughes churned out, then this book is definitely for you. It is appropriate for mid to late teens and adults, boys and girls alike. Check out their web site and leave them some love! You can buy their book here and here.