Book Review: From What I Remember

Book Review: From What I RememberFrom What I Remember by Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas
Published by Hyperion on May 15th 2012
Pages: 462

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.

I wasn't quite sure about this one going into it. Definitely not my usual realistic fiction read, but I loved Stacy & Valerie's writing in Karma Bites so I thought I'd give this one a shot.
The first couple of pages shocked me! My eyes popped and I said to myself "What the heck did this girl do last night?!" in horror. Then as the story starts from the different point of views I really became involved in these characters and this story that was hilariously coincidental. Poor smart Kylie just has to do this last assignment, even when no one else is going to, she just can't let it go as Valedictorian. She's stuck with popular boy Max who grudgingly decides to give her 10 minutes of his time to do the assignment. Unfortunately, while they are together they get caught up in a theft, a dire truck ride to Mexico and with only a day left before they have to be at graduation.
And then there's Will. Kylie's best friend is gay and proud to show everyone by the way he dresses so outlandishly. When he hears that Kylie needs saving, stuck in Mexico with Max, he picks up their passports and off he goes. Only he finds that Mexico treats him differently because of what he is wearing and internally chides himself for letting style get in the way of rescue. I found him interesting in that he isn't quite as comfortable in his skin as he shows but the trip to Mexico show him a different side to who he is.
I couldn't stand Lily, even with things going so wrong in her life. And by the end of the book, well her small kindnesses don't make up for her overall attitude. She is the girlfriend of Max and she needs him, even if he can't really be there for her like she wants him to. So she's not too happy when she finds out he's in Mexico the day before they graduate.
Max himself is a little bit of a mystery. He's not the worst guy, but not the best. And there's more to him than just being the popular cute guy he is. Kylie is a bit of a piece of work. She doesn't really care about anything but grades and moving on to college and starting over. Really living on her own and finding herself even if she will miss her family, especially her little brother who relies heavily on her as he has to have a routine down as he has Aspergers. I like that we even get to see the story from his side for a small part of the book as it's nice to see things through the eyes of someone who thinks differently.
From What I Remember is one of those books that is about human interaction, about finding oneself and building relationships. I really fell in love with the characters and the story was interwoven in a way that made me keep wanting to read. I couldn't believe it was as long as it was because I felt like I devoured it so quickly.
Final Verdict: Definitely a fun read that has more depth than the cover suggests. You'll get your fill of adventure and romance in this coming of age story.
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