From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, published by Electric Monkey on 7th January 2013
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.
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.
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.
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 What I Remember' is a thoroughly fun and enjoyably light-hearted read. It is pure escapism and the type of book which will make you feel giddy and carefree.
The story starts with Kylie and Max waking up together in a room in Mexico, wearing matching wedding rings. This isn't however a case of boyfriend and girlfriend running off to get married, as Kylie and Max have never even been friends and standing over them is Max's girlfriend Lily. The narrative then takes us back to the beginning to show how events unravelled up until this point.
The book has five separate narrators, Kylie, Max, Will, Jake and Lily. This could have been confusing because the narrative does skip around a lot but in actual fact worked really well because each of the characters are so individual with varying personality traits. Kylie's best friend Will is gay and struggling to develop his own identity, Max's girlfriend Lily is hiding a secret about her family and Jake, Kylie's younger brother, is autistic and views the world very differently to anyone else. Seeing how such completely different people are brought together throughout the story was one of my favourite aspects of the novel.
The theme is very much about moving onto the next stage of life, taking chances and not being afraid to make mistakes because these can teach us valuable lessons. I identified a lot with Kylie and she has made me feel more inspired to try and embrace life and seek out new experiences, rather than being worried all the time about giving something different a go.
The book is also about developing relationships with people that perhaps you wouldn't normally associate with and feeling enriched by those you do choose to have around you. This was depicted not only by Kylie's relationship with Max but also by her bond with her father, who she discovers several things about by the end of the story which make her feel quite differently towards him.
'From What I Remember' was a great read which I really enjoyed. I loved the movie quotes at the start of each chapter and all the film references throughout the book which I had fun trying to spot.