Friday, 6 July 2012

Contemporary Summer: Review of From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Released: May 15th 2012
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

KYLIE: Tijuana 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.
 (from Goodreads)

From What I Remember was such a great summer read – I loved it so much more than I thought it would. With loveable characters and a whacky, hilarious story line, I recommend everyone put this on their TBR this summer.

First off, I was not expecting such a fast-paced and crafted plot. This was one of the most action-packed contemps I’ve ever come across! While things did slow down in the second half, it was still pretty exciting throughout and I couldn’t stop reading! I was hooked by the first page, and was so intrigued to find out how Kylie and Max ended up in the situation they were in at the beginning of the book.

Kylie was an awesome main character, I loved her! Though at the beginning, she seemed almost a little school-obsessed, she was actually a lot more unpredictable than that (as Max soon found out), and could actually be pretty badass when she wanted to be. She was also hilarious; I loved the way she and Max were together, because a lot of their conversations were so jokey and funny and they actually had a similar sense of humour, so often ended up doing and saying things that just made me laugh. I also loved the way Kylie spoke with her best friend, Will – they were always quoting movies to each other, and I knew from the moment they quoted some Mean Girls lines that I would adore them both (and it must be said that Mean Girls is one of the most quotable movies to ever exist. Fact). But the book wasn’t all about humour and there were slightly more serious aspects, like the problems Kylie had with her dad. I liked how Kylie found out more about him when she was in Mexico, and how there was a scene at the end that sort of joined everything together and gave me a feeling that things were a little better.

I really liked Max too, and he turned out to be quite different to Kylie’s perception of him. She thought he was just some popular, dumb jock, but it turned out that they were actually quite similar – Max liked reading, and was pretty smart, and his life wasn’t perfect either – he had some problems at home, just like Kylie did. Still, he was cheery and fun and I loved the way he could tease Kylie or make her laugh. Honestly, they were both so hilarious together, and some of their conversations were just awesome. I went from liking Max to loving him when he agreed to try on a dress if Kyle would – that boy was up for anything. And of course, it was a very amusing scene :P. I did think Max did some stupid things towards the end, but I think he made for up it and I really loved the last chapter.

Will was another amazing character! I loved how confident he was and how he didn’t care what other people thought of him. I also loved how he just drove off with Juan because he wanted to be with him, and completely disregarded the fact that he was in Mexico and needed to get back home in time for graduation – he loved adventures and thrills and when Kylie told him she was stranded in Mexico, he told her he was proud of her. I couldn’t help but laugh. He was also really loyal to Kylie though (especially when Lily, Max’s girlfriend, was insulting her and trying to put her down), and was a great friend (he drove to Mexico at very short notice to help her out), despite occasionally getting distracted by cute boys (though to be fair, if Will and Juan hadn’t gotten together, the whole group would have been in a lot of trouble – Juan saved them more than once!). The whole time, I was just thinking, “You gotta love Will.”

I like the different POVs in From What I Remember, and especially enjoyed reading from Max’s and Kylie’s. I did feel, however, that some of them were a bit unnecessary – I did like Lily’s POV, but I didn’t really understand why it needed to be included. Same with Kylie’s brother’s POV – I liked Jake, but again, I didn’t feel we absolutely needed the chapters from his perspective. I don’t think these chapters affected the story much though, and they were all easy to follow, so I have no real complaints about them.

Overall, From What I Remember was a brilliant summer read that I would recommend to everyone. Get a copy of it now!
Visit Cait's blog for her review of Graffiti Moon!


  1. This one sounds like such a fun summer read! I think I requested on Netgalley but was rejected which seems to be happening all too often these days! Boo!

    I'll try to check this one out though as it sounds like something I'd enjoy. Great review, Liz!

  2. Yay - I've got this to read on my holiday and I can't wait now! Thanks for your great review. :)

  3. This is something I probably won't read, but I'm glad you really enjoyed it, Liz. Great review!

  4. This sounds SO good!!! I love books that are really funny, I haven't read one for a long long time! Definitely looking forward to this =]

    Cait x

  5. Hehe I'm loving Max and his daring ways already! I want to see (er.. read) him in a dress haha. I love that you describe this as one of the most action-packed contemporaries you've read. That alone has CONVINCED me I am in desperate need to read this. To be honest, I'd seen it around and sort of skimmed over the cover and now I feel like a total fool. This sounds SO awesome and I cannot flipping wait to get my hands on a copy!

    Thanks for selling me this with your amazing review!! <3

  6. this sounds really fun! i love those long and involved types of plots!


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