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From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer

From What I Remember...

by Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Ahem. A rambling review from yours truly as always, might be some tad spoilers as well so stay away if you know what's good for you. Let's roll. You know what really clicked me into the story was Kyle. She reminds me a lot of myself, you know 'loner' but kind of geek and all who hates school and the people there but somehow manages to stick through it. Only making friends with people who are real, not superficial. However I'm not no valedictorian or anything, just average and I do a little poorly in school on stuff I could care less about. I mean I could get A's on everything if I chose to, anyone can, but I don't because if the class looses me I shut down and WANT the F cuz the class gave up on me first. I am aware how cocky that makes me sound, but it's the truth. Public schools could all burn for all I care so that we could all go back to Parents teaching incompetents. In least THAT was better than some joke of a school teaching repetitive memory games to pass the big test. Anyways, that car on the ride back to school with Lily, Charles, Max, Will, Jaun, and Kyle was beyond epic. It made me want to break down in tears at the sheer drama of it all and the intesity. That's what I love about this book too, the raw and honest characters. They all felt so real. As was Kyle's speech. Man, finally she felt the same way as I do about school. Experience is better than school. You know the whole LIFE is drained away in the settlement of school walls where instead of learning we spend more time listening to petty conversations of drama queens(kinda like Lilly) as they persuade and buddy up with the teacher to earn that perfect A+. As that show robot says "people get where they are not because they deserve it but because they cheated they're way into it and above all us moral beings not willing to sell our souls in the process." And you actually learn from EXPERIENCE not school and in 50 year old textbooks. Ill certainly home school my child if I have one, and maybe forget college as I honker down to being a freelancer putting my thumb up on the highway so I can escape reality. I know some homeless people who love where they are simply because they don't have to put up with stupid society, but that's a different story. Okay beyond the whole school thing, this book really got down the part of ADVENTURE. You know the whole 'loosing yourself' and 'how would I be in a different situation?' You know I'd bet a officer worker, drained lifeless from the repetitive nonsense, suddenly sprang into the jungle could suddenly go all ninja on you all yah and none the wiser. I wish people could get the perceived notion of who someone is out of their heads. As Kyle proves, just because in the situation of school she's drained and angry dosn't make her a crazy weirdo. She's pretty action forwarded, man that tuck scene, and funny and everyone's got a bit crazy in em'. And as Max points out just because you hang out with jerks dosnt make you one. But yeah, I felt the whole Mexico culture was greatly explored and the tragic stories that went along with them heart felt. The romance felt a little rushed but endearing none the less. Also I loved Jakie, I felt for him. And the tragic tale of the father and Will with his decadence to be himself. It all felt so real I got some tissues. I felt like Max could of had a bit more development though, and his morning after with Kyle and than switching back to Lily when she appeared was mean. Heartless even. Your not exposed to play on with Lily that you still like her when you don't because while it may cause her to calm down your only hurting her more down in the future. It's better to just be up front about it all. Don't play someone on like that, she didn't need the mixed signals. All Max did was be selfish, thinking he didn't want a blow up and hurting himself more as he thought he just wanted to stick to old comforts. Poor Kyle, I'm not sure I'd take Max back after such a bipolar impact where he dosnt even know what he wants. I need a strong man. But Kyle and Max are kind of perfect for another, especially by the end. Loved that hammock scene in Mexico where you'd think things are going to lead elsewhere and than you remember this is a YA book and so of course Max falls a sleep and Will comes barging in with a kiss to wake 'sleeping beauty' up. We got hilarious in stead, not sure if it was good or bad. Mixed emotions here, haha. Will was greatly betrayed also. You know in some YA books the 'gay best friend' tends to be overused as just some joke who brings levity. And that was used here, but Will is just so much more. Finally someone did it right, sure Will is hilarious but he's betrayed as a real human being and not just some joke to bring levity to a harsh story or situation. And for that I'm happy. He's someone with daddy issues, someone who likes to shove down in people's throats who he is even if it makes them uncomfortable. Pros to him, I want to do just the same. Why must we put up fronts? Work it like Will baby, his struggle over wearing the overalls was too cute. I too can see this in a movie, especially them walking out of a cops car and those expressions of the audience. However I have gaven three stars because at times I felt like the story dragged on and on and it wasn't my favorite. I devoured the story in 2 days though so I guess that says something. But it was all pretty funny. And despise, a good message. Life is what you make it. We don't live forever as young people sometimes think in the moment. Be sure to follow your dreams, make mistakes, even if you failing all in the end. Like Kyle did with screen writings and Max finally with photography. For real though- if you never try something all your doing is giving up on something that you haven't even gave a shot yet. And your giving up on yourself. No one else will ever know. Or like Kyle says "hobbies are for wimps." I couldn't agree more, only thing is I have none. Just nonsense. But I hope ill know when I get to senior year. All I do know is this. Go willingly where life takes you, be free. Even doing the worst thing in life could be made better if you have the mind set. It's all in our heads. I hate school in my head and so I do in outer. But even a garbage man can be happy with his job and can find meaning. Maybe he's thinking he's helping pollution in the city's wile bringing it to the backcountry so he develops a machine on his free time to suck all junk into outer space or out of existence. While the most wealthy businessman could hate life despite the moment. My point is- life truly is what you make it. Set the strings where you want to go and than let life do the rest of the pulling for you, mere human. Happy readings everyone! (: ( )
  XxXxAvalonXxXxArcher | Oct 4, 2016 |
DNF @ 66%.

No hay nada particularmente terrible en este libro. Es muy YA de la vieja escuela: entretenido, ligero y predecible. Tal vez lo termine en algún momento del futuro cuando tenga animo de algo fluffy.
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. it's light and fun with an outrageous storyline, but it works. The four main characters are all flawed, but likeable. The book is narrated by Kylie and Max with Lily, Will and Jake sharing their points of view throughout. Although I enjoyed Max and Kylie's story, it is Kylie's gay friend, Will, who provides much of the humour and witty dialogue. Despite its fluffiness, some serious issues permeate throughout the book such as Jake's aspergers, Max's father's battle with cancer and Lily's family's financial ruin. Overall, an entertaining read for older teenagers. 3 1/2 stars. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
This book is the teenage version of "The Hangover." Funny as heck and cute to boot! Outstanding characters. This is actually a book I would love to see made into a movie (and I never want to see a book turned into a movie). The authors writing from the POV of Jake is spot-on. Great, fun read! ( )
  paisean13 | May 14, 2013 |
Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

You know what, I didn't like movie The Hangover. Just putting that out there. Obviously, From What I Remember... is the YA equivalent of The Hangover, yet I still really wanted to read it. Welcome to my crazy brain. Anyway, I held out hopes that a YA version would be less crude and disgusting, and, hurrah!, I was rewarded with a ridiculous, fun read. Oh, another plus? That chihuahua on the cover? In the book for like five seconds.

From What I Remember... opens in classic hangover comedy style on the morning after. Kylie Flores, responsible misanthrope, Valedictorian, awakens on the morning of graduation in Mexico, all snuggled up with the hottest guy in school, Max Langston. Oh, and they're both wearing wedding rings. Not only that, but his enraged girlfriend, Lily, just showed up. Then, of course, the story jumps back into the past two days, and we begin the process of discovering just how this situation came about. As hooks go, this one's effective, though it did make me seriously impatient.

Now, obviously, the plot of this book is utterly absurd, which is, I believe, kind of the point. I mean, it starts with Kylie and Max getting partnered up for a lame assignment on the second to last day of school. Yeah right. Then, there's the whole chasing a mugger and ending up in a truck full of stolen goods headed for Mexico and getting stuck across the border without passports thing. If you can't look past the impossibilities, the book will be a struggle. Just embrace the crazy and enjoy the crazy tableaux in front of you.

Kramer and Thomas chose to write this in multiple first person points of view, which, of course, can be your best friend or your worst enemy. In this case, I think the story would have been much stronger told in a different way, either from just Kylie's perspective or perhaps third person limited. I just didn't feel like any of the characters had strong enough personalities to pull it off. Characterization is not something this novel is about, and it shows. Kylie's narration is the strongest, and, thankfully, the most frequent.

The narration of the three characters that weren't Kylie or Max really bothered me. Lily is a bitch. There's no getting past that. I kept expecting her to be redeemed in some way, and, sure, she does eventually show a glimmer of humanity, but she's really just a vain, selfish girl. Will, Kylie's gay best friend, should have been my favorite character; I love me some sassy gay friends. Unfortunately, I found him totally obnoxious, just so incredibly rude and over the top.

Worst of all, though, I'm sad to say, were the chapter's from Jake's perspective. Kylie's brother Jake has Asperger's and she has been very focused on his care, this crazy weekend her first chance to really cut loose. I have nothing against Jake, but he just didn't really belong in the narration, given that he wasn't part of the crazy Mexico adventure. His narration added nothing. My bet? His sections were added in an attempt to give the novel depth. Well, it didn't work. We all know what this book is for, and it's best to let it be. Every book doesn't need to be serious.

The relationships didn't hold true for me, either, as a result of the whole not feeling the characters difficulty. I did like the way Kylie and Will would communicate in movie quotes, but still didn't really feel their friendship. In both the friendships and the romantic relationships, it felt like everything relied on the narrators telling the reader how much Kylie and Will watch out for each other or how both Kylie and Max are falling in epic love in this one crazy day. Don't tell me; make me feel it.

What I did like were the themes of being yourself, going for what you want, and giving people a chance to surprise you. These aren't new themes, but I still appreciated their treatment here, particularly the latter, even if it was slightly heavy-handed. Pretty much everyone comes to realize through the course of their adventures that people have more to them than their social clique would suggest. Yeah, not mind-blowing, but, despite how much I know better than to pigeonhole people, I totally am still shocked to find that some people I'd marked down as assholes can turn out to be rather marvelous. Plus, sometimes we make our social isolation in high school without realizing it; I sure did, and I was totally blindsided by that revelation in college.

Listen, I know I sound hyper-critical, but this was a fun read. As much as I rolled my eyes, I was very much entertained. I do think it would have made a better movie, but it's got some laughs and lots of action. It's a bit long for the kind of book it is, but not a struggle to get through. If you love movies like The Hangover and Knocked Up, this book was written for you. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kramer, Stacyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, Valeriemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Prologue: I am jolted awake by sunlight flooding the room.
Chapter 1: Ms. Murphy drones on, partnering up our English class: "Brandon and Julie, Nadia and Sam, Kylie and Max..."
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Book description
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.
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Just before her graduation from La Jolla's exclusive Freiburg Academy, valedictorian and scholarship student Kylie Flores inadvertently ends up in Ensenada, Mexico, with Max, one of the most popular boys in school, where, in twenty-four jam-packed hours, their lives dramatically change.… (more)

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