From Goodreads: If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She’d know about her mom’s new family. She’d know about her dad’s fiancée. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.
But Naomi picked heads.
After her remarkable debut, Gabrielle Zevin has crafted an imaginative second novel all about love and second chances.
From me :)
I was surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did. Surprised because despite loving the premise of Elsewhere, I kinda got bored in it.
I think to enjoy a head trauma/amnesiac book, it's best just to go along for the ride and read the story not getting all caught up in the logistics of the scenario, yeah?
Things about the book:
Naomi was a popular girl, with a jock boyfriend and a goofy best friend, Will.
When she loses four years worth of memories, she doesn't really get who she turned out to be. Doesn't find anything appealing about her boyfriend, or even her favourite hobbies. She doesn't remember that her mum and dad are divorced -- or that her mum is remarried with a four year old daughter (her half-sister) and her dad is engaged to a dancer. She can't remember how to drive or if the pills in her bedside table means she's not a virgin any more.
It definitely sucked me in.
Around about the middle of the book, I started feeling the restless-want-to-start-skimming feeling. But then, the book kinda changed direction (in the coolest of ways) and I was super into it again. And it occurred to me that while I could see how some plot threads would be resolved, I really had no idea where the book was headed.
And I like that feeling.
I also wasn't sure how I wanted things to be resolved, which is another feeling I like - because it feels like various outcomes could satisfy me.
I didn't connect all that well to Naomi (same problem-o I had with Zevin's début novel). This didn't stop me from enjoying it, but it does stop me from raving about it. There's plenty going on plot wise, and I especially like how well drawn some of the other characters are -- it makes them interesting and their actions unpredictable yet still realistic.
- It was slightly unnerving continuously seeing my name in print.
- I kept getting James (new bad-boy crush) and Will (best bud) mixed up in the first half. Odd, I know. The names don't even really resemble each other, apart form being one syllable slightly generic names.
- The back of the book has deleted scenes and extras, which greatly amused me. I have often thought about the idea of keeping deleted scenes in a book (mainly as when I snip my own fave scenes from my writing (due to pacing/plot diversion) I'd still love to keep them, you know?
- Included in the extras is a few pages of all the CD mixes Will made for Naomi - complete with all the title tracks. Love it :)
Overall: I had a good time reading it. And I love amnesia type novels - provides a compelling platform for conflict and mystery. It's definitely an original read and also makes you think... about life and stuff :) I think I am between I like it and I really like it :)
Oh - on the topic of amnesia books. My all time fave is The Land of the Living by Nicci French. Totally absolutely recommending it :)