From What I Remember...
by Stacy Kramer
, Valerie Thomas Published by Disney Hyperion
on May 15, 2012 Genres: Contemporary Fiction
, Contemporary Romance
, Romance Pages:
462 Source: Gift
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KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??
MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.
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: This cannot be happening. It's like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong.
Sometimes I love reading a book for the sole purpose of enjoying it. I think all book bloggers get caught up in trying to remember every good (or bad) thing about a book, so that they can provide a thorough review for their readers. This time I decided to just read a book for myself, not keeping anyone else in mind as I read. I wasn’t even going to write a review, but decided I absolutely had to because I love this book so much. As always, my main points are bolded. :)
1. I love the entire idea behind this book: good, geeky, smart girl decides there’s more to life than being good, geeky, and smart. You’ve got to live and have fun as well, or there’s no point. The entire story had a very “Grease” kind of feeling. Kylie is the valedictorian of her graduating class. She’s smart, and liked by pretty much nobody except her hilarious gay friend named Will. She gets paired up for a last-minute class project with the jock of the school, Max. He’s extremely hard to work with, but she HAS to get a good grade. So she pushes him. In a conglomeration of crazy events, they both find themselves smuggled across the border in a van of stolen electronics. They are in Mexico with no passports, no way of getting home, and graduation day is closing in. Geeky girl turns hard core, and jock notices. Things get really cute.
2. Kylie is just like me. I was the overachieving good girl in high school and college too. Heck, I still am. I’ve always been a little geeky and bookish. I loved her inner thoughts and her street smarts, because I could relate to her so much. Like her, many people never discovered that I was so much more than the girl who chose to study over hanging out with friends. I had more fun watching her grow and change than I have with a character in a long time.
3. Will. Oh, Will. I loved him so much. He’s extremely flamboyant and obnoxious, but in a way you can’t help but love. He’s a cross-dressing, movie-quoting, ball of energy that is the only person who really knows and gets Kylie. He does his best to push her towards opening up, but holds back and is there for her when she needs him to. Everyone needs a friend like him. I also enjoyed watching him grow and progress.
4. Max is a sweetheart, but in a Danny Zucko (see? Grease) kind of way. He’s sweet when nobody is watching, and then he kind of shafts you when he needs to maintain his reputation. You know how Danny and Sandy have a whirlwind summer with the sweetest romance? Danny doesn’t even wear leather! He’s just normal and in love. And then he gets back to school, puts a bottle of gel in his hair, and acts like he barely knows Sandy? That’s kind of how Max was, just not as bad. He did struggle, though, with the choice between following his own heart and following the path that his friends chose for him. I grew to really like him, though. His true colors are beautiful.
5. I liked the 4 different perspectives we get with this book. The narration alternates chapter-by-chapter between Kylie, Max, Will, and Kylie’s younger brother, Jake, who has Asperger’s syndrome. Normally I hate this idea, but it totally worked with the story. Getting into Will’s head was hilarious, getting into Kylie’s head was like jumping in my own brain, getting into Jake’s head made me smile at his sweetness, and getting into Max’s head was enlightening. I really enjoyed it.
6. The story had a few elements that were totally unbelievable. I mean, how many times can these kids get in and out of trouble so easily? Haha! It’s a book, though. It doesn’t have to be true. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. :)
7. The writing is amazing. I always applaud a book that has two authors, because I think it would be really hard to blend two different writing styles. I could not tell when one other began and the other ended. It is a great partnership, and I’m hoping they pair up again in the future.
8. When all was said and done, I had major warm fuzzies happening. I loved watching these kids grow and mature. I loved Kylie’s transformation into a force to be reckoned with. I loved how all the loose ends were tied up.
“At least she’s not wearing those Uggs anymore, which look like huge suede foot tumors, as far as I’m concerned.”
“Hopefully in the Venn diagram of their lives, they can find a little more overlap.”
“So, kiss the girl. Buy the dress. Take a vacation. Join the circus. Order the fried frog legs. Try out for the play. Learn to snowboard. Do something that scares the s*** out of you. Or something that makes you happy. Or something that makes you cry. Whatever it is, do something that makes you feel something. Because feeling nothing is no way to go through life.”
This is definitely a new favorite book of mine! I’d recommend it to people who enjoy contemporary romance, humor, and a little adventure. Oh, and movie quotes. Each chapter begins with a quote from a popular movie that foreshadows what’s going to happen in that chapter. I loved that idea! Now I need to go watch all those movies!