Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR);
Published: First Edition (August 21, 2007)
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.
Before you read my review you should be forewarned that it is based off an Advanced Reader's Copy and some things may have changed and/or been fixed.
This book definitely had its moments of brilliance. One of the things I enjoyed the most was that it was realistic in the relationships and development of the characters. They were all flawed in their own ways and sometimes they try to make excuses for themselves but not one of them sees giving up on others as the ultimate solution to their problems. What I mean is, that they don't give up on trying to improve the relationship they have with the people in their lives. It's also not one those you-know-everything-will-turn-out-alright type of books. It's unputdownable in the sense that you don't know what's going to happen but you want to know till the point where you could easily finish the novel in one sitting.
The writing was one of the issues I couldn't get past while reading the book because in the beginning it was really bland which sort of correlated with the main character's predicament and main theme of the book but it didn't excuse its distant tone. Also there were hints that the main character, Naomi, was talking to the read in the "I was" portion of the novel as if telling her story about the on-set of her amnesia. However, there was no real mention of it later on in the latter two portions of the book. And in the general middle portion of the book, there was a point where I seriously considered just skimming the rest of the book because the plot was boring me and I wasn't fully immersed in the romantic relationship Naomi and James shared.
Overall, I'd say this was a just a tad bit more than a decent read.