From What I Remember…

(By: Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas)

I had never heard of this book and had no expectations for it. I only read a bit of the summary and decided it was worth a try after seeing it newly placed on a shelf at my local library. The fact that I had no expectations for it coupled with the fact that I read it when summer vacation had just begun seems to have made this book into a marvelous read. It was fun and summery and just ridiculous enough. It was one of those books that’s on the border of realistic. You know those moments that no one would believe if you didn’t have photographic evidence? This book feels like a recount of one of those days.

The book is told in alternating points of views (POV); although there is no doubt that Kylie is the main character. I will tell you that as someone who loves to have every point of view I loved this set up. However, it was not necessary much of the time and they could have narrowed it down to three, removing the interjections from Lily (an irritating and shallow girl that was not developed enough as a character for her to deserve a share) and Jake (Kylie’s special needs brother who, although interesting and someone I wanted to know more about, served no real purpose to driving the plot in the time frame of the novel). The three whose POV I could understand alternating between is that of main character Kylie, that of Max (popular boy who has a life outside of school, Lily’s boyfriend and Kylie’s soon to be crush) and Will (Kylie’s best friend who is constantly trying to get her to live a little more). One could argue that Will’s POV was not strictly necessary but, since he was the one Kylie called to come save her and Max from their unplanned escapade to Mexico, I enjoyed knowing what he was up to and thinking and how he felt about the whole thing.

A very brief bare bones summary of the book with as few spoilers as possible is this:
Mind you all this happens in the days before graduation; and Kylie is the valedictorian who refuses to miss her speech she worked so hard for. They’re on a time limit and it’s a matter of, can they cut it close of will they miss graduation completely? There is adventure, marriage, a bit too much drinking and love. It goes like this: Kylie and Max meet up to do a school assignment and Kylie’s computer bag gets stolen. This sets the ball rolling for them accidentally getting smuggled into Mexico without passports. Kylie ends up getting them to the town where her deceased grandmother used to live, a town she visited once a long time ago. While there she ends up uncovering secrets from her fathers past that help explain who he is as a person. Max and her learn there’s more to each other than school would have lead them to assume and Jake gets his beloved routine thrown off kilter when his father must look after him since Kylie is suddenly unavailable. Will feels proud of his friend and finds something that may be love and isn’t sure if its worth rushing to get back to graduation anymore. Max has also called for help getting back to school (and home) and his best friend Charlie is on his way to get him, along with Lily, Max’s girlfriend.

Sorry for all the names, I know it may be confusing you. However, in the book—and I must give credit to the authors for this— it surprisingly easy to keep them all straight right from the beginning!

Overall I’d give this book a solid 4 out of 5 star rating. His is because I have not reread it (and don’t know if I ever will), removing point five stars from a total of five. The other point five is lost because all the different perspectives, while interesting to me, were not necessary. The book could have been just as good with fewer POV’s since they did not all help move the plot nor offer any required insight. Overall, however, it was a pleasing beginning-of-vacation book with teenage discovery and antics that made me laugh and kept my interest the whole way though! (There were no dull parts in my opinion and while I was able to put it down, I also undoubtedly had to pick it up again! This is not a book you forget about halfway through, I needed to know the whole ending!)

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