Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer

From What I Remember...

Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Review: 
What is it about going to Mexico that's such a rite of passage kind of thing for Californians? Is it the drinking thing? Look, the basic plot of this book is so overused that it's a well worn cliché- boring, studious girl lets her hair down and popular boy notices her. Finally. This is basically the book:

Well, except with high school kids in Baja California. Which makes it all okay, I guess, because it's like, "What happens in Baja California, stays in Baja California." Like adding the Baja to California makes Ensenada into an alternative universe where all is possible- like underage drinking and the most popular boy fall in love with a geeky girl. Then, the author piles on more clichés- the gay best friend, the absent/emotionally distant parent, etc. So, where am I going? Seems like an awful book, right. Like I'm going to rip it apart now. Wish I could because, as you can see, it's pretty cheesy and the whole Cinderella in Baja thing is just awful sounding on paper (computer screen). But, it's actually fun. It's not great literature- but that's okay, who could really have been expecting that? Fun is good, fun is great for a summer beach read. The author throws in some deeper themes- like a brother with Asperger's- and those themes are brought together at the end a little too neatly. Actually, this is the thing that bothers me most- when books insert serious issues to try to balance out an otherwise cheesy plot. But if you can overlook that, it's an enjoyable read. Overall rating: 3 stars Genre Rating: 4 school lockers
Authors' Website
Stacy Kramer's Twitter
Valerie Thomas's Twitter
From What I Remember...


  1. I'm pretty sure that going to Mexico is only in the books and movies. If I'm correct, real Californians go to Canada. No joke. :P

    But god, there's a gay best friend, too? Can this get any more overdone? (Gay best friends, by the way, are hard to come by in real life. EVERYONE wants to be friends with them. It's saddening.)

    But anyway, I had my eye on this but I think I might officially have to check it out. Thanks!

  2. My husband and I lived in O.C. when I was 19. It was the big thing to go to Mexico so you could drink- I guess the legal drinking age is 18, but they kind of don't care at a lot of places. My husband is from O.C. and they used to go to Mexico all the time in high school- to drink and surf. We went once and that was it for me.

    We must be lucky! I've had gay/lesbian/transgender friends since I was a teenager. My (gay) best friend in high school used to eat Sunday dinner with us a lot in full- but tasteful- drag. Everyone loved him- my dad, my grandparents. Well, not everyone, but everyone was nice to him because my mom told them that if they were rude they were out of her house. Even my husband has his own gay and lesbian friends.


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