Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

“Zevin is just a great writer… [She] gets all the details right.”

San Francisco Chronicle

If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss.

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 get all his inside jokes, and maybe he wouldn’t be so frustrated with her for forgetting things she can’t possibly remember.

She’d know about her mom’s new family.

She’d know about her dad’s fiancée.

She wouldn’t have to spend her junior year relearning all the French she supposedly knew already.

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.


“Zevin is just a great writer. The amnesia card has been played many times, often cheaply, by storytellers, but for her it’s fertile ground for exploring her main character… [She] gets all the details right: the reckless abandon of teenage love peppered with nuggets of adult wisdom. The adult characters aren’t the collection of boneheads who usually appear in young adult novels, either…”San Francisco Chronicle

“Essentially a love story, it is also an exploration of teenage identity, handled with such a skilful blend of wit, intelligence and tenderness that readers will lose themselves in the story and find themselves in the process.”The Telegraph (UK)

“Zevin is completely convincing on the intensity of early passion and the way it can evaporate in the ray of something new, and she has a light touch with the deceptively shallow anguish of adolescence.”The New York Times Book Review

“Gabrielle Zevin does a beautiful job of exploring the psychological terrain of high school in this suspenseful love story that might leave readers wistfully hoping for their own bump on the head.”Chicago Tribune

“…a compelling and thought-provoking tale…”Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“…Elegiac, thoughtful, and rich in metaphor and character development… Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is a deeply moving novel that readers will be sure to ponder — and remember — for a long time to come…”

“…a riveting narrative with compelling, complex characters. Enthralled by Naomi’s honest, fresh voice and her occasional wry, direct appeals to the reader, teens will find her tale unforgettable.”— BookPage

“A quiet exploration of identity and self-realization that is simultaneously thought provoking and entertaining….This book will generate discussion and pass from teen-to-teen.”5Q/5P, VOYA

“…My back-to-school choice for young adult readers.”Chicago Sun-Times

“Zevin offers an interesting and fresh premise, memorable characters grappling with relationships and life-and-death questions, along with an appealing romance.”—The Buffalo News (New York)

“With writing as wonderfully engaging as Elsewhere, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac will spur readers to think about why they hold on to relationships, activities and emotions like anger when their time has passed.”The Capital Times (Wisconsin)

“…Sensitive, joyful . . . Pulled by the heart-bruising love story, readers will stop to contemplate irresistible questions.”Starred, Booklist

“Zevin constructs a unique take on the teenage question of “Who Am I?””Kirkus Reviews

“Honest and complex characterization grounds a thoughtful, suspenseful examination of memory and identity.”The Horn Book

“An entertaining love story . . . fans of psychological dramas won’t want to put this book down.” Publishers Weekly

“A compelling read with intelligent dialogue that’s also touching and funny.”School Library Journal

“Gabrielle Zevin takes this terrific premise and crafts an entertaining and thought-provoking story…”Richie’s Picks

“What would life be like if you developed amnesia and couldn’t remember anything after your twelfth birthday? I found myself armchair-coaching Naomi as she tries to figure out just how she fits in. She discovers old friends and new friends, not to mention romance–and I got weird glances for talking to a book. It was worth it, though.”—Beth Reynolds, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award Master List
  • Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2007
  • Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • BookSense Pick
  • CCBC Choice Title (University of Wisconsin)
  • Columbus Dispatch Best Book of 2007
  • Delaware Blue Hen Teen Book Award, Winner
  • Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award Master List
  • Kirkus Reviews Editors Choice
  • Missouri Gateway Reader Award Master List
  • New Hampshire Flume Teen Book Award Nominee
  • Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award Master List
  • Rhode Island Teen Book Award Master List
  • Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award Young Adult Master List
  • Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List
  • VOYA’s Perfect 10s
  • Longlist, Blackpool Teenage Fiction Award (UK)
  • Longlist, Silver Inky (Australia)

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