Wednesday, June 27, 2012

From What I Remember by Valerie Thomas and Stacy Kramer

Kady gives us a book for the seniors out there:

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

Kylie Flores has one goal: make it to graduation. She'll give the valedictorian speech and get the heck out, never looking back at her spoiled, rich classmates, depressed and distant father and overworked mother. She'll miss her little brother, sure, but after graduation she's headed to New York University to pursue her life long dream of being a screen writer. The absolute, 100% last thing she needs is a last minute assignment that pairs her with golden boy Max.

Max just wants to graduate too. Without doing that paper. And what is up with Kylie?  NYU isn't going to take back her scholarship based on one crummy grade. After this summer, there'll be no more just hanging out and getting by with his best friend and girl friend. Max'll have to go to college where his father wants him to go and get ready to for the career his father wants him to have.

When Kylie and Max accidentally end up in the back of a cargo van full of stolen goods and headed for Mexico, it seems like one of those things that only happens in the movies Kylie loves. But this is real life and those are some scary thieves. Stranded in Mexico, with no passports and no way home, Kylie and Max have to figure out how to trust each other and maybe even find some common ground if there's any chance of them getting back to high school in time for Kylie to give her all important speech.

Throw in Kylie's flamboyantly gay cross-dressing best friend (he doesn't really fit in at school either, go figure) and Max's picture perfect girlfriend (who maybe has a few secrets of her own) who join reluctant forces for a rescue mission and this sleepy Mexican town, and the four teenagers, will never be the same again.

I loved From What I Remember. It was one of those books that you just can't put down, because right when you think nothing else can possibly go wrong, something does. It's the perfect storm of high school misadventure books. The characters are all easily recognizable archetypes- overachieving poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks, golden boy who just wants to be free of expectations excreta, excreta, but Thomas and Kramer manage to make them new and fresh. Even though I had a pretty good idea how the book would end, I had no idea how it would get there and that's what made From What I Remember so exciting.

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