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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ARC Review: From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

What a sweet, thoroughly entertaining, gem of a read! I have not had this much fun reading a YA book as much as I did when I was reading this book. It is THAT awesome!

Let me tell you this: it's a YA contemporary book that is over the top in hilariousness, it's got toe curling romance sprinkled with a healthy dose of action and also a tiny bit of angst. Superb combo, if I may say so myself.

Title: From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas
Pages: 462
Release Date: May 15th 2012
Published by: Hyperion
Source: Publisher (Thanks, Hallie and Johanna!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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 thier 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.

Let me start this review by saying that this book has one of the most amazing set of characters in a YA book I've ever read. They're as different as the next person but their personalities are so typical and still they match so well in the most peculiar of ways. Kylie might be the valedictorian but she's a social pariah and is friends with Will, who is rich and is also gay. Max and Lily are the golden couple at school, and can never be caught dead talking to someone like Kylie. But what they didn't know is that the next 24 hours leading to their graduation day will change their lives forever.

Spontaneity. It's all about seizing the moment and throwing caution to the wind. It was one of the things Kylie could never afford to do because her brother had specific, special needs that sometimes only she can fulfill, that she can't manage to just have fun when she's the one holding her family together. Kylie can be very serious, boring at times and as Will would say, had never truly lived life because she never let herself have fun. But you know what? I liked Kylie. She's smart and she doesn't let anyone walk all over her. She might not be rich, but she had things she was grateful for. She loved her family fiercely and she's a great friend, never one to judge.

I had my doubts on Max. Because really, what can you expect from jocks? But Max is hiding an impressive personality underneath that golden boy facade and has a complicated life to boot. I like characters that surprises me, and Max did a great job of doing just that. He's that character that will show you to not be quick to judge. He's the complete opposite of Kylie and he's just what she needs. I love how he was obnoxious one minute and then suddenly transforming into a completely different, better character the next. He's sweet, he definitely knows how to have fun and even if he messes up quite a bit with his decisions in life, that flawed personality gives him character. Who says rich, hot guys have it all?

Will is probably the most interesting character in this book and I know a lot of people will agree with me. He definitely has personality. He's gay, so what? He is what he is. But underneath all those funny jibes, the wild conversations, the funky eye catching outfits, Will just wants to be someone who's happy. Not be the gay freak, just Will. And you know what? For all his outrageous lines and his generous support to Kylie, I loved him. Reading about him gave me the biggest laughs of my life and made me think of just how much real he is like Kylie. He doesn't want attention, he wants to just be himself, and be loved and accepted for who he is.

I can't say much about Lily, except that she's a spoiled girl who isn't as invulnerable as everyone thought she is. Her life is falling apart and through that experience, readers will see that there's more to her than just the spoiled, rich brat at the top of the social web.

There are other characters like Juan and Charlie that added color to what is already a great reading experience. They all just mesh together and create the most vibrant, alive, set of characters in YA I've read this year. Who knew the last day of school can bring about such great changes to all of their lives? Their experiences in Mexico made them realize how much growing up they had to do and made all of them face the future after high school a little braver with their heads held high. And I can really relate to that.

Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas teamed up to create a book a lot of teens these days can relate to. So what if you get lost once in a while? Let loose once in a while? Those unexpected, little decisions you make might lead to something great. It's amazing how such a simple plot can bring out the best in the book's characters and make the story so interesting and fun to read. With outrageous lines, observations and conversations, heart stopping car chases, and one of the most inspirational graduation speeches to ever grace the pages of a YA book, From What I Remember... is worth reading over and over. Give in to the urge and buy a copy! I guarantee you it's a good book!  I fell head over heels in laugh and love with this one! 

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):
I found a new set of my favorite authors! Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas' books are now on my auto buy list!

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
Gorgeous! The ARC cover is also good!


  1. I am so jealous of you! Haha, I won't to read this so much! I'm glad to hear that it's as awesome as it sounds though, although I want a copy even more now. I'll have to find out it's UK release date...

    =^.^= ComaCalm's Corner =^.^=

  2. Hi there, I am one of the authors of FROM WHAT I REMEMBER and I just wanted to thank you for such an incredible review. You got out of the book exactly what we hoped readers would get - I'm so happy you loved it. Would you consider posting your review on's such a great review and we need some lovin' on that page. In any case, thank you!!

  3. Oh yes! Cannot wait to read From What I Remeber. Thank you for your review, you totally make me buy it!
    I love it when authors leave comments on reviews by bloggers:)


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