Monday 21 July 2014

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

KYLIE: MEXICO 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.

I'm pretty sure I put this on my most anticipated reads of 2013 post last year and I can't believe it took me this long to read it! Whatever I expected of this, they were blown out of the water by how funny and sweet the story is. So, there was a brief prologue then rewind 48 hours. Goodness, I couldn't understand how things had spiralled so out of control that this was how it ended up, in just two days!

Max and Kylie find themselves stuck in the back of a truck, after trying to rescue her laptop which was stolen, and then abandoned in Mexico. Yeah, I know, bit extreme! Everything happened so fast, it went from the last day of school and the mayhem that entails, to fearing for their lives, in another country with no way back home. The film quotes at the beginning of chapters and the constant 'I was living it and couldn't believe it was really happening' added to the whole scenic and road trip aspect of the story. It was very well held together, if that makes sense; even though it all seemed so surreal, the way the characters handled things was real. And this came across very well in the dialogue, which was very teenager-y, if I can say that. Despite the ridiculousness of the story, the way they all spoke felt very real and I really felt the fear and the giddiness of the whole situation in Max and Kylie's voices. 

The story was told with alternate perspectives, which was very handy when Max and Kylie were being kidnapped to Mexico and Will was still in the city. Because we saw things from everyone's perspective, it was difficult to hate the popular girl, or the hard working nerd or whoever we were supposed to dislike. Even Lily, the stuck-up rich girl, was difficult to dislike when we find out her troubles at home. Speaking of which, there were also deeper issues explored, like the uncertainty of the future, autism and its challenges, sexuality and all sorts of things that are just a part of life. 

I really enjoyed this story, it had everything from budding romance to car chases! It was incredibly funny and really sweet and sometimes completely bonkers but so much fun to read. It was all about growing up and finding the right person for you, even if it's someone you didn't expect. 

Published 7th January 2013 by Egmont Electric Monkey. 

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