Author: Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Release date: May 15, 2012
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.From What I Remember is a fresh YA contemporary that is completely hilarious. Pitched as The Hangover meets Will & Grace, it's a little raunchy but in the best possible ways. Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas are a writing pair I will definitely check out in the future.
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.
Kylie has always been strait-laced, obedient, and kind of a loser at school. She doesn't do things like run off to Mexico the day before graduation without a very good reason. Max is popular, fun, and might normally do something crazy like this but with his girlfriend, Lily, not Crazy Kylie. However Kylie and Max are stuck with each other and stuck in Mexico. The only way they are going to make it home in time for graduation is if they stick together until Kylie's best friend Will shows up. Until then they're stuck in Mexico with a couple hours to kill and a drinking age of 18. What could possibly go wrong?
Kylie is admittedly a little boring. She goes to school, plans for her future, and takes care of her brother, Jake. She has only one friend. She has a great personality but it takes a while for readers to see it. Once she comes out of her shell she is an easy character to like but it does take some time. Max is a bit of a spoiled asshole but he does have more to him than that. Once again though it takes time to see the other side of him. And even then he is still kind of a jerk. Both he and Kylie grow throughout the book and by the end readers will love them, especially together.
The secondary characters were quite the mix. Will, Kylie's very gay best friend, was flamboyant, a little crazy, but also very sweet and lost. What he shows on the outside is way different than how he feels on the inside. Lily, Max's girlfriend, is a head case. She had no redeeming qualities. I'm not sure readers were supposed to like her at some point but I did not. Charlie, Max's best friend, was a little clueless but funny. Jake, Kylie's little brother, was an interesting character to read about although I'm not sure reading from his point-of-view added anything to the book. It probably would have been just as good without it. Lastly there were Manuel and Juan. Those two were great. They were kind, caring, and quite hilarious. The whole cast of characters was pretty funny.
The plot was not actually very quick to pick up. There was quite a bit of build up that was a little boring. Once Kylie and Max got to Mexico though things got fun. There was romance, car chases, drunken mishaps, and lots more. It made up for the slow beginning. Once you get into the book you won't be able to stop reading.
Overall, From What I Remember is one young adult contemporary that will have readers laughing out loud from start to finish.
Looking for more reviews of From What I Remember?
Candace's Book Blog's Review
Wastepaper Prose's Review