From What I Remember...

( 1 )

Overview

KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??

MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with ...

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Overview

KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??

MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.

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: This cannot be happening. It's like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Maria Lamattina EdD.
Imagine getting a chance—just before graduation—to clarify the misconceptions, likes, and dislikes established and held onto throughout high school? In this engaging novel, Kylie Flores, valedictorian and a bit of a social outcast, gets such a chance. Just before graduation, Kylie's English teacher assigns her class a project to work on in pairs. Kylie is partnered with Max Langston, an oh-so popular, oh-so gorgeous boy, with a beautiful girlfriend, Lily, who cannot believe her boyfriend's ill fortune in having to work on something with Kylie. As Kylie and Max begin their project, a series of improbable events occur, leaving them stranded in the Mexican town where Kylie's dad is from. She learns a great deal about her father, Max, and even herself, leaving Max equally surprised by what he learns about Kylie and the fun they have together. Graduation Day is upon them and Kylie and Max reach out to friends to help them get out of Mexico and home in time for the big day. From What I Remember is a "boy meets girl" story with lots of twists and turns and a bit of a "coming-of-age" storyline as well. Due to some of the story's events, the book is probably more appropriate reading for older teenage girls, who will undoubtedly recognize the characters, problems, and feelings, that make the novel such an easy read. Reviewer: Maria Lamattina, EdD.
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
Geeky Freiburg High valedictorian, Kylie, wakes up graduation morning in a strange room, a wedding ring on her finger, and lying next to cute senior, Max, while his girlfriend, Lily, glares at them from the doorway. Kylie has no memory of the previous twenty-four hours. Thus begins a narrative of the previous day's improbable and unbelievable events: Kylie's laptop getting stolen; she and Max (who previously barely acknowledged each other's existence) following the thief; getting trapped in a truck transporting stolen merchandise; crossing into Mexico without passports; meeting friends of her Ensenada-born father; and calling stateside friends to bring them their passports. Of course, during their Mexican adventure, Kylie and Max fall for each other. Kylie calls BFF Will, who comes to their rescue but meets Juan and falls instantly in love. Max calls Charlie, who is ambushed into taking Lily with him on the rescue operation, making an uncomfortable trip home. From What I Remember tries to have something for everyone (and fails): Kylie's brother has Asperger's Syndrome, Will is gay, Lily's father is indicted for stock fraud, Max's father has cancer. Better a "made-for-TV movie" than a book, the writing is fair, the plot is unbelievable, and the characters are stereotypes. At 461 pages, it is too long by half. Yet, with a tantalizing first chapter, the fact that each chapter starts with a movie quote and the story is told from various characters' perspectives, this book may appeal to teens. Great literature it is not, however. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg
VOYA - Rachelle David
From What I Remember is a humorous and light-hearted, quick and relaxing read. As characters reveal their lives, it is discovered that they have depth and insight. From the beginning, curiosity keeps the reader guessing what happened. Younger readers may find the novel hopeful, while older readers may anticipate the conclusion but appreciate the whimsy. Overlooking the obvious romance is required to enjoy the novel. Kylie's opportunity is what most high school girls wish for. Reviewer: Rachelle David, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—On the morning of her high school graduation, valedictorian Kylie Flores wakes up in Mexico next to gorgeous and popular Max Langston with no recollection of how she got there. What follows is an account of the 48 hours leading up to her rude awakening. Told in the alternating voices of Kylie; her flamboyantly gay best friend, Will; her brother, Jake, who has Asperger's; Max; and his catty girlfriend, Lily, the story is pieced together. The authors touch upon many hot-button topics (homosexuality, crime, immigration, underage drinking, and family troubles) that would generally cause a story to suffer from a lack of focus, but, interestingly enough, it works here. There are definite holes in the plot, but the quick pace and the hot-and-cold relationship between Kylie and Max will keep readers interested and rooting for them until the very end. Far from flawless, the characters seem real. While Kylie's uptight yet impulsive girl-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks is a walking contradiction at times—how does such a smart girl neglect to back up her work-in-progress screenplay?—readers can't help but identify with her insecurities and defense mechanisms. What could have been a cliché-riddled teen romp turns out to be a fun, adventurous, and romantic side trip into those final days of high school—Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH
Kirkus Reviews
What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico, unless it forces you to show up late to high-school graduation in a squad car wearing a red Mexican wedding dress. Just how did Kylie Flores, class valedictorian from the wrong side of the tracks, and Max Langston, the king of Freiburg Academy's richest and hottest, wind up in bed together in Ensenada, Mexico, on graduation morning? This breezy romp takes readers along for the ride as the teens piece together the details of their wild night. Kylie's best friend Will, her brother Jake and Max's girlfriend Lily also lend their voices to the story. Jake, who suffers from Asperger's, adds a particularly distinctive perspective. And while the number of teens coming out may push the believability factor, the depiction of their relationships with both friends and love interests feels real and positive. It's no surprise that both Kramer and Thomas share common roots in the film industry. Their love of the medium comes through not only in Kylie and Will's passion for quoting movies but also in the fast-paced action sequences that seem made for the big screen. Though some subplots feel superfluous, the twists and turns make for an enjoyable ride that readers will likely remember. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423157502
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 991,405
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Valerie Thomas is the author of the middle-grade novel Karma Bites (Houghton-MIfflin). Before turning to novel writing she had a long career in film, overseeing the development of such films as Philadelphia, Adaptation, and Ulee's Gold, which she also produced. She lives outside New York City with her daughter.

Stacy Kramer writes movies, television and humor pieces for magazines and newspapers. She is currently writing a screenplay for Twentieth Century Fox. Before becoming a writer, Stacy produced movies and television. She lives with her three kids and husband in Brooklyn.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    FROM WHAT I REMEMBER is the story of four teens who start their

    FROM WHAT I REMEMBER is the story of four teens who start their graduation day in a very unusual way. Kylie and Max are waking up in Mexico and it looks like they are married. Kylie's best friend Will probably just had the best night of his life and Max's girlfriend Lily is seething with anger. Their story is like the YA version of The Hangover. Unfortunately there's no hunt for clues or tracing back what happened the night before, but don't you just love stories that present you with an end result, leave much room for speculations and slowly unravel what had to happen for our characters to end up in their current situation? Rewind 48 hours and Kylie and her friends will fill you in on the rest.

    Stacy and Valerie's second book is told from five different point of views. Kylie, Max and Will all have something to add to the recreation of the past two days. We learn more about each teen's life at home, their families and plans for their future.
    Lily's story didn't give away too much about her life to acutally care about her. I had a feeling her perspective was only part of the story to add a second female main character and a new source for possible conflicts. I could have done without her POV as her issues and story remained mostly unresolved in the end.

    Kylie has always kept to herself. She is studious and goal-oriented and not everyone knows how much fun she can actually be, except Will. Her flamboyant (and gay) best friend is always set out to protect her. He is kind of a stereotype but so free-spirited and hilarious there's only room for an occasional cringe because you will be too busy laughing. Kylie and Will are best friends and throw in movie quotes in their daily conversations all the time. So it's no surprise that each chapter starts with a new movie quote that fits the chapter's content.
    Kylie and her younger brother Jake (his is the fifth point of view) are very close and it was very touching too see what his two days without Kylie felt like.
    Max was an adorable love interest with one major turn-off, he couldn't once say what he wanted or stand in for his beliefs and the people he cares about. He's got a long way to go but the night with Kylie is his chance for change.

    If it weren't for fate, the risky situations they find themselves in and the night away from (almost) everyone and everything they know, I don't know if Max and Kylie would have ever found to each other. In high school they never really took the time to find out who the other person was.
    It was the seductive prologoue that had me hooked on FROM WHAT I REMEMBER. I had wished it would continue that way, but the love story wasn't as intense as the first few pages suggested it could be.
    Their two days spent together are supplemented with debacles and unfortunate series of events but there's still time for some little romance. Luckily Max and Kylie get to spent the main part of the story on their own in a scenic Mexican city that serves as background to our colorful, crazy and reckless adventure of a night.


    4/5 **** FROM WHAT I REMEMBER – An energizing and comical night to remember.

    Fate (and Stacy and Valerie) sent Max and Kylie on a venturous trip to Mexico, a vacation from their old routines, showing them that one night can change everything. Currently there is no announcement about a new book by Valerie and Stacy but I'll keep an eye on their blog!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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