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From What I Remember...

From What I Remember...

4.5 26
by Valerie Thomas, Stacy Kramer

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Tijuana WHAT? Kylie is pretty sure she should be polishing the delivery of her valedictorian speech this morning, not piecing together the events that led her to waking up in Mexico with the king of her high school next to her.


Tijuana WHAT? Kylie is pretty sure she should be polishing the delivery of her valedictorian speech this morning, not piecing together the events that led her to waking up in Mexico with the king of her high school next to her.

Editorial Reviews

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
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
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.
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)

Product Details

Disney Press
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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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From What I Remember... 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
This book reads like you are really watching a John Hughes film from the 80's, but its so entertaining you really don't want it to end. The amazing thing is that the book deals with two short days, right before graduation, but there is so much going on its hard to think of it as 48 hours. Things start out with Kylie waking up with a pounding headache, in an unfamiliar room, and shes laying next to Max, the cute popular guy in school. To make things worse she cant remember how she ended up there, why shes wearing a wedding ring, oh and Max's girlfriend Lily is standing in the doorway ready to blow a fuse. This is how the story begins and you spend the next 480 pages going back to the start of the adventure and piecing things back together. Personally I like Kylie, she is a very good-hearted girl who is more concerned with getting out of school and the life she has in La Jolla and going to NYU in the Fall. Her best friend Will is gay, and goes to great lengths to make that point. Its nothing for him to go to school wearing some things female and other things male. But he is loyal to Kylie and they share a love for all things cinema, easily shown in the ease of which they throw film quotes back and forth to each other. But a chance meeting between Kylie and Max makes things totally change for both, and they end up chasing robbers across the border into Mexico. What happens after involves a lot of drinking, great street parties, secret pasts, and a lot of wild twists. I do love the point of view changes because you get to see things in a different light. And in keeping with the cinema feel, you really feel as if you are just changing camera angles between the points of view. I would recommend this to anyone graduating high school, or even if you are just starting college, just the drinking could put you off, but it is meant for an older teenage audience. Its a fun look at the value of friends and what can happen if you just let things happen for once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book got me hooked before i even started reading it. The way the author portrays all the charactes is amazing. And the love story in this book was esquisit. I am a suker for romance and this book had everything in it that i look for. I highly recomend it to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its so amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing storyline and characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG I love this book. It made me laugh and I would totally recomend you read this book. I'm only 12 and I know this book is for teens but I didnt mind any of the use of bad language in this book or any of the physical content in it. It was hysterical. And I like how the authors put movie lines in the begging of each chapter and they used different points of views. I hope there will be a series of the books and maybe even a movie! That would be even better.
kristinja73 More than 1 year ago
I found this book perusing Alison Can Read's Top Ten of 2012. She listed From What I Remember as being one of the funniest books she had ever read, and I have to agree. I giggled and, maybe even, snorted a couple of times. Sometimes my life seems a bit like Kylie's. I'm sure you know the feeling: The tiniest thing goes wrong and before long your entire day has snowballed into oblivion. Most of our stuff consists of spilling juice on the counter, the baby spitting up on you, forgetting your password, and a list of mildly irritating things that could happen during any given day. Well, we've got nothing on Kylie. Two days until high school is out--forever. All Kylie wants to do is finish the last project her English teacher assigned and edit her valedictorian speech. Unfortunately, Kylie somehow got assigned to interview the school jock, Max. He's done. Parties have started and he has no intention of doing this little project with Kylie...except, Kylie's NEVER doesn't do an assignment and she's determined to complete this one--one way or another. After many disasters, Max agrees to meet Kylie at a Starbucks and answer a couple of questions. Once Kylie finally shows, Max shocks her with a couple of answers, but then--dun, dun, dun--Kylie's laptop gets lifted from Starbucks. Her life is on that computer: her valedictorian speech, a screen-play she'd written, and other life necessities; non of which had been backed up. Well, Kylie isn't letting go of her laptop that easily, and Max is forced to go along for the ride, in more ways than one. Kylie thinks Max is the smarmy rich kid with no problems. He lives in a huge house, drives a nice car, and knows all the right people. She believes this because it's exactly what he wants people to see, but on his and Kylie's adventure, she learns there's so much more to him. Max thinks Kylie is a straight A student, ready to get started on college as far away from SoCal as possible. But Kylie's home life is pretty screwy. She spends her evenings taking care of her brother who has Asperger's, while their mom works the night shift as a nurse and their dad works late into the night trying to sell medical supplies. Something only Will, her best and only friend, knows. Will's a bit of an odd duck, but I loved him so much. He's openly gay, if it's possible, he's a little too open. He decided if everybody was going to make jokes anyway, he'd beat them to the punch. He's taken to cross-dressing at school, although he really has no desire to be a cross-dresser. He loves suits, nice manly suits. College is only a few months away where Will prays people will be more accepting and, perhaps, he'll find his first true love. From What I Remember is written in first person via Kylie's, Jake's, Will's, and Max's POVs. It's possible I missed a person, and for that I apologize. I enjoy stories with a couple different POVs, but this one overwhelmed me just a little. I had to rethink who was speaking in each chapter, though the chapters are clearly marked. This is the single reason I'm giving it 4 Stars instead of 5. A belly-aching, tears running down your face, laugh inducing coming of age story. These characters mature, each in their own ways and at their own pace. They face many obstacles, and one-by-one they conquer them, but not before you're completely enraptured and fully entertained. *A highly entertaining and moving story. A must read*
Jetches More than 1 year ago
A cute and entertaining YA read Have you ever dreamt about having one of those crazy nights before graduation or the night of graduation? I did. But, it was never crazy like this. Kylie and Max run into some bad lucky and Kylie is determined to change her life around. Well she definitely turns her life upside down and goes on the adventure of a life time. What At first I didn’t really like Max, or Lily. They sort of stuck to their stereo-type of the snobby rich kids and even though they were going through some tough stuff I didn’t really like them. I still don’t even know about Lily—begging never looks good on a girl. But, Max…well I had a change of heart about him, although he still did some stuff to warrant a smack in the face, overall he was a pretty good guy. Now, Will. Well he made me laugh. Many, many a times. I found myself laughing and crying (these teens all can relate because they have some serious issues going on in there lives—which I really liked) and I was laughing and smiling some more. Good: Kylie—Independent and determined. Max—Over comes his stereo-type and really finds himself Movie Quotes: There were some awesome movie quotes at the beginning of each chapter and even sometimes in between. Bad:  Something about this book just didn’t grip me. I found I could set it down and wander away. I sometimes liked the characters and I sometimes didn’t. I guess that’s just me and my preference. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall this book was a nice cute read. It has the smackdown of reality and serious issues, but still managed to bring the humour and allow the teens to really act like teens. It was emotional and funny and had random adventures around every corner. Kramer and Thomas fun young adult read lets you live the adventure you always wanted to have on your graduation night without any of the risks and manages to bring some laughter into your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love It!!!!!! From beginning to the end! I think it could have a better ending but I love it anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KissMyLit More than 1 year ago
Sometimes it feels as though we can live a lifetime within a few short days. The adventure, the new From What I Remember...experiences, and the friends we make set our normal lives light-years away. Reading can also create this phenomenon. When you live in the heads of these narrators for so long, your own life feels empty and distant. From What I Remember… is a literary example of this feeling, throwing three graduating seniors into a small Mexican town and into an action packed, romantic adventure where they each find something they were missing– all of this a day before their graduation. This is another gem by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, the same authors of Karma Bites. Where Karma Bites was geared towards a middle grade audience, From What I Remember… is definitely intended for older teens. Anyone who knows me personally and what I like to read and write knows for a fact that I am a sucker for alternating first person narrators. Kramer and Thomas juggle the inner monologues of several characters without a single drop. Their shift between characters is easy, the reader is able to follow the train of thought without wondering where this new voice came from. They also do not fall into the trap where voices blend together and sound similar– each character is a bold statement and feels something different from everyone else. Kylie’s insecurity, cool head, and determination stands out from Max’s anxiety, eagerness, and aloof mask. Will’s desire to stand out is different from Lily’s desire to be on top. All of them are teenagers that just want to make it to their graduation, but who can fault them their fun along the way? This is a true coming of age story. Each character develops in a way true to their experiences and their personalities. They become new people, the people they were always meant to be. This book was a John Hughes movie, and I mean that in the best of ways. It made me long for the adventure of being young, the courage to do something stupid and stand up to those that belittled me. I wanted to be Kylie while I read this book. Sure she was insecure, but she was growing. If you love the warmhearted, screwed up yet perfect coming of age stories John Hughes churned out, then this book is definitely for you. It is appropriate for mid to late teens and adults, boys and girls alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've gotta say when i first read the description on the front inside cover i wasn't overly enthusiastic about reading the book. But once i began to read the first chapter i was instantly hooked. From then on, i couldn't put down the book and it just so happened that because of this, i finished the entire book within 2 days. ( Not sure if this was a good thing that i had that much time on my hands or a bad thing. But who knows! :) ) No matter where i planned on placing my bookmark, there always seemed to be some sort of twist and turn to the plot in the begining of the story. As the story went on i found that the speed of everything that was begining to slow down, which i personally wasn't a fan of but, i understand it was done to emphasize Kylie and Max's new found relationship. One way the story slowed was by the amount of perspective changes between all five characters, (Max, Will, Jake, Lilly, and Kylie). I feel if the authors focussed more on just the two main characters, Kylie and Max, the story would've not only been shorter but also have a quicker pace. Other than that, the story was excellent!!! I loved Will's personality and enthusiasm. The authors did a great job creating an excellent summer read!!!
Amabe421 More than 1 year ago
Right when I read the overview for this book I knew I had to read this book. It sounded so hilariously awesome, how could I not want to? Well, I tell you. It was really great. It wasn't just all fun though. It was super entertaining, but there are some good messages, and some really cute, sweet romance in there too. This is just one of those books that has you grinning while you are reading it, and at times literally laughing out loud. There were also so many times that I was like OMG did that really just happen. It's like right when you think things can't get worse, they do. But it always leads to something good that comes out of it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Kylie was a bit hard for me to like at first, and at many points during the book, but overall she was such a great character. She really grows and changes a lot in just a few day. She is the straight edge, smart, good girl. Valedictorian, never breaks rules, never dated, and never ever partied. She is not a rich privileged kid like all the other students, and her only real friend is Will, a totally awesome, way out of the closet gay guy. (for the record, he is like my favorite character in this whole book.) Kylie is so used to not having a life outside taking care of her brother with Asperger's Syndrome due to her mothers work schedule and her dad's lack of wanting to care enough to be there to help. The whole way that the whole situation happens to lead her to Mexico and how she behaves while she is there is not the way she would ever act, but she wants to just let go. I really think it's awesome seeing that side of her, but also her internal struggle too. Max I really hated at first, but grew to really love him. He was a total tool and he knew it. He made it a point to be a jerk. It's really like his protective shell though. He doesn't want to feel things or want anyone else to know too much about him on a personal level. He is dating Lily who is hot and a super B*&%$. He is friends with all the popular jocks and looks like he has a pretty much perfect life, but we all know that everyone has secrets. I loved seeing the real Max, that only Kylie was able to bring out. The true Max hidden under all the exterior armor is a wonderful guy that you can help but love. Will is freaking awesome!! He dresses off the wall in outfits like t-shirts, skirts, and combat boots, and is very openly gay. He tells it how it is and isn't afraid to just be himself. The only thing is that the way he acts at school isn't really him. I mean yes, he is gay, but he prefers suits over girl clothes. He more does that just to make it a point. He realizes later that it's completely unnecessary and he should do what makes him comfortable. He is a true friend too. No questions asked he is there for Kylie. Actually to him it's a fun adventure. I loved the scenes with Will. He is just too awesome for words. I don't have much to say about Lily. She is shallow, snotty, and self centered. She thinks everything needs to be about her all the time. She is going through some tough things at home and at a few times I almost felt bad for her, but then she would show her true colors again. She is just one of those people who wants the easy way out of everything and wants everything to be about her and won't change. I loved how this book started on graduation day then goes back to 2 days before to tell us how Kylie ended up there. The best part about it though, was the book doesn't end where it started. The morning of graduation is actually just a bit past the middle of the book so it continues on from the starting point. I thought it was fabulously done. This book is full of laughs, heartache, and the dumb, happy grin moments. It switches POV's for all of the main characters, but it was never confusing at all. I think it's a perfect summer read, but a book you could enjoy over and over again at any time. If you love good fun contemporaries, this is a book to pick up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lanie27 More than 1 year ago
It was funny and had a good storyline.
GReba More than 1 year ago
It’s amazing how much can happen in just TWO DAYS...especially since this book comes in at 460+ pages. here is DANGER, ROMANCE, and way to much alcoholic beverages consumed (remember kids, this is FICTION, don’t try this at home). Let’s talk characters… Kylie: Scholarship student…which makes her automatically feel the need to prove herself. Scary smart and endearing with her innocent view of the world tainted only by life experiences and a few too many movies. She’s that diamond in the rough, the girl who doesn’t know how much she really has going for her until one day…chance and circumstance blow her cover once and for all. Max: Son of the richie rich elite with smarts to spare despite his brawn/popularity over brains persona. He’s not seen as the “dumb jock” per se but its pretty close. But wait, before you write him off…there is more than meets the eye here, though the eye is definitely pleased. Will: richie rich child but a bit more flamboyant. Will is out of the closet in a big way and he wants to make a statement in his little old town, cross dressing seemed like the easy answer! He’s Kylie’s best friend and confidant, there for the ride no matter where it might lead, and always pushing Kylie to be the best version of herself. Lily: Easy to dislike, especially when she shows her somewhat true colors, but she gets hers back in spades so karma wins. We see the best, the worst, and the true colors of all four of these characters as events go from unusual to bizarre. The whole spectrum of emotions is represented leaving you with a roller coaster affair you can’t miss. There’s even an inclusion of the love of family. Let's not forget Jake, Kylie's brother. He’s a special kid but much smarter than the world gives him credit for…everyone except Kylie. She accepts him for who he is quirks and all. She doesn’t try to change him or make him conform to the “norm” just because his norm is a few shades different than Johnny Q Public. He’s wicked smart and genuine in all he does. I love the fact that although you kinda sorta knew what to except, you really didn’t because the narrative switch offs kept you in the dark JUST enough to hide the twist about to be sprung. The characters were one puzzle to figure out but the story drawing them together whether by chance or fate was something else altogether. Who knew that an unexpected road trip would uncover so much not only about your traveling companions but also about your past…and perhaps your future? There were but two problems I had with this book, minor to say the least. First, there were times when the multiple voices of the story seemed OVER heard from. Second, the voice of the characters versus their actual ages. They’re teenagers but a few times, I found myself wondering if they were actually in Middle School. Both may have been corrected in the final print version but something to be aware of nonetheless. Overall, one wild ride through the last days of High School that you WON’T want to miss! Recommended for older teens and beyond. If you’re young/old enough to remember what its like to be a teenager, experiencing things for the first time with your best buddy at your side and your eye set on tomorrow, this is…well not exactly that, but FUN a haphazard ride through all of it that will have you laughing, smiling, ooh-ing and ahh-ing all the way to the BIG finale. *review copy received in exchange for my honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book just to pass the time, not really expecting much. But this book was amazing! I loved how you got to see the plot from all the different perspectives. At first there were a few characters that I couldnt stand but by the end of the book I liked them all for different reasons. The dialouge between the characters was quirky and fun but fit so well for each character. The ending wraps up the story nicely but I hope there's a sequel just so I can find out what happened to the characters afterwards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book, I didn't like it. I found it boring and hated how the author kept switching between the different points-of-view, but I kept reading it. Before I knew it, I was halfway through the book and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting, which rarely, if ever, happens with me anymore.
Halyna More than 1 year ago
5 shining stars to an awesome book, that was both deep and funny, exciting and sweet and packed with crazy twists and turns! The plot was eventful and gripping, there were plenty of witty dialogues and even wittier monologues, and the characters were freakingly fantastic (my favourite was Will). There were four main narrators and sometimes the fifth narrator appeared, so it was never boring, because it was funny to read the so different perception of events of boys and girls. The action never stopped to surprise me and the romance was lovely, endearing and stormy! I won't retell the plot, it's impossible to do using only few words, I just say, that it's your loss if you haven't read this book, because it's amazing!!! Highly recommended!
LadyCee More than 1 year ago
Don't let the cover fool you, this book is incredibly good and I enjoyed every page of it. It's hilarious, infectious, and downright outrageous at times. Made me laugh numerous times, enough times to get stares from the people around me. From What I Remember... is for fans of those books that have a roadtrip atmosphere to them, like Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson or Going Bovine by Libba Bray.
JenAtMentorTexts More than 1 year ago
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars! That may sound silly but really, it's true. For the past two days I have been transfixed by this book. I have been searching for little bits of time to read it because I wanted to see what was going to happen next. There were so many different stories going on but making sense at the same time. If ever there was a book that reads like a crazy, non-stop movie, this would be it. I love how the authors even mention how events that happen in the book are just like out of a movie...but at the same time unique to the story in the book. I'm glad this book is a book rather than a movie. Anyone who loves the movie The Breakfast Club or other John Hughes movies will enjoy this book. The scenes between Max and Kylie are electric. In the end, I love that the whole book is about going after your dreams and not letting life pass you by. I love it! I have been raving about this to friends who like YA that they have to read this book. I'm so excited to share this book with others!