Books

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas | Book Review

Synopsis

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.

Review

First of all, I want to thank Goodreads for recommending this but special thanks to Miss Tamara Webber for writing a review about this. She’s really a reliable source when it comes to books.

This book intrigued me just by seeing the cover. I got excited when I saw that there are two hot guys on the cover. But then, when I’ve read the story, I realized that the cover doesn’t fit the book. Another thing that attracted me to read this is the sub line, “Sometimes the best things in life begins as the worst ideas.”

KYLIE FLORES. A girl who doesn’t do a thing without a plan. She’s a perfect model student. She never got a B, aced her SATs, got a full ride to a top college but in the process, she forgot how to live and enjoy her life as any normal high school student would do. But a day before her graduation, she had the best adventure of her life and it changed her perspective in a snap. She learned that once in a while, she needs to indulge herself in a little spontaneity. She also learned that she had misjudged people like Max Langston and Charlie whom she turned out to like – a lot – specially Max. She learned to party and drink and of course make out with Max who, by the way, has a girl friend. She unleashed her inner self , dressed up to show her curves and drove like a hot race driver.

MAX LANGSTON. He was a boy who is always seen as a person full of confidence and who doesn’t seem to have any problems in life. But it turned out to be wrong. When Kylie chased after the snatchers, he jumped in the truck with her, forcing them to work together as a team to escape the truck in which they were trapped. It turned out that he wasn’t the real Max, everybody at the school idolizes. He’s got a problem at home regarding his sick father. He doesn’t want to go to UCLA to study prelaw but is still doing it because he doesn’t want to disappoint his dad. He would love to pursue his love of photography. During their adventure, he came to realize that Kylie wasn’t the girl she was at school either. She’s beyond cool, funny, and of course hotter than her girlfriend.

WILL. He’s Kylie’s best friend. A gay at heart. In an attempt to let gays be accepted at school, he cross dressed and wears eclectic and weird girl dresses. But then, it came to a point where he realized that instead of letting the school accept his gender, his cross dressing became a hindrance for that. All this he realized during their adventure trip to Ensanada. So he decided to switch back to his original style: trousers, coat, tie, anything manly.

LILY. One of Kylie’s tormentors. I should feel sorry for her, but I’m not. I know she loves Max but she can’t deny the fact that she’s also after his money. I know her family is breaking apart but she doesn’t have to use a guy just because she doesn’t have any money any more. I guess, social status is really important to her. Maybe in time she’ll learn that not everything revolves around money. She’s still an attention seeker and a jealous biatch.

CHARLIE. He’s Max’s bestfriend. Who would have thought about his real preference. Well, not even Max knew him well enough. How could he had hidden it? I appreciate how supportive he is of Max and how he is like a real brother to him that he even knows how he feels even without asking.

JAKE. Well, he’s Kylie’s brother and he’s kind of special. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s always used to a routine. What he eats at a particular day, where he wants his fork to be placed, how many times he’s supposed to watch Star Wars every week etc.. He has also a very good memory. He knows how many minutes before Kylie goes home, how many stories each building in their area is and a lot more.

I like the idea of the authors about the movie lines before each chapter. Somehow, it gives the reader an idea of what to expect. I guess the authors were movie line geeks like Will and Kylie. How did they come up with those movie lines? I can’t believe there are really people like them.

TRIP TO ENSANADA, MEXICO. This is an epic adventure. How I wish I was there with them. Kylie and Max should be thankful they chased the snatchers. LOL! Their trip turned out to be a good soul searching trip plus a revelation of Kylie’s dad’s past plus a revelation of the strong attraction between Kylie and Max. I especially like the part where they were chased by the criminals only to be stopped by the chief of police who happened to be Juan’s dad’s bestfriend. But the best one was the part when they were running late further graduation but was stopped by the police. But then they helped them  get to the graduation ceremony by way of the Suburban vehicle used to transport criminals with glaring siren until they reach the Frieburg ground. That was a neck turning entrance boy! LOL! I can just imagine the book of astonishment or everyone’s faces.

Kylie’s speech also rocks. Wow! She really nailed it! She ditched a speech she wrote for about three months which she brought her to Mexico. To everyone’s surprise, she adlibbed and got a standing ovation from the audience.

Golda Meir once said, ‘Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.’ Today is the day we create ourselves. The decisions we make from now on will impact the rest of our lives, other people’s lives, the world. Every generation is handed the torch…

That was the beginning of the speech I had prepared for today. I spent the past three months writing it. You might have really liked it. The problem is, I didn’t. It was full of pithy quotes from brilliant people and sage advice I’d gleaned from books, but it didn’t feel very authentic. It’s stuff I’m supposed to say, not stuff I want to say. The truth is, I don’t have any answers for you today. All I have are questions because, like you, I don’t have a clue what’s ahead for us. I could tell you that the best is yet to come; time and tide wait for no one; you’ll accomplish great things; life is what you make it; we have the power to change the world; do what you love, the rest will follow; individuality is the key to success, blah, blah, blah. But you’ve heard it all before, and if you haven’t, it’ll probably roll right over you. Because, really, what does any of that mean to a high school senior? All you want to do is get out of here and start partying. Am I right?

I’ve spent the past six years at Freiburg working incredibly hard. And I did well. Super well in school. Better than all of you. I mean, I’m standing here, and you’re not, so I must have done something right. I certainly did everything I was supposed to do. And more. I never got a B, I aced my SATs, and got a full ride to a top college, but I spent all of my time at Freiburg in the library, not talking to anyone. I’m not sure that was the best way to go. When you over-prepare and micromanage everything, there’s no time for spontaneity. No time for life to play out. Life is something we have to experience, really feel, not just study for with books in a library. Learning is about so much more than school. If we’re too busy studying, we miss out on the experience. What I’ve only just realized is that I’ve been missing out. And I don’t want to do that anymore!

In the past twenty-four hours, I’ve learned more about myself and my potential than I learned in all my years at Freiburg. With my apologies to Headmaster Alvarez.

As I said, I don’t have a lot of advice. But I do have a few suggestions. Sometimes having no script, having no idea what is going to happen next, having no map, might be the way to go. Because life just happens, and when it does, how you handle it will teach you more about who you are than any class or test ever can. The best preparation for the rest of your life is, maybe, no preparation at all. Dive right in. Make mistakes. Break a few rules. Wing it.

Figuring out what you want comes from failing, and then trying again. It comes from questioning everything, falling in love, fighting the power, living without limits. It doesn’t come from getting straight A’s, playing by the rules, and listening obediently.

I’m sure Headmaster Alvarez isn’t exactly pleased with everything I’m saying. It’s not what he expected. It’s not what I intended. But let me just add, I’m not saying don’t plan for your future and don’t work hard. I’m just saying, don’t let that be all you do. Because that’s not enough. Trust me, I’ve been there. And I have no plans to go back. Things are happening right now, right here, and if you’re not in the mix, you’re missing out. Who’s with me?

So, kiss the girl. Buy the dress. Take a vacation. Join the circus. Order the fried frog legs. Try out for the play. Learn to snowboard. Do something that scares the shit out of you. Or something that makes you happy. Or something that makes you cry. Whatever it is, do something that makes you feel something. Because feeling nothing is no way to go through life.

I didn’t invent the rainy day, man. I just own the best umbrella. That’s one of my favorite lines of all time. It’s from a movie called Almost Famous. I think what it means is that life is going to throw all kinds of stuff at you, good and bad. But all you can do is get out there and try to stay dry.

So get a good umbrella, class of 2012! You’re going to need it! And congratulations!

Quotable Quotes

“I’m at architecture school at UCLA.”
“Ooooh, I love architects. They have such big buildings.”
Oh Lord, let the floor open up and suck me into the ground. Better yet, take Will.
“Uh, not all of them are big. Some are quite small. It all depends on the client,” Juan says.
“I’m sure yours are very, very big.”
“Yeah, well, I’m still in school, so I’m not really building much other than models at the moment.” Poor Juan looks hideously uncomfortable.
“I bet you’re really good with your hands, all that drawing and building.”
***
I’m gathering Kylie thinks that all it takes to capture an image is to point and shoot. That’s what everyone thinks. But there’s a lot more to it. It’s taken me years to frame things correctly. People assume you can’t take good pictures on an iPhone, but they’re wrong. Some of my best shots are on the phone.

They’re raw and simple, and most of the time no one knows you’re taking a picture. It’s much better than the thousand-dollar Nikon my dad got me for Christmas. I don’t think I’ve used it in months.

***
Hobbies are for wimps who don’t have the guts to follow their passion.

Movie Lines

  • Happy endings are just stories that haven’t finished yet. – Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • You shouldn’t take life seriously. You’ll never get out alive. – Van Wilder
  • Honey, just cause I talk slow doesn’t mean I’m stupid. – Sweet Home Alabama
  • If somebody told you I was just your average ordinary guy, not a care about it in the world, somebody lied. –Spiderman
  • Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative. – Scream
  • Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • When life gives you lemons, just say fuck off the lemons and bail. – Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • It’s weird that chairs even exist when you’re not sitting on them. – Knocked Up
  • We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it. That’s all. – The Breakfast Club
  • Pain can be controlled. You just disconnect it. – The Terminator
  • I was thinking how nothing lasts and what a shame that is. – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Things are not all they appear to be. – Inside Man
  • Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded. – The Dark Knight
  • Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something actually strange. –Inception
  • If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person. – Fight Club
  • Feeling screwed up at a screwed up time in a screwed up place does not necessarily make you screwed up. –Pump Up The Volume
  • I never realize how much I like being home unless I’ve been somewhere really different for a while. – Juno
  • I can only show you the door. You’re the one who has to walk through it. – The Matrix
  • There are millions of people in the world, but in the end it all comes down to one. – Crazy Beautiful

Rating: 5/5

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