Google+ Reading Teen: From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

Monday, June 25, 2012

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

From What I Remember
By Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (May 15, 2012)
Buy the book: Amazon
In the span of forty-eight hours, socially awkward valedictorian, Kylie Flores and conceited jock, Max Langston, who've never spoken in four years of high school, will find themselves kidnapped, taken over the Mexican border, married and falling in love. Kylie's best friend, Will, Max's girlfriend, Lily and Max's wingman, Charlie are the unlikely cavalry charged with rescuing them. Against all odds, this crew must find their way back over the border in time for graduation and for Kylie to give her long awaited valedictorian speech, without killing each other en route.

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.

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.
"From What I Remember...." is a sweet, funny, coming-of-age story that was somewhat ruined for me by the amount of profanity that has been poured into it.  What bothers me most is that the story didn't need all the language.  It was a totally interesting and satisfying romance all by itself.  The characters are likeable and believable.  Kylie Flores is the hard-working daughter of blue collar parents who is attending an elite high school on scholarship.  She has spent all of her school years concentrating on her studies, getting all A's, and always being the good girl.  Now her senior year is coming to a close and she is the valedictorian of her class.  What she hasn't done is made friends, dated, gone to parties, or socialized with anyone but her best friend, Will, who happens to be gay and dresses in women's clothing.  So, when her valedictory speech is stolen, Kylie's panic sets off a series of events that she could never have planned for.  These involve the hottest guy in school, hiding in the back of a truck going to Mexico and spending one amazing night in Ensenada.  Kylie learns that not everything in life can be learned in a classroom or textbook and that it's all right to live in the present while you prepare for the future.

I enjoyed this story a lot since I am a sucker for a good romance....and the romance is good.  However, the profanity is just overwhelming.  I understand that high school kids use this language a lot but do they actually think all those words constantly?  And, really, how does all that improve the story?  Maybe I'm just overly sensitive but I really did find it very annoying.  My recommendation is more hesitant because of the language and some of the sexual content.  If you're sensitive to that, this might not be the right fit for you. 
(Our reviews are usually kept separate from our feelings about the content, but there was so much profanity in this book that it really did have an impact on my enjoyment, so that did take my rating down a piece (over 100 "S" words, and 30 "F" words))

  • Sexual Content: Heavy
  • Profanity:  Extreme
  • Violence:  -
  • Other Notables:  Lots of heavy underage drinking
For more details, check out From What I Remember on


  1. I was hoping to get this one on NetGalley, but it said it wasn't accepting blogger requests. :(

    But it does sound like a great book, though that's too bad about the profanity! I do think that some books write in profanities a little excessively, and I'm sure ALL teens are different, but sometimes too much is just too much.

    I'm happy to hear it's got good romance -- I'm a sucker for romance in novels. :)

    Great review!

  2. I teach high school, and it sounds like it's unfortunately pretty close to accurate. I am dumbfounded by the amount of language I overhear and by the amount that slips through my students' mouths when they are trying to control it. I blame Jersey Shore!

  3. That's too bad that there was so much profanity that it kept you from enjoying this book as much as you wanted to. I don't mind a bit of it in books because like you said, teenagers do talk like that, but when it's excessive it seems quite unnecessary. I have this one to read from NetGalley. (It was available for the weekend only!) so I hope I enjoy it. Besides that profanity issue it seems like you thought it was a really great story.


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