“Notes to Self” by Avery Sawyer
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Summary from Goodreads:
Two climbed up. Two fell down.
One woke up.
Robin Saunders is a high school sophomore with an awesome best friend, a hard-working single mom, and a complicated relationship with a sweet guy named Reno. She’s coasting along, trying to get through yet another tedious year of high school, when Em suggests something daring. They live in Florida– tourist central–and Emily wants to sneak into a theme park after midnight and see what they’re made of.
When things get out of control, Robin wakes up in a hospital bed and Emily doesn’t wake up at all. Just getting dressed becomes an ordeal as Robin tries to heal and piece together the details of that terrible night. Racing to remember everything in the hopes of saving Emily, Robin writes a series of notes to herself to discover the truth.
Contemporary YA can be a bit hit or miss with me. Fortunately this book was a big hit for me. Robin was very likeable. I could feel how traumatized she was. I mean how could you not be traumatized after what she went through? You easily got caught up in the ‘mystery’ of what happened. You know about as much as Robin (nothing), so you’re trying to piece together clues as to what happened. I’ll admit, I got frustrated when answers didn’t come and everything was blurry. I wanted to know what happened as much as Robin did.
I love the idea of writing notes to yourself. It helps you decide if something is important. Is this thing worth writing down? Is this thing important to me? It could definitely help us folks who don’t have brain injuries filter out the non-important things in our lives. Not to mention the smallest things (liking Strawberry Starbursts) can trigger bigger memories. Those small things help Robin’s healing process by making her remember things from her past.
The story had really cool characterization. Emily isn’t there for most of the story but I still feel like I know her. The reader gets to know her only through flashbacks but that’s more than enough. The flashbacks also ‘fill’ out Robin’s character more as well.
I think Sarah Dessen fans would highly enjoy this book.