Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer


Title: Notes to Self
Author: Avery Sawyer
Publication Date: November 20, 2011


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.

My Thoughts:

 I really wanted to love this book. The more I read it, the more I wanted to love it. The concept of a person recovering from a traumatic brain injury and having to re-learn basic things like how to take a shower was absolutely fascinating to me. The story flipped back and forth between the present and the past as Robin struggles to regain her memories and figure out exactly what happened the night she and Emily fell..

The reason why this book was a like, but not a love, was the main character, Robin. To be blunt, I didn't like her. It's not so much the way she was after the accident, because I can definitely cut her some slack there. It was the way she was before: selfish and apathetic. I'm not a big fan of people who are too cool to care about anything.

Another thing that bothered me were the kids in Robin's school. They were so nasty! I really had a hard time believing that Robin's return to school would be met with so much ridicule and so little kindness. And seriously, do kids in grade nine actually try to buy Vikoden? Even Robin isn't really above this cruelty, calling girls in grade six (that's 11 years old!) "horny little bitches." I graduated high school 6 years ago and that was not my experience at all. Have times changed that drastically or was this a bit extreme?

Despite these issues, this was a really interesting read. I loved watching Robin try to piece together her own life, while also worrying non-stop about her friend Emily, who is still in a coma. My favourite character by far was Reno, who was the only decent teen in the entire book. He was generally steady and supportive of Robin, although he had his own flaws as well.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA contemporaries, as well as anyone with an interest in medicine and recovery processes.

On The Cover

 I'm a bit undecided on this cover. I think it's too grey for me. However, it looks like they've changed the cover on Amazon, although I like the new one less than the original.

Rating: 4 hearts

Source: Free via Amazon

Find the Book: Goodreads | Kindle

Find the Author: Goodreads

Don't Just Take My Word For It: Xpresso Reads | Helen's Book BlogThe Autumn Review


  1. Horny little bitches? O.o umm no that was not my experience at all either. It's too bad this one wasn't just a little more believable (and the MC a little more likeable) to push this one to 5 stars. I agree with you, the concept of having to re-learn basic, everyday things is fascinating. Great review, I hadn't heard of this one before, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. LOL, uuh.. society is changing. I wouldn't say the whole "horny little bitches" about Grade 6 is extreme, but if it were just in Grade 9, it would be understandable but still a bit extreme.

  3. Hmm, well too bad you weren't in love with this. I don't have a problem with unlikeable characters so long as they are only unlikeable in the beginning and grow throughout the book - so I hope that was the case here! Not sure what to make of the horny little bitches comment...