Notes to Self Review

Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer
Release Date: November 2011
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Brain Injury, Memory Loss, Contemporary, Friendship
Format: e-book
Source: Author
Buy it: Amazon
Two climbed up. Two fell down.
One woke up.
In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is and find out what happened the night everything changed.
Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer is Robin Saunder's story about both forgetting and remembering, even when it's tough, and true self discovery. It's about struggling to come to terms with the night of the horrific accident that changed her life, and it centers on her finally believing she should live, even though she feels guilty and undeserving of the chance she has when her best friend Emily is stuck fighting for her life. This book is unbelievable, it's the kind of story that truly makes your heart break with how real everything is. The best part? Robin's voice and humor she has this distinct personality that Avery did a wonderful job creating! While it's a book that will make you cry, you'll do it with a smile on your face.
How messed up is my brain? Hella.
The very first thing I want to say is, High School sucks. For Robin, it's worse than any experience I've read about. After an accident that leaves her forgetting things like taking her sandwich out of the bag before eating and leaves her best friend in a coma, Robin has a horrible time facing things. She doesn't remember much about the accident that shattered her world, and throughout the book she tries repeatedly to get something out of nothing from her thoughts.

This book made me incredibly angry, it's one of the first books to elicit such strong negative emotions, Avery created some of the meanest rudest characters, who seriously got under my skin. Robin's struggle to get back into her routine of life is tarnished by the scum at school, especially Josie. It's real life mean girls, and the bullying is relentless and just sad.

When we first meet Robin she's lost and unsure of everything, but as the story progresses so does her status. Her character is strong and capable of healing. Thanks in part to a friend who is there for her, Reno, the boy next door type. Then, Robin starts to notice him as more than a friend and well things change. One very neat aspect of this book is it takes place in Central Florida, me being originally from Florida had to squee when certain locals were discussed (like Sanibel! Favorite vacation spot ever!). The author takes this incredibly touristy town and brings it to life.

I absolutely loved the way Avery Sawyer captured the past events and told them to the reader. Robin could be anywhere and think of something and the narration would branch off to that thought and a story to go along with it. The whole book is like being inside this poor damaged brain of hers that is trying its best to recover, and slowly is.

The chapter titles made me smile, Avery is such a great storyteller! Here are a few:
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Pressure Monitor
We're Here to Help You Freak Out
Thanks for Nothing, Brain
I Went to Fun Towne and all I Got Was this Brain Injury
Definitely a book I recommend and here are some more that fall along some of the same lines. If you liked these you'll enjoy Notes to Self! Thank you to the wonderful author for the chance to read and review Notes to Self.


  1. I loved this book as well! Great review!

  2. I really enjoyed this book too. Great review Carole!

  3. OOH. Well, I really liked 2 of those books (haven't read Saving June yet unfortunately!) so hopefully I'll like this one too! It sounds great, even though the idea of the mean girls is making me twitchy already. I'll chalk it up to your fabulous skills of persuasion ;) Great review! Thanks for putting this book on my radar.


  4. Just saw this and had to comment again:

    AWWW! You put me on your blog list! :D Thank you so much, Carole! I seriously have to make one someday...

  5. haha, of course you're on my list, I love your blog!