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You Walk Down the Streets Trying to Remember

Barnabas Miller's The Girl With the Wrong Name is a wild ride.

You Walk Down the Streets Trying to Remember

BOOK REPORT for The Girl With the Wrong Name by Barnabas Miller

Cover Story: Wild Nights Are Calling
BFF Charm: Caution
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Memento
Bonus Factor: Unreliable Narrator
Relationship Status: You Walk The Streets Trying To Remember

Cover Story: Wild Nights Are Calling

Sorry for the Van Morrison earworm (not sorry), but the cover just reminds me of that point in the evening when you’ve had about six glasses of champagne too many (hahaha just kidding, you can never drink too much champagne) and you’re about to take your high heels off to let your bare feet connect with the fairly-disgusting pavement of a major city.

The Deal:

Theo Lane, aspiring filmmaker, has a giant scar and a gap in her memory from The Night In Question, which no one talks about. She hides from the public, generally, pasting her hair over her face and spackling on concealer like it’s going out of style. But one day she sees a lost, lonely young man in her local coffee shop, and she can’t help but want to film him. Soon enough, Theo is obsessed with finding out his story, and delving deeper into his strange world of dysfunction.

Her friends and her family are concerned, but Theo soon finds that the lost boy is somehow connected to her. Does he have something to do with The Night In Question? Are their lives linked? And is he really as innocent as he says he is?

BFF Charm: Caution

On one hand, I liked Theo as a person, but on the other, she’s a teenage girl with a huge gap in her memory who doesn’t really trust anyone or anything, which makes it really hard to be her friend. (Her actual friends would agree.) Also, anyone who has a buttonhole camera is NOT TO BE TRUSTED HERSELF. (Do not film me! The least reason of which is because oh my god, that angle would give nearly anyone quadruple chins.)

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

This book isn’t about the swoon, although there are a few nice moments here and there.

Talky Talk: Memento

This book will screw with your head every bit as much as the movie Memento; even when you think you have it figured out, it suddenly veers off into new territory. To Miller’s infinite credit, I truly had no idea where it was going (I even set it down at one point and exclaimed to my companion, “I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE”) but when you reach the end, it makes sense. 

Theo's voice is sarcastic, confused, and cynical, which makes sense: she is one mixed-up lady who can’t really trust anyone…not even her own parents. 

Bonus Factor: Unreliable Narrator

You don’t often see unreliable narrators (at least not to this degree) in YA, and it was an excellent change of pace.

Casting Call:

Young Krysten Ritter as Theo Lane

I also pictured Lizzy Caplan (with her Janice from Mean Girls hair) as Theo.

Young Wayne Wilcox as Andy

Continuing the Gilmore Girls theme, obviously!

Relationship Status: You Walk The Streets Trying To Remember

Book, I had NO IDEA where you were taking me. As our pal Van Morrison might sing, oooo, ooooo, eeee! Our trip all over the streets of New York (and in the recesses of your mind) was exhilarating, confusing, and mysterious; when it was over, I immediately flipped back trying to make sense of what you had just revealed. You wrapped it all up neatly (a little too neatly, perhaps) but I can’t remember the last time I had a date with someone like you. But maybe that’s not my fault…

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Soho Teen (via Mandy C.). I received neither money nor a pet unicorn for writing this review, despite how hard I wished for one.  The Girl With the Wrong Name is available now.

Jennie's photo About the Author: Jennie Kendrick lives in San Francisco and has an excessive fondness of historical fiction, spreadsheets, turquoise sparkly things, and bourbon. When she's not reading, writing, or writing about reading, she cooks obsessively, runs an Etsy shop, and thrifts for vintage everything.