Restartby Published 30 May 2017
Chase's memory just went out the window.
Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head. He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name.
He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return.
Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him.
One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets.
Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is--it's a question of who he was . . . and who he's going to be.
From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker, Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.
all about second chances & how in the end its always our choice who & what we want to be.
Copy provided by publisher at ALA
Chase has fallen off the roof of his house and can't remember anything. Not his mother, not his best friends, and not his school. The concussion he has sustained keeps him out of playing football, which makes his father (a former jock himself) unhappy. Chase doesn't mind. His friends Bear and Ambrose aren't the nicest guys-- the three have done something Chase does not remember that has led them to be sentenced to do community service at a retirement facility. The "new" Chase doesn't mind, and enjoys talking to the residents, especially Mr. Solway, a decorated Korean war veteran. Chase is also enjoying working on the school video year book with Brendan. He notices that most of the people he runs into, including his young step sister, Helene, seem afraid of him, but he doesn't remember why. He slowly learns the truth, but realizes that he never wants to go back to being the "old" Chase.
Strengths: This is a bit of a departure for Korman. If you had given it to me blind, I would have assumed it was Sonnenblick. It's very beautifully done, and even though I normally am not a fan of books with bullying, this really worked. Even the video year book and the video competition seemed plausible. That's what it is. Korman excels at putting characters in unlikely situations, and aside from the amnesia itself, this book is completely plausible. Really great story. This would make a fantastic class novel or literature circle book. I'm not generally a fan of everyone reading the same book, but this would lead to lots of good discussions.
Weaknesses: This took me a while to get into, which is unusual. I think it was the disjointed feeling that Chase was experiencing-- I felt disjointed, too!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. I'm also really excited that many of Korman's backlist titles are being released with new covers. Need to refresh your copy of Born to Rock? Now's the time!
• Character voice
It seems to be a favorite thing of Gordon Korman’s to work the split POV thing as much as possible. And one of the key things on that is making sure all of your characters have distinct voices, which he does an amazing job at.
The musical genius is remarking on how the door squeaks an F#. Someone uses a lot of parenthesis and the filmmaker kid is always keeping up the narration stream on his own life events . . .
Off the top of my head, I think he had about 3 main narrators with about 4 pop-in guest narrators. It got a little confusing, but it was fun and I really liked the characters.
Okay. My reviews aren’t totally unbiased, I admit it.
But really, having the person who’s usually the bad guy get memory loss and have to deal with the villain of himself?
I’m telling you, it’s pure genius. Fantastic concept.
This is why I love Gordon Korman. I don’t think I’ve read one book of his that hasn’t made me laugh out loud at one point or another.
The concept in itself is inherently somewhat funny, so the comedy is really natural, but not over the top.
I really liked it. <3
There were some really nice uses of all the “why you should be nice to people”, just being a good person in general . . . anti-bullying . . . not being an arrogant jerk . . . old people are people too and everyone deserves respect . . . it was really well done. Amnesia Chase really carried it well.
Okay. Basically nothing I can say here.
Except that I was grinning my little face off at the climax. It. Was. Awesome.
(-cough- on a sidenote, Chase’s last line was almost a rewording of Wolfgang’s last line, so that was interesting as well. XD)
• Slightly confusing
As much as the multi-POV thing was fun, it also did get a little confusing and I had to remind myself who was talking a couple of times. That’s really not all that much of a problem though. –shrug- gotta have something to put here.
• Nitpicky writer things
Yep, imma nitpick a little because I’m a writer and I can do that.
One, the fact that Chase got amnesia and a personality change was a little . . . convenient. It probably would have been a deeper, more meaningful character arc if he was still totally the same person, but amnesia just gave him the outside view that showed him he needed to change. (I’m NOT SELF PROMOTING GUYS I’M SERIOUS HERE.)
As it was, it was just sort of like dropping a nice character into a bully character’s life. Which was great and funny and made for a good story, I’m just saying the theme could have gone deeper with repentance and all that.
Two, the whole subplot of the football-player side of Chase and how everyone wants him to win the championship or something seemed sort of dropped to me. Not that I’m super football-invested. It was just a dropped loose end that I noticed. –shrugshrug-
A really fun, humorous read with a good concept and great characters. Definitely would recommend.
What would it be like to start over? What if you were a bully extraordinaire and everyone was scared to face you in the school hall? What if you were a talented football star who suddenly is forced to stand on the sidelines and watch your friends play without you? All this, and MORE happens to Chase Ambrose.
During one of his outrageous escapades, he falls off the roof of his house and suffers injuries. In time, his physical injuries will heal, but most distressing is his Acute Retro-Grade Amnesia. He cannot remember anything or anybody that was part of his previous 13 years. He doesn't even remember his family! As he prepares to go back to school for the start of 8th grade, snippets of flash-backing memory slowly creep into his brain. It's distressing, though, because he cannot make sense of them. The kids at school avoid him, except for his friends, Aaron and Bear...and, yet they seem to be bullies. Now, Chase wants nothing to do with their vindictiveness and hatred. He tries to reach out to others in the school, but how can they possibly forget what Chase has done to them in the past?
Eventually the video club embraces him but some members are still wary. Chase tries to apologize and let his new-found kindess shine through, but as with all hurtfulness , it takes time to alleviate the effects.
Will his memory ever come back? And, how will he handle the realization of his wrong-doings? Will others accept his new persona? Restart is begging to be read as a group, especially as a read-aloud, since discussion about bullies and their hate will surely need to be addressed. This book speaks to the power of forgiveness, kindness, criminal acts, and retribution. A lesson can be learned from this....can restarting one's life erase the past? Maybe, maybe not, but how does one move forward and how do others get past the hurt inflicted? A powerful book for those who appreciated the message in books such as Touching Spirit Bear and Leverage.
This was a fantastic read. I started it late one afternoon and kept reading until I finished it that same night. The premise (a bully falls off a roof, gets amnesia, and becomes a better person) is fantastic. It begs the reader to consider the big questions of if people can really change, what makes a person who they are, and how many second chances one gets in life.
Chase Ambrose has no idea who he is. When he wakes up in the hospital after falling off of his roof, he doesn't know his name, his mother, or even his own face. So he definitely doesn't know what kind of person he used to be. But he begins to get a pretty good sense when the other kids at school take a wide berth around him in the halls, his 4 year old half-sister screams when he says hello to her, and he finds out he was supposed to be doing court-mandated community service. The problem is, he doesn't remember being that way or doing those things. And the person he is now wants to do other things, like join video club and help out at the nursing home. His old friends don't trust the new Chase and his new friends are having a hard time forgetting the old one.
Told in alternating view points, this was an excellent read. Highly recommend. A must-purchase for school and classroom libraries.