Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Canadian Spotlight Month: Review - Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
Series: Standalone
Published: April 27th, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
301 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Contemporary young adult with a twist
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: may contain spoilers
Read my review of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Book Depository || Amazon}

Summary: Devi's life isn't turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn't join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.

Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago!

Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn't some wacko—she realizes that she's been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she's already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self?

Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything?

I loved Sarah Mlynowski’s Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have), and after reading Gimme a Call, I feel I can officially call myself a fan of her books.

It’s senior year and seventeen-year-old Devi’s boyfriend Bryan just broke up with her. They’ve been inseparable for the last four years, but now that it’s time to go off to college, he feels they should part ways because he’s going to school in Montreal and Devi’s going to a local college. Because Devi’s whole life revolved around Bryan, she gave up her best friends, so when Bryan breaks up with her, she finds herself completely friendless and alone.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, she drops her cell phone into a fountain at the mall and it won’t work…except when she dials her own number and discovers the voice on the other end of the line is her 14-year-old freshman self. She quickly realizes that she basically has a chance at a do-over - she can tell her younger self not to date Bryan, and therefore not end up with a broken heart. Only it’s not quite that simple.

This book made me laugh, and to be completely honest, it made me cry, too. I’m not sure why, but I found it surprisingly emotional, especially the last few chapters. I’m a very slow reader, but I read this book in one day. I couldn’t put it down - I had to find out what was going to happen to Devi in the past and the present.

Devi was a great, relateable character. She felt like a typical teenager in a lot of ways, but not so typical in others. She let her feelings for a boy take over her whole life, and she made mistakes with her friends. Senior Devi made me so angry at times - she wanted things to change so badly that it made her a bit crazy and obsessed and selfish. She didn’t care what she put Freshman Devi through in the past, as long as she got the results she wanted in the present.

The thing is, and the thing I would have hated if it were me, was that Senior Devi couldn’t remember doing the things Freshman Devi did that ended up changing her future - she had no memory of it, and was often left confused and wondering what was going on, but she still had her original memories, which meant memories of the heartache Bryan caused. No matter what Freshman Devi did, it couldn’t erase those memories or the hurt.

Freshman Devi was so sweet I just wanted to cuddle her. She was so trusting and eager to please, and took Senior Devi at her word. She worked hard and wanted the best for everyone around her. Even though she wanted to be a normal fourteen-year-old girl and have fun and hang out with her friends and meet cute boys, she was willing to make sacrifices if it meant making her future self happy.

I also really liked the secondary characters. Devi’s friends changed so much between the past and the present because of decisions Freshman Devi made, so it really kept you on your toes wondering what was going to happen to them next. I thought Bryan was adorable, and the more Senior Devi tried to keep Freshman Devi away from him, the more I wanted them together.

The concept of this book was brilliant. Every little thing you do can affect your future, even if you don’t think it can. Every choice you make, every conversation you have, every person you meet has the potential to change your future for the better or worse, big or small. For me, it also really drove home the point that everything happens for a reason. When you’re unhappy, when you get your heart broken, when everything seems like it’s going wrong, there’s a reason for it, even if you can’t see what it is in the moment. Just like I didn’t expect for this story to make me so emotional, I also didn’t expect for it to make me think so much.

Funny and cute, with a unique storyline, well-developed characters, and a plot that keeps you wondering, Gimme a Call is the perfect book if you’re looking for a light, fun read with an unexpected twist and surprising depth. 

If you had a chance to talk to your younger self, what would you say? Would you try to fix mistakes you made, even though it could completely change your life? Would you give yourself general words of wisdom, or something specific?

Be sure to come back later this month, because I'll be spotlighting Sarah, and she's very generously donated a signed copy of Ten Things for a giveaway!
This post has been part of the Canadian Spotlight Month. Click the graphic below to check out the schedule and all things Canadian here at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. 


  1. Wow! I don't think I ever read the synopsis to this book. Just that sound amazing enough to read it, but the way you describe how emotional and deep it is, makes me more interested. :D

  2. Aww, this one sounds like a sweet read! I love those books that unexpectedly grab you and make you feel more than you thought you would! I haven't read anything by this author but I sure do want to, especially more so after reading this review!


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