Welcome to Kelly Rockport’s existence at Haysville University, where responsibility is just an elective. After all, fake IDs, alter egos, and one-night stands are all part of the college experience, right? So what if she blacks out from time to time? Memory is overrated.
When freshman year lasts about as long as a one-night stand and is quickly followed by the Year of the Blackout, Kelly projects junior year to be nothing shy of amazing. But as shots, beer, cocaine and men mesh together in an intoxicating haze, Kelly’s reckless ways get her into serious trouble. The only problem is, she can’t remember what happened.
As she hovers along the edge of consciousness, Kelly forces herself to think past her pain to piece together the shards of her life. This is her story, told in her words: The Parts I Remember.
First Sentence: I remember fireworks, a beautiful display of orange and red sparks flying into the dark sky like sparklers on the Fourth of July, except louder, much louder.
I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for a honest review. Thank you!
What first caught my attention about The Parts I Remember was the fact that the main character’s name was also Kelly and that she appeared to be the complete opposite of me. The summary of The Parts I Remember makes Kelly appear completely reckless and makes her also appear as a person that cares about absolutely nothing. I’m anything but that.
The Parts I Remember tells Kelly Rockport’s story by alternating between flashbacks and then back to present day between chapters. Right from the very beginning, I was immediately pulled in into the story. The first chapter starts with people pulling Kelly out of a car wreckage with her friend Meredith, but we don’t know the details. What had happened? Where and when did it happen? And most importantly, why did it happen? What now?
As my eyes fluttered closed, I tried to think of what was going on and how I’d ended up there, wherever that was.
These are the parts I remember. (3)
The Parts I Remember explores the world of partying – alcohol, drugs, sex, and even an attempted rape. Kelly’s entire narrative was believable – I might not agree with or understand the choices she had made, but I can see why she’s doing the things she does. Reading The Parts I Remember makes me feel glad that I didn’t choose to dorm out of state for college because hey, all the things that had happened to Kelly in The Parts I Remember could really happen to you. You never know, and that’s the scary part.
Before I could chicken out, I placed one finger over my left nostril, inserted the dollar bill into my right, and inhaled deeply.
The powder shot up the dollar bill into my nose and stung a path down the back of my throat. (66)
One thing I must talk about is A.K. Mills’ flawless writing. Her writing makes the book really enjoyable and easy to read; it helps everything flow really well. Her writing is engaging and just pulls you in into the story. I couldn’t put the The Parts I Remember down, her writing prevented me from doing so.
I loved the family dynamics of Kelly’s family because it was relatable. It was also realistic, especially when it comes to Jane, Kelly’s older sister. Like Jane, I would want to think the best about my little sister and be there for her no matter what, even if I have to sacrifice things that are valuable to me. What Jane also said about younger siblings being loved and spoiled more is also true in my case; honestly, my little sister is the spoiled one in my family. Like Kelly, my little sister always gets her way, is never punished, and has fewer restrictions than the older sister, in this case, Jane and I.
When I did wake up, my mom took me to brunch to celebrate my first week of high school life. Jane grumbled that she never got a celebratory lunch and complained that our mother babied me, and that was why I was such a wimp. (23)
One major thing that I wished The Parts I Remember dealt with was the withdrawal symptoms Kelly should have gotten. Kelly drank vodka excessively, so excessively that she disguises vodka as water in water bottles. Not only that, Kelly also smokes and does drugs, specifically cocaine. However, once Kelly was admitted to the hospital and was released somewhat later, there was no mention of her going through any type of withdrawal – she didn’t crave cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol. I highly doubt that hospitals have the medicine to cure Kelly of her alcohol, smoking, and drug addiction in such a short time during her stay.
The ending of The Parts I Remember completely stunned me, shocked me, and probably scarred me for life, all in that order. I desperately wanted Kelly to have a happy ending, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but think that she doesn’t deserve one after everything she has done. The ending conflicted me, made me tear up, and completely broke my heart. It left me wanting some more solid answers, but I have to make do with what I have.
Overall, if you haven’t read The Parts I Remember yet, get yourself a copy, like, now! This book will stun you, disgust you, and make you feel all kinds of emotions.