Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

Tags: middle grade, YA, speculative


Newly single and long-time friendless high school senior Devi is sure her life can’t get worse—until she accidentally drops her phone in the fountain at the mall. For some odd reason, now the only person she can call is herself: her freshman year self.

Once senior Devi gets over the shock and believes that this is actually happening, she realizes that it can be an excellent way to right her mistakes. This time around, she’ll tell her younger self to be a better friend, help out her (their) parents’ floundering marriage, and, above all, avoid Bryan, the boy who will break her (their) heart(s) in three years. At first freshman Devi is on board, but things soon start to spiral out of control. Will telling her younger self how to “do it right” actually make senior Devi happy?


GIMME A CALL is a fast and fun chick-lit read reminiscent of Meg Cabot and Lauren Myracle. For a rather outrageous premise, the story is actually well done, and, given to the right audience, will be gleefully devoured.

The greatest thing about this book is that it never loses its momentum. GIMME A CALL starts out a tad bumpily for the first couple of chapters, but before you know it, you’ll be over halfway through the book and definitely enjoying the ridiculous ride. For a book that consists mostly of mistakes, poor judgments, and shocking consequences within every chapter, it surprisingly does not get dull. The voices of the two Devis are light and relatable, never forced.

I did find it rather off-putting that freshman Devi sounded much more intelligent and likable than senior Devi, yet took everything senior Devi did at face value. Indeed, senior Devi’s borderline hyperventilating exaggerations and freakouts got irritating quickly, and if it weren’t for the book’s unique and well-written plot, I would’ve liked the book a lot less.

GIMME A CALL will probably not leave a lasting impression on you, or win any awards, or move any mountains, but it’s definitely a great light choice for the days when you just need to switch your brain to off mode. You will be intrigued by the development of the speculative aspect, and find it well-grounded in the familiar contemporary success-obsessed high school world.

Similar Authors
Meg Cabot
Alexandra Bullen (Wish)
Kristina Springer (The Espressologist)
Lauren Myracle (TTYL)

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Plot: 3/5

Rating: 3 out of 5

Cover discussion: 1.5 out of 5 - Ehh. I like the font, and the careful and sparse use of colors, and even the blankness in the middle, but I'm not too much a fan of the iPhone. Somehow I didn't imagine Devi owning an iPhone, and I guess I'm opposed to the idea in general that the iPhone should represent our generation.

Delacorte / April 27, 2010 / Hardcover / 320pp. / $17.99

Review copy received from publisher.


  1. I feel the same way. I thought that I wouldn't like this book because of its silliness, but I literally could not put it down. It was very engrossing and I loved the ending.

  2. I am looking forward to reading this one

  3. I really enjoyed this book. The cover, though...no thank you. :D

  4. I'm not a fan of the cover either, but this is an intriguing book. Great review!

  5. Haven't read it yet, but the book gets extra points from me because the author is also from Montreal. *wooty woot* Heh.

  6. Sounds like a light, cute story -- sometimes you do need those to "switch your brain to off mode," hehe. That probably happens to me more than I would like these days...

  7. I loved this book! And I loved the cover- i'm surprised no one else did! I loved the colours and the picture of devi really suits the charcter


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