If you're someone who thinks that they don't like memoirs, give this a try. It reads just like a thrilling novel. I knew the ending from watching Amanda's story on the news, so I had that relief knowing that Amanda would return home. The story kept me on the edge of my seat, however, as I read about Amanda's growing love of travel, her adventures around the world, and her eventual kidnapping. Reading about how her experience in Somalia deteriorated- my heart broke for her toward the end of her time there- painted a picture of how it must feel to be in such a terrible, often hopeless, situation. Amanda's strength comes through no matter what is going on around her- her empathy for others is inspiring.
While there is some mature content and language, I think that this would be a great read for anyone high-school aged and up. It kept me hooked and wanting more, and it gave me a new perspective on a world and lifestyle that is far removed from myself. I found myself considering the perspectives of everyone involved- Amanda's mother, townspeople who observe Amanda, her captors, her friend Nigel who has also been captured. A book that has the power to expand your mind and capacity for empathy is definitely worth checking out.
Food for thought... what are your favourite memoirs?