Saturday, August 16, 2014

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout [Review]

Don't Look Back4 out of 5 Robots!

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction/Mystery
Release: April 15, 2014
Hardcover:  369 Pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Wow.  This was much better than I expected.  I wasn't sure what I would think because I totally judged the cover and the author writes books that I'm not that interested in. But instead I found a compelling mystery.  Sam returns after being missing for 3 days, but has no memory of who she is.  She has to meet her family, friends and boyfriend all over again.  She doesn't remember her best friend, Cassie and doesn't remember what happened to her.  Sam also finds out that she was kind of a an awful person and is horrified at who she used to be.  As she tries to fit into her old life, she desperately tries to get her memories back and starts to question her sanity.

I was pretty hooked on this mystery.  I made a few guesses and one of them ended up being right, but I really was never too sure how it would end.  I'm not sure how credible the whole amnesia thing was, but I took it with a grain of salt and just kind of went with it.  There are also some familiar mean-girl troupes that felt a little old, but they served to show how awful Sam was before.  I was horrified for her.  But my favorite part was how Sam tries to reconcile her former self with her present self.  I loved how Sam now confronts people instead of just making assumptions and actually manages to have some mature conversations (a true rarity in YA). 

Overall, I found this book a tense and interesting mystery.  I think anyone who enjoys mysteries will enjoy this one.  I'm glad I got passed the cover and read it.

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