Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review 8. Don't Look Back

Book: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Mystery-thriller
Pages: 384
Published: April 15th, 2014

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?

★ ★  ★ 

"Cassie...poor Cassie..."

I bought this book after seeing an advanced reader's copy of it in the library. I absolutely LOVE the idea for this book. Even the flap enticed me as I read it! It really is a brilliant idea and, for the record, I finished the entire book in five hours. The way the author begins the book is great. Writing in the point of a young girl with amnesia is very unique and it does make you wonder how it feels to have nothing. To feel empty without feeling sad because you can't remember who you love and why you love them.

Speaking of love interests, this book was extremely predictable. It made sense that it was hard to rekindle her romance with her boyfriend, Del, because she was a changed person. And I did enjoy the presence of Carson, Sam's old friend (Who she also used to pick on? Weird). What irks me is the subtlety, or lack there of, when it comes to who she likes. The author makes somethings painfully obvious in this book, and the romance of it all was a prime example.

The character of Sam was by far one of my favorite characters I have ever read. What I really loved was that she was just as clueless as us at the beginning of the book. Usually, we are thrust into the worlds of theses characters, not knowing anything, well this time it was the other way around. It made me understand Sam's confusion and made me connect to her more. She truly had no idea who she was or who she used to be. And one of her struggles in this book is who is she going to be. We find out that Sam is filthy rich, which, of course, follows the stereotype that she is a HUGE BITCH. Which she was. In the book she battles with getting past all of the ugliness that was the old Samantha, and breaking out as a new person. It was fantastic.

The mystery in the book is a huge part of the storyline. Although it was over-shadowed at times by the  constant boy trouble or momma drama, it still loomed over our heads: What happened to Cassie? Who was responsible? These questions are ALL answered. NOTHING LIKE AGATHA CHRISTIE! (I still can't get over that book!) Anyway, the ending wraps up very... interestingly. It's definitely a full circle ending, but it hints at the fact that not everything is all well and good, but it's getting there.

I prescribe one dose of Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout to any reader who likes a good mix of mystery, romance, and innovative writing techniques!

Read it. Love it. Live it.

- stELla

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