I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Disney-Hyperion on April 15, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery
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?
I love books that keep you guessing and Don’t Look Back definitely accomplished that. Sam’s amnesia gave her an interesting perspective as she was able to view her own life like an outsider, and she did not like what she found. Besides the mystery of what happened to her best friend, there was also the realization that her life had spiraled into something that she didn’t like and couldn’t control. I thought it was interesting that, when stripped of her memories, her gut feelings took over and she shied away from the things (and people) that once attracted her. Her amnesia also allowed her to see everyone as a suspect, which added to the twisty nature of the story.
What this book lacks in reality, it makes up for it in pure, indulgent fun. This is one of those books that you can’t help reading in one sitting. The twists and turns were so engrossing that I had a very hard time putting it down. I am not usually a big mystery/thriller reader, but Don’t Look Back was well paced enough to keep my interest. I found myself constantly changing my theory about who did it, which is a testament to the many turns the plot took. On top of the mystery is a romance that I found to be very sweet and satisfying. Don’t Look Back is one that I think crosses genre boundaries and will find a home on bookshelves of both teens and adults. Whether you’re hopping on a flight or driving to your vacation this summer, make sure you have Don’t Look Back in your bag because it will definitely keep you entertained!