Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Don't Look Back 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  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?

My Thoughts:  If you have read my blog before, you know that I love JLA and her books.  Her Half-Blood series is probably my favorite series ever and her Lux series comes in a close second so I was excited to pick up this book.  I wasn't disappointed in it but it wasn't one of favorites, I am sad to say.  

This books starts out with Sam walking around barefoot in her town with no idea what has happened to her or where she has been.  She's taken to the hospital where they call her family and tell them she has amnesia and doesn't remember a single thing from the past.  She also finds out that her best friend, Cassie, was with her and is still missing.  Sam wants to remember to help the police find Cassie, even though she doesn't remember Cassie at all and has no feelings towards her at all. 

Upon arriving home, Sam realizes that her family is extremely wealthy.  After talking to her brother and meeting her friends and boyfriends, Sam discovers that she was a complete bitch.  She was mean, shallow, had no respect for herself or others and cared entirely too much about image.  Now though, Sam is a completely different person.  She doesn't seem to care so much about money, doesn't care about image and really, she doesn't like her friends or boyfriend at all anymore.   

I could not connect with Sam at all.  She was a little bit naive and way too trusting for my liking.  I would be completely on guard and not trusting anyone if I had no memories.  Her boyfriend, Del, lied to her the entire time about their relationship and she only questioned it a few times.  Del was creepy and a jerk and way too pushy.  Sam's "friends" were your typical "Mean Girl" type friends.  They would back stab each other in a New York minute without a single thought (as you find out later with Cassie) but this is typical of high school (in my opinion).  

I figured out the whole mystery in this one about halfway through the book.  I knew who did it just because of their attitude through the whole book and it wasn't long before I had a sneaking suspicion as to why this person did what they did so that was kinda a letdown for me.  I like a mystery that keeps me wondering until the end.  

I also didn't feel the story was very suspenseful. The notes weren't very scary and the "shadow man" never really did anything to make it scary.  In the end, all this is explained and you see why it is important but it still didn't do it for me in thrill factor department.

However, all that being said, this was still a fast read that kept my attention for the most part.  I enjoyed the amnesia factor and the romance, while a little typical, was sweet.  I got sucked into the book and despite the fact that I had it figured out, I still wanted to find out if Sam stayed "sweet Sam" or went back to "evil Sam".  It's definitely worth a just wasn't one of my favorites.

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