June 08, 2014

Review ~ Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout


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?

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This is the first Armentrout book I’ve read. I’ve heard so many good things about her books and how amazing of a writer she is but I’ve never realized just how good until I finally gave it a shot. For the sake of being a walking cliché, I don’t know why I waited this long before finally picking this book up. I’ve had it for a month before finally reading it.

Let me just say that I love that cover. I can imagine it being totally creepy when it’s animated.

Don’t Look Back centers around Samantha Franco who went missing for days with her best friend Cassie Winchester. Four days later Sam resurfaced, but she has no memories of who she was and everything about her life.

I like the concept and plot of the book and the way the author executed it. Yes, some parts are a little predictable but then something happens that makes you doubt and dismiss your suspicions altogether. Then you move on to your next suspect and the same thing happens. This book made me think real hard. I couldn’t put it down in my eagerness to know everything, my eyes sharp in each word, afraid to miss something. The sequence of events and how the mystery is slowly being unraveled is good.

I like the characters, especially Scott. His protective demeanor towards Sam is sweet and amusing at times. There are some characters, like Candy and Veronica, who I’m not fond of but I think they were portrayed well. There are teen agers who think like that, so it’s not exactly that fictional. One downside of it for me is that the emotions didn’t quite get to me. I didn’t feel that deep connection with the characters though the words used to describe their thoughts and emotions were precise and clear.

And then there’s the romance. I enjoy reading romance, and I’m so glad that this one isn’t overdone. It’s not the hovering/can’t-live-without-each-other type, which stripped the cheesiness. For me, anyway. Carson Ortiz is someone who has always liked Sam even when she treated him like trash, but he made a very good job hiding it in the past. His protectiveness rivals Scott’s, but less brotherly-like. It’s sweet. The romance between him and Sam met my liking in the highest scale.

Readers who like a good mystery with a healthy dose of romance will like this book. Maybe even love it.

~ Zee


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