Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review: Don't Look Back

 Title: Don't Look  Back
Author: Jennifer Lynn Armentrout
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Genre: Young Adult // Murder // Mystery // Lost Memory // Romance
Format: Physical 
Source: Library

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 (goodreads)?

You may or may not know, but I read Convenant by JLA forever ago and I didn't particularly like it. While browsing the shelves at my library I came across Don't Look Back and I'm never one to turn down a case of lost memory and murder. 

Plot: Samantha comes out of the woods looking a hot mess and without any memory of who she was...which turns out to be a blessing because it turns out, she was kind of a bitch. Don't Look Back is written from Samantha's point of view, and I felt like I was right beside Samantha as she went through everything. I was 100% engaged in this story at all times which basically stems from Armentrout's flawless writing style.

Characters: The beauty of Don't Look Back is that Samantha has to start fresh. We do get pieces of Old Samantha from fragmented memories and from people who knew Samantha from before the interesting. I really liked to see the similarities and differences between her two personality types. Even though Samantha is described as the stereotypical Mean Girl, there is clearly a lot more depth to her, and I liked that there was a reason for her being such a horrid person.

 All of the other characters were memorable.I loved her renewed relationship with her twin brother, and how she struggled to put the pieces back together with her boyfriend. Everything seemed geniune and nothing came easy to Samantha. 

Oh and Carson. *fans self* In Covenant, I learned that JLA was an expert at sexual tension. She did not disappoint in Don't Look Back. 

World Building: As with any Mean Girl, her bitchiness stems from all the money that her family  has. I also liked how the world played an important part to the storyline. Samanatha was not restrained to going to high school, she actually became an amateur sleuth and explored her small community to find clues to whatever happened the night her best friend was killed. 

Short N Sweet: Don't Look Back was a captivating story. The mystery moved at a steady pace and the character development and relationships between everyone kept me actively engaged. I highly recommend this to any fan of murder mysteries, YA fan or not!


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