Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back

Title:  Don't Look Back
Series:  None
Author:  Jennifer L. Armentrout
Age Group:  Young Adult
Publication Date:  April 15, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Source:  Bought
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?
Find Don't Look Back online

My Review:  This book was a lot different from Jennifer Armentrout's previous novels.  While it still had her trademark humor and steaming romance, it focused a lot more on the mystery and the thriller aspects.  When Sam is found by police officers, she knows absolutely nothing about her life.  She's a totally blank canvas and not only has to deal with the fact that her best friend who she doesn't remember is dead but also the expectations that everyone has for her that she no longer meets.  This story was just drenched in uncertainties and mystery; I got completely caught up in trying to figure out what had happened to Sam and Cassie.

From what we get to see and hear from Sam, I really like her.  She was a sweet and caring girl and was determined to do the right thing, which is, apparently, the opposite of who she was before.  It was very interesting to hear about how Sam was before losing her memory compared to how she was when we met her.  This complete 180 personality change through a loop in the story that none of the characters knew how to handle and it was cool seeing the way they all had to adjust to get used to this new and improved Sam.  Probably my favorite character in this entire novel was Sam's brother, Scott, which is really strange as, in most JLA works, my favorite characters are the love interests (hello, Daemon, Aiden, Roth, Cam, Jase, Seth, and Kyler).  But there was something about Scott that really struck me.  I loved seeing him and Sam work toward a better and stronger relationship and it was awesome seeing the way he stuck up for her.  I liked Carson, our love interest, well enough but he lacked the usual spark most JLA guys bring for me.  That's not to say he wasn't totally awesome because he was.  I just wasn't crazy about him.

The plot was my favorite part of this whole story.  I've heard some people say they know who had committed the murder from the very start of the book but I was not one of those people.  I kept on trying to guess who it was and I would finally be like "AH-HA!  YOU ARE THE MURDERER!" And then five minutes later I would be like "Okay, I'm sorry, you're not a killer...unless, of course, you are...".  It was thrilling not knowing who it was.  When it was finally revealed who did it and why, I was completely floored.  I hadn't seen it coming but once I knew, I was able to go back and connect all the pieces and it totally made sense.  

Don't Look Back, while not one of my favorite Jennifer L. Armentrout novels, was definitely a fun and entertaining read.  It kept me on my toes and shocked me with all of the plot twists and surprises it brought to the table.  This is a thriller you are not going to want to miss!

Four Cards

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