Friday, 25 April 2014

Review: Don't Look Back

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?

My Thoughts:

Before I write this review let me be honest: I really dislike mystery books with amnesia. How many times has it been done already? The answer is way too many to count. Every time I read one like it, it spills the same story over and over again. Each time I end up resenting myself for even considering reading it in the first place. I cannot believe I was fooled once again into reading yet another failure. Maybe one day I'll find the perfect mystery and amnesia combination but today isn't that day.

Getting back to the story. In this case, Samantha finds herself walking through a forest. She cannot remember her own name or her own face in the mirror, let alone why she is covered in blood or even what happen to her. Her parents tell her that she went missing four days previously... with her best frenemy Cassie. So where is Cassie?

This was supposed to be a thriller, and it was in some ways, but one we have all read before. It has a lot of very clichéd elements including the seeing-a-face-in-your-review-mirror incident and mysterious and cryptic notes that had no real connection to the plot. Furthermore, I found that the killer's identity was rather obvious from the first, say 30 percent? The motive however was rather shocking and I did enjoy the final scene which was far more thrilling then I would have imagined.

The characters were terrible however, apart from Samantha's brother, Scott. I understand that living with amnesia would be terrible and obviously have many downfalls but did Samantha have to lose her common sense as well? She turned into a completely trusting and downright naïve person who couldn't see anything beyond the end of her nose. This was obviously an improvement from her bitchy "before" version but not an improvement in general, as it was rather annoying that she couldn't pick up on some rather obvious things.

The romance attempted was just terrible. I don't see how Samantha could have been pulled in by Del when most of her family and friends found him a dick - I mean he is even nicknamed Del the Dick, that should be pretty good indicator what he is like! Carlson was okay but I didn't feel anything for him and I couldn't really get on board with their relationship.

This book wasn't for me in the end. I felt like I had read the same book numerous times before and without an original touch or loveable characters, Don't Look Back was lost on me and is ultimately forgettable.

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