Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Genres: YA | Contemporary | Thriller
Published: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Author: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

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?

This book fortunately has a plot that has a good idea behind it. Sadly, it wasn't executed that well. There are several clichés  throughout the novel, and it was disappointing since I hoped for something more original. Mysterious notes? Face in a mirror? We've heard that before like a few five thousand times. It mostly ruined the thriller aspect of the novel.

Rather frankly, I didn't like any of the characters.The protagonist, Samantha has no memory whatsoever  when the story rolls on. While memory loss or amnesia is not really my area of interest, seeing Samantha cope with her life was interesting.

However, Samantha had no qualities about her that I liked. She was rather naive, believed mostly anything anyone told her, and went around putting herself in danger like going to dangerous places, with no supervision etc.

The secondary characters were equally infuriating and with no doubt, cliché. They seemingly had no personality, and I felt  like they were there just because the book needed other characters. Or just because Sam needed friends and a family.

I did not give two carrots about the romance. It wasn't exactly unnecessary, and could have been a nice touch to the story. Still, I didn't care much about the romance, and it was a bit annoying when I just wanted for the main plot to be carried out.

The romance made me cringe. There is an extremely - for the lack of a more straightforward word - lame love triangle that was obvious and annoying, even from the beginning. There were no questions or wondering pondering involved. (Which just goes to show how black-and-white these characters are).

I trusted neither of the boys, and expected Samantha to do so too, since she can't recall anything. She should have been more wary, anyone could have been behind the events that led to her memory loss.

This is a book that started as a promising thriller, but somehow went down the hill along the way. A little too predictable and black and white for my tastes.

Overall, it lacked most to all aspects of a good mystery novel.