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April 16, 2014

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

Don't Look Back
Title: Don't Look Back

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: HBG Canada
Publication date: April 15, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Mystery)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 384
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?
Armentrout has done it again. Proven she can tackle a completely different genre (contemporary mystery) and still manage to make it an addicting, mysterious, head scratch inducing, romantic, and favorite read. I devoured Don’t Look Back in a day because I read it everywhere. I couldn’t guess the mystery and I thought the main protagonist has a really good voice.

So Samantha finds herself walking in the middle of the road, the cops stop her, identify her and she finds out she has been missing for some time.. and not just her, but also her best friend. Samantha doesn’t remember a single thing a couple of weeks before her missing period as well as her missing period. We know nothing, and I just found the way the mystery was introduced to be so addicting. So her best friend is missing and everyone has hope once again that they might find her. However, Samantha discovers some weird things about her old self, for one she’s the meanest of the mean girls, treats her family like crap, and parties hard, the clichéd rich kid wrecking their car because she was drinking, and right down to having fake best friends. So yea, if you’re not intrigued now, maybe the next part will make you want to pick it up?

Enter Carson Ortiz, Samantha’s brother’s friend and the help’s son. Of course she used to treat him like crap, including her parents. As soon as Samantha sees him, she gets that feeling when you see a guy and you immediately crush on him? He is of course wary of her because of how she treated him. Still, Samantha starts to become super aware of Carson even with her constant reminding that she already has a boyfriend that she’s been with for several years. I just thought the romance was deliciously done and I really really love Carson. He is filed under “Guys that allow me to have hope for our male species”. He was a friend she really needed and was very honest and truthful and was always there for her even when no one else believed her. Their relationship was one I was rooting for from the start. Also, I liked Samantha’s brother and how protective he was of his sister. I feel there are a ton of secondary characters worth mentioning but it’ll end up being too long of a review. This proves how talented JLA is because I read this book over a month ago but I still remember everything.

The mystery aspect of the novel was also magnificently written. I honestly couldn’t guess who the perpetrator was at all. It came as such a big shock when it was revealed. I had a lot of theories and I am usually good at predicting them but for this one I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. I really really recommend this novel so hard for contemporary mystery fans.. even just contemporary fans or just YA fans in general. I was blown away by Don’t Look Back and I am really excited to read any new book she writes in this genre.
 
Check out my mini review of Don't Look Back with The Geography of You and Me! 

10 comments:

  1. Great review sweetie :D I am glad you loved this book. <3 I must admit that it sounds awesome. Though I am not sure I would like the way you say the main character is/was :\ But agh. I do love that cover so much. Gorgeous! (Though, I have yet to read any books by Jennifer, despite owning a lot of them, lol. But hopefully soon. <3) Anyway. Thank you for sharing and being honest :)

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  2. Wonderful review. I want to read this one so badly. The character and the story sounds like it is fantastic.

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  3. OOoh nice! I soooooo cannot wait to read this one! My order got delayed due to a payment mishap. Damn credit card number needed to be changed and while I updated it in my account, it apparently does not apply itself to my previous preorders. Eep! So I will have to wait til Monday, likely, until I can read this one! Sooooo cannot wait! I love JLA's previous works and I enjoy a good mystery every now and then!

    Great review!

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  4. How have I not picked this up yet?? I love JLA's writing, her Half Blood series was just amazing. I'm sure she was just as excellent at contemporary mystery! And I love when the two characters in a love story have known each other forever..even if they started out hating each other! :) Sometimes that's even better! :D

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  5. Hmm, I'm very much intrigued now. I haven't read anything by JLA but man is there a big selection by now :) This one looks especially good. I like the idea of the help's son being the love interest. I haven't come across many or any of those. Great review.

    -Mari

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  6. I love that you couldn't guess who did it. That is a job well done by JLA. I can't even believe that I still have not read a book by Jennifer. I am so ashamed about that. She writes so many different genres, you would think that I would have picked up one by now. I really need to get on that.

    Great review :)

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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  7. Haha, a guy that gives you hope for the male species sounds like he is a worthy read indeed. I will have to read this ine for sure now

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  8. I like books with memory loss :D So fascinating to see the confusion of the MC.

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  9. Oh, this looks amazing! I'll definitely need to pick it up soon. Great review, all the others I've seen have raved about it but neglect to go into any detail, but this was just enough to talk grab my attention. :D

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