Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publish Date: April 5th, 2014
Number of Pages: 369
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
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?
“Don’t look back. You won’t like what you find.”
Slightly disappointed but still very happy with this book.
Let me clear some things up.
I was disappointed because the “murderer” didn’t end up being who I wanted it to be. Not because of any technical qualms I had with the novel. On the inside, I kind of knew that it wasn’t going to be that person but I still wanted it to be like that. Even so, Don’t Look Back was an incredibly enjoyable read.
The amnesia aspect of the novel is done really well. I felt like Armentrout really captured the frustration of remembering and the feelings that someone gets when they are that close to getting a shred of their memory back before it just dwindles out of reach yet again. Samantha’s inner turmoil was described fantastically.
Character-wise, I thought that the book was alright. I never really ended up liking Carson – I found him kind of aggravating at times, but I really really liked Samantha. Samantha was quite complex and her character growth by the end of the book was great. The side characters were all very two-dimensional. Most, if not all of the girls that were part of Samantha’s original “clique” were very flat (in other words, very shallow and often portrayed as being very bitchy). The same goes for some of the side characters. Their personalities were never really explored beyond the surface. Even Cassie, one of the crucial characters (even if she was dead), was flatter than I’d like her to be.
The plot of the story could be seen as boring. In my opinion, although there were many down moments, the suspense was what made me want to keep reading. Every time I turned a page, I felt like Samantha was gonna be shot (and to be honest, I kind of wanted it to happen just for more action). Armentrout did a really good job of building the mood of her scenes.
I loved some of the ideas brought up in the book. Now that I’m thinking about it, I loved the idea of being able to start over with a new slate. Obviously, not many people get the chance to do that, but I liked the idea that if you really tried, you can change your habits and life and that based upon others, you can shape a lifestyle that you are happy with. Don’t Look Back also touches on family and important values. The heart of the conflict in this book were the goals of the characters and how they wanted to keep the secrets they had delitescent.