Title: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Format: eBook, eARC
My rating: 4 / 5
eARC recieved from publishers,
Hodder & Stoughton via Netgalley
What if you had the chance to start again...but only if you promised never to look back?
Samantha is popular, rich, and seemed to have it all...until the night she and her best 'frenemy' Cassie disappeared and only Sammy resurfaced, with no recollection of who she is or what happened. Sammy's a stranger in her own life - a life she no longer wants any part of. Losing her memory is a chance to start again.
Then Sammy begins receiving mysterious notes warning her about that night, urging her to not look back. But she can't let it go. As she starts poking around in her past she begins to remember...and something sinister begins to surface.
-- As seen on Goodreads
I received this book from the publishers, with thanks to Hodder & Stoughton, in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way.
Samantha doesn’t know who she is. She can’t remember her name and everyone she comes into contact with is a stranger to her. Nothing is familiar. She is found wandering along the side of a road covered in blood by a police officer, and brought to the hospital where she is reunited with her parents and twin brother. It was very chilling reading this part of the book, and it sinks in how fragile memory really is, and how much we take it for granted.
Over the next few days, Sammy tries to unlock her memories of the night when she and her best-friend (or best-frenemy), Cassie, went missing with sporadic success at best. She has to rely on those around her to help trigger and recapture her memories, and she doesn’t like what she is told. She was the ultimate mean bitch. The other characters are understandably wary of Sammy when she returns, and this is something she finds hard to deal with, yet understands how they feel.
Don’t Look Back is completely different to any of the previous books I have read written by Jennifer Armentrout. There is an air of maturity about the writing which I wasn’t expecting. At one stage it felt like I was reading a different author, and I much prefer this style! Her New Adult titles I’ve had mixed success with, and I’ve usually had better success with her Young Adult novels, and this was no exception. I loved it.
I really loved the way the story was told. I love when I’m just as confused about things as the main character. It helped build a connection with Sammy very quickly, and I was so suspicious of everyone! I did have a sneaky suspicion about the outcome, and I was proven correct. I think it took a little bit of the awesomeness away from my overall love of the book, but heck, I still really liked it.
I liked Sammy. She was, to put it mildly, an evil bitch before she lost her memory. She has to come to terms with flashbacks, and learning everything over again. One thing that bothered me… she has suffered from memory loss, can’t even remember what coffee she likes, yet she remembers how to drive? Maybe I’m being a little too picky, but it just seemed a little off to me.
I wish Carson was portrayed in a different light other than the “player” role. It seems like a staple character for JLA. It was done half-heartedly and I didn’t actually believe it anyway so I don’t understand why he was described this way. This part of his personality just didn’t work for me. Granted, it wasn’t flaunted in our faces too much, but what’s wrong with having a nice guy what doesn’t sleep with everything that moves featuring in a book for once? I’m glad things moved away from this approach and focused on the better side of his personality, and by the end of the book I did end up liking him.
Overall, I really enjoyed Don't Look Back, and it’s so nice to see a different style from Jennifer Armentrout. It’s very addictive and the ending, even though I saw the majority of it coming, I was satisfied with. The epilogue is exactly how I like: not introducing anything new or unnecessary, yet giving us a glimpse into the future for the characters and letting them continue on existing in our minds.