Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publication Date: April 15th, 2014
Source: Disney Hyperion/ TeenReads for review
Format: Physical ARC
Synopsis: For Samantha Franco, her life up until the day she is found battered and stripped of all memory, has been seemingly perfect. Although she doesn't remember a bit of it, Samantha's wealth, popularity, beauty and mean streak have always been a part of her life. Now, after an unidentifiable incident and the disappearance of her "best friend", Samantha is not the girl she used to be. Although Sam is determined to leave behind the life she once lead, the images in her head and the haunting flashes of memory are holding on to her and they're tempting her to look back.
Review: First, a HUGE thank you to Disney Hyperion and TeenReads for sending me this galley for review! This was my first Jennifer L. Armentrout book, guys! I didn't really know what to expect, but I did know that Jennifer is a great contemporary romance writer. Don't Look Back was both romance AND mystery, and that is one of the best things a book can be;)
I do have to say that the scenes in Don't Look Back were very beguiling. Jennifer L. Armentrout knows how to capture readers with the high strung tones and the electric romance. However, I did notice that there were a lot of cliches, especially in terms of the themes. The plotline, while enticing and fast-paced, was very similar to many other thrillers and mysteries. The beautiful teenager suffering from amnesia, the dead best friend, and the "surprise killer" have been seen in many other books, and it's even shown up in pop culture (Pretty Little Liars, anyone?) Although I wasn't too pleased with some of the less original areas of Don't Look Back, I was able to enjoy the book nonetheless.
One aspect of Don't Look Back I really liked was the characters. Samantha was interesting. While many things could have gone wrong, leaving Sam to be a morbid and detestable character, Jennifer L. Armentrout brought out the best qualities and shied away from Sam's flaws. I love seeing memorable characters in books, and I was not disappointed by the lot in Don't Look Back. Samantha's love interest Carson, definitely makes my list of book-boyfriends, and her brother was one of those secondary characters that just needs their own book.
Because Jennifer L. Armentrout created such amazing characters, I was able to connect with Sam easily; as many other readers will find themselves doing. Her thoughts and emotions practically became my own as I read this book, and it seemed like I was right beside her for every jump, twist and fall.
Conclusion: Despite its flaws, Don't Look Back was a well-written and brilliantly executed novel that rings with the chills of Pretty Little Liars and thrills all its own.