December 23, 2014

Latest Read: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication date: Apr. 15, 2014
Publisher: Disney - Hyperion
Category: Young Adult - Mystery/Thriller
Source: Purchased
Summary: Until the night Samantha disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said she had popularity, wealth & a dream boyfriend. Sam has resurfaced but has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her. As she tries to piece together her life, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level & it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister & 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, Sam doesn't remember and someone 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? (greads.com)

The good
Jennifer L. Armentrout is best known for genres like paranormal romance and new adult which marks Don’t Look Back as her first time to dip her toes into mystery and suspense (with a heavy dose of romance accompanying it of course!). And like everything else she writes, this book was awesome. Engaging, with twists and turns I didn’t predict and characters to love. Although I have to admit, I didn’t speculate much. I was more than happy to just put myself in Armentrout’s hands and let her lead me through the story. I was in a rare mood for mystery and Don’t Look Back delivered.

It begins with Sam walking, lost on the road without any memories of who she is or what’s happened to her. The authorities find her and reunite her with her family and friends, who fill in the blanks. But Sam doesn’t like what she hears about her past self. She was a “mean girl” to the fullest — antagonizing classmates, parents, friends and her brother alike — and Cassie, the girl who disappeared with Sam, seemed more like her enemy than her best friend. I’m glad we never got to meet old-Sam because I adored new-Sam and the way she happily and firmly walked away from her past self to embrace this second chance. And it’s clear from the reactions of her family and real friends that they’re happy with the change too. Especially, Carson Ortiz, her childhood best friend turned ex-friend turned friend (and more!) yet again. Carson is another boy I can put on my list of JLA’s swoonworthy guys. Their relationship isn’t an easy one as Carson is wary of the changes in Sam but I loved how things slowly but surely developed between them.

But beyond Sam’s personal changes and relationships is the mystery of what happened to Cassie, who is still missing. Sam doesn’t remember anything but she knows the memories have to be hidden somewhere in her mind, if only she can just trigger it. Which is exactly what she tries to do. But soon, someone makes it clear that they know what really happened that night and begin to torment Sam with notes and threats. No one believes her except Carson and the way everything unravels in the end was surprising. (At least it was to me!)

(No) reservations
Like I said, I was in the mood for mystery and I always love a good romance and this book had both.

Do I recommend?
Don’t I always recommend JLA’s books? If you’re a fan, add this to your list and if you’re in the mood for suspense and romance, I think you’ll really enjoy this one.

Happy reading!

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