Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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?
Publishes in US: April 15th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA contemp
Source: Disney Hyperion for review
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I wanted to read Don't Look Back because I love Jennifer Armentrout as an author, and pretty much anything YA and NA she writes goes automatically on my wishlist. (I can't speak for adult stuff, since I haven't for whatever reason tried them yet.) While the mystery feel isn't always my favorite as far as genre, I would be intrigued by the synopsis even if it wasn't JLA because the memory loss is always a topic that catches my eye, and especially more so that she wakes up and discovers the life that she lead she didn't much like. I wanted to put together the pieces of what made her change from the Sam she used to be into one that was a mean girl and seemed to contradict her natural sense of how to treat people.
I got caught up in her story, like her trying to make her and her best friend's disappearance make sense, as well as the obvious different of the Sam that wakes up with no memory of the past and the one who was there before the accident. Her family is super surprised along with her friends and boyfriend at how differently she is looking at life, treating others, and it brings her and her brother Scott closer, as well as his friend Carson. We realize that they have a history together, and there is obvious chemistry and attraction between them. It is the only kind of semi cheating that I can deal with because I never got a good feeling with Del, and it is almost like two different Samanthas.
I had my suspicions about what happened to Samantha and Cassie, some of them were affirmed by the pieces of memory and also visions that Sam keeps having and others seem to lead me away from my thoughts. But Jennifer always manages to throw in things that I didn't seem coming. Really, she had me suspecting everyone from Sam herself to the mailman (not really, but I think that I suspected everyone in the book at some point.) To have such a confused narrator, everything is thrown into question and with such a personality change, it also ostracized not only herself but the other characters.
She keeps me so entertained from her snarky wit to her flawed but relatable characters, smoking hot guys that have a deeper level than just the looks and charm, and her fast paced stories. The romance was great and I liked the friendship aspect that they built as children and the complicating factor was the middle time where she was a mean girl.
The ending took me by surprise but I appreciate that it showed that the truth came out, character growth in Sam, promise of hope in the future for healing, moving on, but still remembering a hurting girl who died too soon.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think you could ever live a life you'd hate if you woke up with amnesia?