Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Hodder Books via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

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.
Review by Nara

Wow, Don't Look Back is a surprisingly satisfying and creeptastic read. It's written in a very different style to Armentrout's other YA books- not quite as snarky a protagonist, not quite as generally humorous- but it's most definitely my favourite of her books that I've read so far.

There were some very nicely creepy undertones throughout the novel, reminiscent of the ones in Dangerous Girls. The “big twist” at the end is kind of predictable, but I think that's actually the intention, because Armentrout leaves quite a few hints here and there, leading us to the culprit. And I suppose playing the detective and finding the clues was entertaining in itself. There didn't need to be a surprising ending with Armentrout nicely leading us to the answer.

Our main character, Sam, was excellently developed. You'd think that after losing your memory, one might be a bit more timid or hesitant to shake things up, but Sam was unafraid to speak her mind and criticise her former "friends" about their Mean Girls ways. Probably her only flaw is the fact that she was a bit naive at times, especially when it came to her "boyfriend", Del (who was so obviously lying to her about everything. I was just like dammit Sam, realise that he's full of crap already!)

I might end off with some comments on the covers. Looking objectively, I definitely prefer the US cover. It's creepy and doesn't feature a person (I hate people on covers...) But if you consider the content of the book, the UK/Aus cover is most definitely a more suitable cover. The red dress? Plays quite an important role. Although the girl ironically "looking back" at us? *smh*


Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5