Title: Don’t Look Back
Series: stand alone
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: YA, Mystery, Romance
Published: April 15th, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
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?
This was a very enthralling story that kept me interested all the way through. There is mystery, romance, deceit, humor, a swoony guy and some very creepy moments. Armentrout never fails to bring it, and bring it she did. Don’t look Back was no exception, so take out your magnifying glass, throw your Nancy Drew outfit on and start following the clues to uncover the truth.
Seventeen year old Samantha was just found in the woods covered in blood and she had been missing for about four days. Problem is, she disappeared along with her best friend Cassie who is still missing and the only person who can help find her doesn’t remember her own name. Samantha has amnesia brought on by the trauma she’d suffered and she can’t remember anything about what happened to them or even about her life before.
As she tries to get back to the routine of things and get reacquainted with her friends and family she learns that evidently she was not a very nice person and her friendship with her best friend Cassie was more of a “Mean Girls” relationship rather than a “Sisterhood of Traveling Pants”. No one seems able to tell her anything remotely nice about this girl, and the more she learns about the person she used to be the more disgusted she becomes with herself.
“… it wasn’t okay — it was never going to be okay. I was stuck in this life I didn’t remember, squeezed into the shell of this girl — Samantha Jo Franco — and the more I learned about her, the more I was starting to hate her.”
Samantha comes from a wealthy family, as a matter of fact her family is so wealthy, they make the Kennedy’s look like blue collar workers. She lives in a world of luxuries, cliques and where appearances matter above all else. While adjusting to her old life she learns her parents don’t love each other, but won’t get a divorce for the sake of “what would our friends say”. Her supposed to be perfect boyfriend is a douche and her so called friends are just as bad as she used to be, two faced and shallow. Soon she finds out that money doesn’t buy happiness and that the person she was before losing her memory is definitely not the person she wants to be.
The only people Samantha can stand to be around are her twin brother and her childhood friend Carson, and, let’s pause here for a second… Carson (lovey sigh) Oh boy was he dreamy! Blue eyes, tanned skin, spanish descent… Yum!!! Anyways, the past few years she has been less than kind to him, treating him like vermin and making his life miserable. Carson is different, he doesn’t come from money in fact he is the son of the groundskeeper in her house, but he is the only person she feels a connection with and the one person willing to help her regardless of their bumpy past. I absolutely loved their chemistry, it felt sincere and tender.
“Is that my boyfriend?” I whispered, hopeful and scared all at once.
He was happy to see me, but … but then his eyes hardened into chips of ice.
“Boyfriend? Yeah,” he said slowly, voice deep and smooth.
“Not even if you paid my tuition to Penn State next year.”
(They obviously have some issues to work out in the beginning.)
Samantha gets a second chance to be a better person and she intends to do just that, but what happens when Cassie’s body is found and the police decide it was murder, considering Samantha was the last person known to be with Cassie she is the prime suspect. To top it all of, she starts getting this anonymous notes and seeing a dark figure following her. sudden incoherent images assault her mind at random moments, are they memories or hallucinations? Is she is going crazy or is someone messing with her? she doesn’t know but the only way to find out what really happened is locked away inside her mind.
“My memories were dangerous, but they were also the key to the truth.”
Can she solve the murder before it’s too late? Can she really trust the people around her when everyone seems to become a suspect? You’re going to have to read it and find out.
What I Loved most about the book was all the mystery. It really keeps you hooked, like a true game of Clue. You just want to solve the murder and as the list of suspects grows you can’t help but compile your own case of evidence and profile every character to determine who is the culprit, was it the butler in the kitchen with a knife or was it Colonel Mustard in the foyer with a rifle? Well, maybe not quite that cliche but it was definitely a lot of fun taking this journey. I felt sort of like Sherlock Holmes piecing the clues together.
The suspense of the story is well balanced with the romance and overall I’m confident it’s a story anyone will enjoy because in true Armentrout form, it has everything you want, the things you expect and the surprises that leave you with your mouth hanging open.
About the Author
# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.
All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.
Well, mostly. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.
She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don’t Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.
Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.