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

Book Title: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Mystery
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?

Disclaimer: Library book.

This was a book that I was extremely excited about, but was unable to purchase it. So when I found out my library had it, I was ecstatic. I actually had to take the first copy back because it smelled like cigarettes and just inhaling the scent made me ill. So last week, I picked up a new copy and a few days later, I settled down to read it.

Holy crap on a cracker, JLA should just write these thrillers all the time because the way she weaves the story is amazing. The way she drops little clues throughout the book is awesome. I would read the book and every once and awhile, I’d make a note of something, thinking that it sounded like a clue. I spent the entire book, totally confused while my brain worked overtime to try and solve the mystery myself. I came up with so many scenarios, none of which even came close to the truth.That’s when I know a book was really good. When books keep me guessing all the way through and nothing I come up with is even close to the truth.  

I loved Samantha. She was clearly struggling with the knowledge that she couldn’t remember anything about her life before the accident. Not only that, but apparently she had been a royal bitch before the accident. She didn’t remember that girl. but she didn’t want to be like her. She wanted to be a good person who cared about others. She no longer liked her boyfriend Del and they had been together for a very long time. Things about him bother her a lot. 

She starts to wonder if he had anything to do with her disappearance and with Cassie’s disappearance.

I loved the relationship that Samantha had with her brother. He was such a good brother to her. He protected her and loved her. So often you see brother-sister relationships in YA and they are filled with angst. There was obviously angst with this one, but it wasn’t related to Scott and Samantha’s relationship.

Also, I have mad love for Carson. Carson and Samantha go way back and even though Samantha wasn’t always nice to him before the accident, he was still loyal to her. He loved her despite the fact that she didn’t always treat him nicely. Carson was adorable and I loved his close friendship with Scott. Despite the fact that Scott and Samantha’s parents looked down on him for being the son of  “the help” Carson didn’t let that affect him or his friendships with Scott and Samantha.

The last 100 pages especially were filled with so many twists and turns. My mind was constantly twirling. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know who was behind the disappearance of Samantha and Cassie. The ending was so mind boggling that I had to sit back and take some breathers because I kept saying “Oh my god” and “Holy crap” I loved this book and I am so excited to buy my own copy of it. 5 stars to this incredibly twisty book that kept me guessing all the way through.