June 5, 2014

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

Don't Look Back

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: 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?

Don't Look Back is a taut and completely gripping young adult thriller that had me hooked from the very beginning. I am a huge fan of this genre and I really can never find enough books that leave an impression on me. This one did just that - and then some. Everything about this novel - from the plot and characters to the writing style and the setting - was perfect. The characters were well written and easy to identify with - especially our main character Samantha. She was a fantastic leading lady - smart, determined, and brave - yet she still had her flaws, which I believe made her all the more realistic. The other characters in the book were well rounded too, which made slipping into the story alongside Sam even easier. 

The plot was full of unexpected twists and turns - ones that you definitely don't see coming and then are left with your mouth hanging open in surprise. With this genre, I love trying to piece together the mystery and figure things out before the main character does, but I have to admit that I failed to do that when it came to this book. That alone is enough to impress me and shows the amount of talent the author has. Add to that the depth of the story line - there's so much more going on than you think - and you have one of the best YA thrillers I've read in a very long time. The descriptions were incredibly detailed with vivid imagery and a fast pace - all of which came together to create a truly compelling novel. I honestly can't say enough good things about this book to do it justice, so I'll simply end by saying that this was one wicked thrill ride that will leave you devouring the pages to find out what happens. I very highly recommend this for fans of mystery, thrillers, and suspense fiction!!

Definitely a new favorite!!
*A huge thanks to the wonderful people at Disney-Hyperion for sending me a copy of the book for review!*


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