Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Buy It: Amazon | B&N
Description 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
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?
We all know by now that I am a freaking HUGE fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout. The LUX series is one of my favorites, and she just writes some of the absolute best stuff to swoon over. Since I've been waiting what feels like forever and a half for this book to finally be released, I've had a lot of time to puzzle over what could be up with this book. It seems so different, but I surely expected it to hold that same JLA sparkle that is in everything she writes.
Alas, this book told another fantastic story that I positively enjoyed the whole way through.
I liked the MC, Sam. Or, more accurately, I liked who the MC was in this book. I did not like who she used to be, but I like to think of them as two totally separate people because her change was so incredibly drastic. Sam was actually a pretty refreshing character. She was honest and open-minded. She did jump to some conclusions a time or two, but I can't really fault her for that. Not with the situation she was in, and especially not while I was doing the same exact thing. Sam handled everything very realistically and I truly liked her.
Carson was awesome. He was such a good guy, and not in an unrealistically perfect way. He was the kind of nice guy who could be anywhere. You know, if all the nice guys you knew were extraordinarily attractive. But seriously--Carson was realistic. And sweet. And so kind. He was patient and kind, and I loved how he was with Sam. He didn't pressure her into anything, and he gave her time to work through everything she needed to without being all kinds of demanding. He even offered to help. Such a sweetheart.
The romance built up in the most perfect way. Since this is a JLA book, that's not very surprising, but I needed to say it nonetheless. Carson and Sam's relationship was a nice break from the mystery of everything, and it was always a good way to get some straight-up answers. They made a great couple, and it was sweet to see things working out for them in the midst of all the confusion.
The mystery is woven in such a way that I spent literally the whole book being suspicious of every character. Even the ones I adored, like Scott (who was a fantastic big brother) and Carson. I didn't figure it out until the person was revealed and then everything started clicking into place and I was like OHHHHH. But the suspicion this book caused...it was just the right amount. It was so close to being too much, because I had a hard time trusting people that I wanted to love--like Scott and Carson--but they ended up breaking through my barriers regardless and I was totally a fan.
Overall, Jennifer L. Armentrout has written the most perfectly nerve-racking suspense that had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I loved the characters, I was taken away by the story, and I couldn't wait to unravel the mystery. Don't Look Back is very different from Jen's other books, but I loved it just as much as all her others. I really hope Jen writes more suspense, because I seriously enjoyed reading this one!