This was my first JLA book and I was excited to finally read one by an author that I know is beloved by many readers. The writing was good but a few clichés too many stopped me from loving the book.Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 10 Apr 2014
Genres: Love & Romance, Mystery, Suspense, YA, YA Contemporary, Young Adult
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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
First Line of Don’t Look Back:
“I didn’t recognise the name on the street sign “
My Thoughts on Don’t Look Back:
First off I love the cover. The cover made me request it and the cover is relevant to the plot which I appreciate. I hate when covers and book content have no connection as I end up feeling a bit cheated. Not so here.
The Highs of Don’t Look Back:
– A descriptive writing style that flows smoothly and is easy to read. I think I read this book in two sittings as I just flew through.
– Realistic, unforced dialogue that rang true
– The plot was spooky and creepy in all the right places but not overly so, which is just what I want from a YA thriller. I expected and I received!
– Fast paced and the story line kept me invested
– Good character development. I didn’t particularly love any of the characters but I felt they were rounded out sufficiently for me to ‘get’ them.
– I enjoyed the tension at the start while trying to figure out what happened to Sam.
– The romance worked well for me. I wasn’t swooning all over the place but I thought the couple were well matched and brought out the best in each other. And yay, he isn’t a bad boy!
The Lows of Don’t Look Back:
– Too many clichés. Amnesia, change of personality afterwards, mean-girl clique, parents around but not overly present. When so many clichés join forces, it takes from the overall enjoyment of the book from me.
– Predictability. I guessed the plot very early on and I prefer to be kept guessing and then left reeling from a twist. That didn’t happen here.
On the Balancing Scales:
I’m still glad I read this one. It was a very typical 3 star read for me. I didn’t love and I didn’t hate it. Some parts worked, some didn’t. I heard from a friend afterwards that this might not be the best JLA book to start with so I’m not put off reading more by this author and will experiment with some of the other genres that she has written in.
Who should read Don’t Look Back?
If you haven’t read a lot of thrillers then I think this book might work a lot better for you. Actually, I think this book would be a good fit for a younger teen who wants to try a thriller. Or if you are looking for a YA book that is a little bit creepy, then this might suit.
Thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.