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?
First Sentence: I didn’t recognize the name on the street sign.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
I wonder how many people are thinking “Jennifer L. Armentrout!!!” when you saw the title of my book review. However, I have to warn you guys: I am not a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books. (I wonder how many of you guys are hating me for saying this right now.) I thought Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsidian was okay, but I absolutely hated Onyx with a passion and refused to read the rest of the Lux series. I’ve also tried reading Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Half-Blood, only to drop the series in disgust because of reasons mentioned here. After all my past experiences with Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books, nobody can blame me when I automatically thought that I would dislike Don’t Look Back. To my shock, I found myself actually enjoying Don’t Look Back.
“Sam, it’s going to be okay.”
A tremble started in my lower lips. “Everyone keeps saying that, but what if it’s not?”
He didn’t answer. (ARC 27)
Expectations were kind of high when I went into Don’t Look Back. However, I only had high expectations regarding the horror element of Don’t Look Back and not anything else. I couldn’t help it – while I was on twitter, I’ve been seeing tweets and retweets about how Don’t Look Back gave people nightmares and how this one particular scene scared someone a lot. When I saw those tweets, my first thought was, oh really? This could be exciting! I wonder if this book will scare me! After reading Don’t Look Back myself, my verdict is that Don’t Look Back is not even a remotely scary book, which is probably why Don’t Look Back isn’t even considered a horror novel on Goodreads. Nothing in Don’t Look Back made me freak out or jump in fear. I can guarantee you that you won’t have any nightmares form reading it.
A huge part of Don’t Look Back felt so cliche to me. I felt like the whole “main character loses his/her memory and has to find out the truth” concept has been done so many times before. Nothing about Don’t Look Back made it stand out from the other books that shares this “loss memory” concept. There was the typical “I have to find out the truth!” moments and the mysterious warnings left behind moments. There was also the “oh my goodness, is the person I am crushing also the person I should trust?” cliche. In the romance part of the book, there was even the oops, I fell on top of the person I like cliche. However, there is no doubt that Don’t Look Back was an enjoyable read despite all the cliches.
Not real. This can’t be real. I squeezed my eyes shut, counted to ten, and then reopened them. The image in the mirror was my own. (ARC 238)
Don’t Look Back had me flipping pages and definitely entertained me – things I look for when I read a book. I could not put the book down, even when I tried to put the book down for awhile. Don’t Look Back had me ignoring all the tests I should be studying for and had me eagerly waiting for the next opportunity I could read it.
I had this one intriguing question while I was reading Don’t Look Back – I’m not an expert on amnesia, but does losing your memories also make you lose your sense of deduction and common sense? Samantha is the main character who loses her memory in Don’t Look Back and there were some moments in the book when something so glaringly obvious was being hinted at, yet Samantha never realized what people were talking about. Samantha knows that something fishy is going on, but doesn’t know what, even if the what is so easy to see. Moments like those annoyed me, but at the same time, I don’t know if I have the right to be mad at Samantha when I don’t know the effects amnesia can have on someone.
Her eyes narrowed. “Are you sure you don’t have your memories back? Because this sounds terribly familiar, Samantha.” (ARC 151)
Overall, I am still surprised that I enjoyed reading Don’t Look Back as much as I did. I definitely will recommend Don’t Look Back to people looking for past-faced thrillers that will pull you in.