Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L Armentrout
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date:  April 15th 2014
Pages: Hardcover, 369 pages
Source: YA Book Exchange

Summary 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?

What I Liked

  • The main character, Sam. Previous to her accident, Sam was not a nice person.  Post accident she realized she did not like who she was and she decided to change and re-invent herself.  The way Sam started to be a nicer and more loving person not only helped the progress of the story but also made her a protagonist that was easy to cheer for. 
  • The pacing.  From the mysterious notes, to the suspicious characters, and an unraveling past,   the plot never slowed.  I ended up staying up until 2am because I HAD to KNOW who did/did not do it. Besides the thrilling mystery, Armentrout mixes in a subtle love story that builds and maintains its own tension.  
  • The doubt and mystery.  Not only do you start to doubt Sam but there were clues that had me second guessing the entire time who was to blame in Cassie's disappearance.  I changed who I thought was the bad guy about at least 5 times.  
  • The ending.  I loved that this book was a standalone and there was a true ending.  The ending made sense of the clues and the mystery.  The last 30 pages were high stress but I am happy to say that I did not guess the ending.  It remained unpredictable all the way through.  

What I Didn't

  • Nothing really.  There was truly not much that I disliked, the only thing that could have made it even better would be a bit more from the love story.  It was still great but would have loved to be able to read a bit more about the happy ending.  

Bottom Line

Don't Look Back had me on edge the entire book; JLA's captivating writing style had me so immersed in the suspense and thrill of this fantastic mystery.  I highly recommend Don't Look Back if you are in the mood for a surprising fast paced page-turner.

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