Book Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Young Adult, doctor  Thriller



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Release Date: 

April 15th, decease 2014

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GoodReads Summary:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, approved 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?

My Review:

I love Jennifer L. Armentrout and she blows my mind over and over again. I read the Lux series and was massively in love, mostly with Daemon Black. Then I read the Covenant series and my god, that series is incredible. I just recently read The Return, which is the spin off new adult series to the Covenant series and there will be a review for that later. But when her standalone novel came out, and it was hitting bookshelves everywhere (literally, everywhere, taunting me and my wallet all the time), I knew I had to cave in and buy this. So I did.

And I read it in one night.

Which I realize is not exactly a hard thing for me to do. This is legit the girl who read a 750 page book in 5 hours and 45 minutes. If a book catches me, I can read it in mere hours. Which is what this book did to me, easily.

This was a very different book from Jennifer. For a moment, I forgot I was reading it by her because it just didn’t read the same as others I had read from her in the past. It was creepy and scary and literally had me turning the pages frantically to find out what happened next. Jennifer has always managed to make me laugh and to swoon but she’s never scared me before, not like she has in Don’t Look Back.

Don’t Look Back builds this mystery around the main character, Samantha, who is very nearly killed, and must figure out what happened to her, and her best friend. Problem is, she doesn’t remember who she is or who her best friend is, which, you know, makes things kind of difficult. Kind of. Then Sam starts to go…kind of crazy. She’s receiving cryptic notes and seeing things and hearing things that shouldn’t be there. Its incredibly creepy and Jennifer writes it so well. It reads like a horror movie, almost, a thriller, but its better than any movie I’ve watched. I’m not a huge fan of horror/thriller, I tend to find them lacking good stories, good characters, but this one was just perfectly chilling.

I also think its incredible that she’s able to weave such beautiful relationships throughout the book. Sam literally has to rebuild her relationship with everyone: friends, family, boyfriends, boys who are super cute who she wishes was her boyfriend instead, that sort of thing. And it all feels so incredibly authentic and confusing. So many of her relationships before her memory loss were frustrating and needed work, and now its even harder. These people remember what she was like, and she has to completely meld the two pieces of her together. Its confusing and that journey is taken so well through out the book.

There is also the conclusion of it, which obviously, as I write this, will be spoiler free. I hate ruining books for people. For awhile, I’d had a tiny inkling of what was going to be going on, but when it all came to an end, it was not the way I expected it. I knew the person responsible for a lot of the things going on, that part seemed to be creeping into my mind slowly. The why and how of it completely threw me off guard and I was wide-eyed all the way up until the last page. Way to go, Jennifer, for a completely surprising conclusion, and for scaring the crap out of me this entire novel. I was reading this at about 2 am and that probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve had.

Must read though. Seriously. If you like Jennifer Armentrout, you will like this very different novel from her. If you’re not a fan, read it anyway. If you’ve never read her books, then this would be a fun one to start with. Just remember to keep the lights on while you do so.


4 out of 5 Stars

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