Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release date: April 15, 2014
Page/Format: 369, Hardcover
Purchase from Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Book Depository | Waterstone’s
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?
NO SPOILERS AHEAD.
Found walking barefoot and covered in dirt and blood along the road, Samantha has no memory of anything. She soon discovers that she’s been missing for 4 days and there was another girl, Cassie, who was with her that is still missing. Samantha has to try and gain her memory back to help Cassie. Not only that, but this Samantha is different than the old Sam. She’s nicer and gaining back old friends. She learns that not everything was as it appeared.
I love, like really love, this cover. It was what first attracted me to read the book. You can’t see the ballerina dancers face and her reflection in the cracked mirror is different. It’s simple and creepy at the same time. It has a lot of different meanings that tie up nicely with the book.
This novel was simply amazing! You’re lead into the life of this girl who has a past as a complete bitch, but that’s not how you see her in the book. You worry for her, hope for her, and root for her. Samantha was the mean girl, now she’s the girl with no memory. She’s desperate to find out what happened to her and Cassie. While she’s working through trying to regain her memories, she rebuilds her relationships with her twin brother, Scott; her old best friend, Carson; and her brother’s girlfriend, Julie. Sam has all kinds of different flash backs that make her confused and frightened.
Samantha is a wonderful character. She pretty much gets a second chance to be a better person in this book without knowing it at first. She learns a lot through the book. She understands that before she went missing, she was a terrible person, and she does not want to return to how she was. She comes back like her old self, nice and caring, and that is how she wants to be. As the book comes along, she ends her toxic relationships and starts over with her old friends. She finds wonderful love and really wants to help find out what happened.
Carson is my favorite character (of course). Scott, Julie, and Carson all know how Samantha was before she went missing, but they’re all willing to get her the chance to have a relationship with them all again. You can see how Scott acts like a protective brother to her, how Sam restarts a friendship with Julie, and how Carson helps Sam out. They all have strong, believable relationships with each other.
Jennifer L. Armentrout has a wonderful writing style, it pulled me in and made me really root or boo any character she wants. I loved how there was some things I figured out and others that left me shocked and speechless. Samantha’s story was exciting and frightening. The mystery, family dynamic, and love story were something to recommend to any of my friends.
Don’t Look Back is a thrilling contemporary read for any reader, young adult or not. It will have anyone staying up late at night trying to unravel the mystery of what happened to Samantha and Cassie. This completely wonderful read gets a big 5/5 from me.