Published by Disney-Hyperion on April 15th 2014
Source: Finished copy from friend
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?
Don’t Look Back is my first foray into Armentrout books. I’ve been a book blogger for a long time, and I know that Amentrout is one of those authors that many of my blogger friends like to fangirl over. If her other books are like Don’t Look Back, then I can understand why.
The screwed up wealthy family is one of my favorite tropes. (Anybody remember Dirty Sexy Money? I want that in book form!) That comes into play here in a way that made me really enjoy watching the characters interact with each other and allowed the plot to take many twists and turns. I read thrillers because I have fun trying to figure out what is going on and predicting the end. Ultimately, I figured out what happened, but I had fun getting there and still enjoyed watching all of the conflict resolve.
I know some people have gotten tired of amnesia stories, but I don’t think I ever will. I especially liked it in Don’t Look Back because it allowed Samantha to not only get a fresh start but really sort through her past. The scenes where Samantha feels out her relationships with other people were some of my favorite. She not only had to deal with rebuilding relationships she had destroyed before she lost her memory, but with people who would take advantage of her memory loss to manipulate her.
You might expect me to talk about the missing best friend storyline, but nope. Instead the most horrifying moment was View Spoiler »when Samantha finds out that her boyfriend had sent dirty pictures of her around. Then, when she has amnesia, he comes back pretending like they are the perfect couple and in love. « Hide Spoiler
Will I use it in my classroom?
This was the first book I read last summer, and it was the perfect story after an intense first year of teaching. It is a ton of fun, plus the fast plot and abundance of interpersonal drama gives it plenty of teen appeal. I brought the book into my classroom on the first day of the new year and excitedly told my students about it. Someone must have liked it because it’s already gone. I need to get another one for my shelf.