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

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★★★☆☆

3/5 stars

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?

After reading and loving Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsidian series, I knew when I saw this on Netgalley that I would just have to read it. Couple that with the mystery/thriller genres being one of my favourite types of books, and I was ecstatic to get my hands on this book. And in all honestly — I’m not sure how I should rate this book. Did I like it? Yes. Did I love it? No, definitely not. In a nutshell, I expected more from this, a lot more. I feel as though the author can do better. Despite that, though, this wasn’t bad. Just a little lacklustre. I wanted to fall in love with Carson the same way I did with Daemon . . . but I couldn’t quite. There was something missing — a spark — that I couldn’t quite connect with. The same goes with Samantha.

snape disappointed

I wanted this novel to have an effect on me. For me to walk away and be completely wowed by it. I wasn’t. This review is entirely spoiler-free, so I won’t give away the ending, but I will say this: the ending was no surprise. Especially in the mystery/thriller genre, I want the climax-point of the story to really and completely astonish me . . . and while I could tell that was the intended intention of the ending, it didn’t reach that point for me. There was also a distinct lack of humour in this novel compared to her Obsidian series — which, given the subject matter, makes sense — but it was that humour, I think, that made her characters so likeable.

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The main positive of this novel was that it was enjoyable. Despite the lack of twists and turns that left me breathless like I wanted them to, the author has a very enjoyable writing style. It was quick but evenly paced, and kept me engaged throughout the story. I also loved the intrigue that surrounded this novel in the beginning, and interesting to see how Sam put her life back together, piece by piece, realizing that who she was before the trauma was who she didn’t want to be now.

My overall verdict? Enjoyable, dark, but nothing mind-blowing.

crowley

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this review copy.

Have you read Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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