Don't Look Back
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date - April 10th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
My breath caught and I dropped the letter, scuttling back on the bed. Heart racing, I closed my eyes, but I could still see the words…
Samantha Franco has the perfect life. Until, that is, she and her best friend Cassie disappear and only
Samantha resurfaces… with no knowledge of what happened.
And Cassie stays missing. Gradually, Samantha begins to piece together her memories of that night. If she can do that, she may yet be able to save her friend. And, little by little, something begins to emerge…
Then she gets the note.
Don't look back. You won't like what you find.
Previously I've read thrillers like Fracture by Megan Miranda or The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher, and for me this isn't a genre that I rarely read. It happens to be one that I have to have my detective cap on and get those little grey cells working. Don't Look Back, immerses you immediately into the adrenaline fuelled mind of a young girl named Samantha forced to realise that she doesn't know who she, where she is and above all what has happened to her or her 'best friend' Cassie. Despite it being about the mystery of losing her memory and only regaining feelings and partial flashbacks, I felt this book held another ulterior motive...a second chance.
Samantha was a right b**** (I'm being very polite... but yes she was one) she was brought up on money and she should act, wear and be the money whether she's at school, dating the latest baseball champion or having followers (friends) of her very nature. Personally if I knew her, I doubt I would like her very much. But this Samantha 2.0 lets say, is a lot to be forgiven for. It's a new chance, a new life and furthermore a chance to rekindle old flames and friends of her childhood. As you progressed through the novel at first it was Sammy's mind and how it worked in mysterious natures, one minute she was fine and the next she seeing herself in a whole new darkness rather than light. The fascination that she is learning to fix her mistakes with friends and family and to be able to be the person that this new Samantha wants her to be.
The other half of the novel works with the man (talking hypothetically, of course) behind the murder of Cassie and the attempted murder and suspense over Sammy's condition. I mean it really kick's off and I'm forever turning the pages trying to solve the culprit... The ending or the last 100 pages is crazy and one of a deeply shocking nature. I can say that I had a hunch and at the end I said 'I KNEW IT' when you put all the pieces together. What was clever of JLA was that she hinted it in the beginning which nagged at me for like 5 minutes before other aspects of the novel stole my attention instead.
It's hard not to mention the characters, because despite the thrill of the chase, the undercurrent of romance was most definitely in the air, let just say old flames re-connecting... Scott, the macho, protecting brother that we should all love, Julie, her true friend since the age of 11, Carson, her childhood best friend and *cough* other elements of a growing friendship. The only element of her family that I truly detested with a passion was her mother, I mean if she thinks an alcoholic stay-at-home mom, alongside being the hierarchy of her fellowship of her friends, and thinking her own daughter is crazy, then she needs her head to be tested.
Despite being a rather, long review even by my standards, this mystery novel surly deserves. I didn't think JLA could possibly prevail from her other novels/series. A perfect standalone, and I think she could possibly do a e-novella from Carson's POV. I think that would be rather interesting to read. A wonderful, adrenaline fueled novel from a first class author.
Rating - 5