Title: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating: 8/10
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Romance
This is another Jennifer L. Armentrout book… what a surprise! Don’t worry it is going to be one of the last ones for a while. This was different to the normal Jennifer L. Armentrout and it was definitely much more well written than the normal fantasy novels. Don’t Look Back is a unique, stand-alone mystery with a huge twist at the end. It isn’t a novel where you fall in love with the characters and world, it is more of a confronting and haunting novel. I highly recommend it if you loved Paper Towns, Mara Dyer and We Were Liars.
It follows the story of Samantha Franco who one day goes mysteriously missing with her best friend, Cassie. Suddenly, Samantha appears but she has lost all her memories and Cassie isn’t there with her. As she tries desperately to find out what happened that night of her disappearance, she only discovers a note that says, “Don’t look back. You won’t like what you find.”
*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR DON’T LOOK BACK*
I really liked this novel as it was different from the normal contemporaries and thriller, I have read before. I loved how we saw the story unravel through Samantha’s point of view because I think Jennifer L. Armentrout really captured the thoughts and frustration she would of been going through after the accident.
We start when Samantha Franco mysteriously stumbles in to town after her recent disappearance with her best friend Cassie. It started off with an ambiguous yet catching scene where she is completely blank and from there we meet her family. We discover that she came from a rich background and her parents are not on complete terms with each other and her brother is very protective of her. At this point, I was desperate to discover what happened on the night of the accident.
We then see Samantha going to school where she meets her friendship and her “serious” boyfriend. I love to see how the new Sam reflects on her old self and discovers that she was actually a mean, controlling and arrogant girl. She doesn’t want to be that kind of person again and, as she is offered this “new life”, she can amend her mistakes. This is one of the main themes that is explored in this novel and really makes the novel a lot more enjoying and relatable. It adds a lot of drama. Especially, when she tries to make that sudden change from being mean to nice.
I shipped Carson and Samantha. I loved to see their relationship develop while Samantha had extensive character development. It added a nice extra plot to the storyline. I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know what happened to Cassie and on the night.
At first when she thought it was Carson, my heart broke. I did not expect it to be Carson and the motive seemed right. I was so shocked! I did not expect that but then it turned out it wasn’t Carson and it was , in fact, her father. It was bombshell after bombshell. I really liked her father because he actually treated her like she was sane. In the end, he was the cold-blooded killer. Originally, I didn’t like her mother because she was so superficial. I really wanted to strangle her but she became more accepting of her completely different daughter and that was really good.
Overall, it was a fun read and I am glad it is a stand-alone book. Jennifer L. Armentrout blew me away, once again. I couldn’t put this book down and I highly recommend it for mystery enthusiasts!