Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review ~ Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Don't Look Backebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 10th 2014

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

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.

My Opinion

I couldn't wait to read this book when I heard about it and I couldn't wait to start it when it became available on NetGalley. I've loved this author's romances so I was curios and excited to see how she made the transition to suspense/mysteries and I wasn't disappointed at all.

Don't look back, although a lot less scary than I predicted, was a thrilling read that I couldn't put down. In fact I was glad it didn't scare me so much and I think the author struck the right balance with the intensity of the emotions brought from the writing. I felt for Sam and her condition and having read books that include trauma induced amnesia before, for once I didn't feel frustrated by the lack of memories. I think the small flashbacks helped with this as they were dispersed regularly throughout the book keeping me on the edge of my seat at what had happened. They didn't reveal much but moved the story on well and I was glad that Sam didn't become whiny or blame everything on he condition. Sam was strong willed and a great protagonist. We are given two sides to her character: before the incident and after, and I will admit when her bitchy side was introduced I thought she would be hard to connect with. However, the author portrays her change well but most importantly it was believable. Her amnesia allowed her to become vulnerable and through that I was able to connect well as she undertook the journey to find out what happened.

As well as this, I'm glad Jennifer kept a small amount of romance in the book--it added something extra to look forward too and a light among the darker nature of the book. I loved Carson and liked the slow build and problems that developed; it kept things interesting. I also liked the brother/sister relationship between Sam and Scott. The bond between them was great and I liked how caring and protective he was over Sam.

The only criticism I have is that I did guess who had done it and what was going on before the ending. However it was only six chapter before the reveal so it didn't ruin anything. I found the majority of the book to be gripping and exciting. I couldn't stop reading and I felt that not only was the pacing good but the reveal of information that was given in drips was set at a good pace. There was enough to keep you interested and clear on what was going on but not enough that everything was glaringly obvious. The mystery remained almost until the end and it built to an interesting climax.

Overall, the author made the transaction to this genre better than I had expected. This book exceeded all of my preconceived thoughts and it was a great read. The mystery was gripping, the characters were believable, loveable and hateable and the emotions were portrayed well. The overall plot was brilliantly constructed and I hope the author writes more in this genre as well as the romances which I adore.


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