My Review of Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

12:00 AM Vi Win Win 2 Comments

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?
I swear, there isn’t any genre this lady can’t write! Don’t Look Back was just as suspenseful and riveting as I was hoping for. As a YA contemporary mystery, it has just the right amount of crazy, drama, and intrigue to keep anyone glued to the pages. I think Jen did a great job at creating engaging characters and one heck of a plot. Add to that, her clever writing and hints of romance, you really can’t lose with this one. I’ve read quite a few amnesia books and I’ve liked some more than others, but I definitely love this one. Jen does a stellar job in the mystery genre, planting plenty of clues along the way, yet also throwing you for loops as the story progresses.

Aside from the thriller aspect I loved so much, Jen sprinkles her romance magic in here in the best way possible. I really adored Carson and thought he balanced Sam’s character out very nicely. I loved their history and Carson is such a genuinely nice guy, it’s nice to get a dose of that every now and then. Jen inserts their growing romance at key points throughout the book and even though there were parts that were a bit cheesy, it was cute and I loved it.

My only minor reservation with this book has a little to do with Sam’s character. I really liked her, but I thought it took a little too long for her finally stand up for herself and to actually see what was right in front of her. I give her props for not jumping back into the mold every one told her she was in and it was interesting seeing just how different she was before and after the amnesia. However, despite her troubles at remembering things, she was essentially a smart and capable girl, yet she couldn’t see through all the lies and secrets. I wished she had trusted her instincts more earlier on and it drove me crazy how long it took for things to unravel. And man, did I want to smack the crap out of Sam’s “friends” and her “boyfriend”. They drove me crazy!

But, that’s my personal issue. I’m pretty impatient, so I hated, but also loved waiting until the very end to know the truth, even though I figured things out pretty early on. Jen definitely had me gripping the book with thoughts of “I HAVE TO KNOW!!!” the whole time and I love that she can have that kind of effect on me.

Don’t Look Back is definitely one of those books where you’ll want to set aside a good amount of time for because once you start, you won’t be able to stop reading this. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good mystery/thriller book to read, if you’re already a JLA fan, or even if you want to try out your first JLA book! All readers will enjoy this!


  1. I loved this book. I'll be honest and say that when I read the blurb I wasn't sure I would read it. But I try to read everything JLA writes, so why should this one be the exception. Well, I'm so glad I picked it up b/c I really loved it! Great review Vi!!!

  2. Oops! I submitted my Don't Look Back comment on the wrong post. DLB is going to another good one by JLA so I'm looking forward to it. :)