Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

Title: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer Armentrout
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Disney-Hyperion (April 15, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
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 really like Armentrout's work, there is just something about it that is irresistible to me, even when the plot line seems predictable and the characters like you have meet them before. There is just something to be said about an author that can make you ignore all of that and still have you get completely caught up in the story.

Plus come on, you cover whores out there know you love the cover just as much as I do. It has a slightly creepy vibe to it and along with the kick butt synopsis you just know you are going to be in for a real treat. 

And while this did succumb to some very well used tropes and very predictable outcomes, it was still a really great read that had me guessing and second guessing up until the very end. I loved the little twists and turns we get with Sam along the way as her life slowly starts to unfold in front of her. As she sees that her life wasn't perfect and in fact, her old self was anything but nice and sweet. She starts to question everyone around her, even those that she knows she should be able to trust and those that she is close with. She learns that not everything is how it seems on the surface and that sometimes you have to learn how to stand up for what is right and good and make amends for past mistakes, even when you life is on the line.

The romance was a slow build up which I really appreciated, with a very yummy make lead. There was an insta spark but since most of the characters in the story have known each other for years, it was understandable and believable and didn't make me want to roll my eyes, in fact I think Sam and her love interest shared some very real and very sweet moments togther.

I think this was a great addition any fan of Armentrout's will appreciate and like, maybe not love but definitely appreciate. 









*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

34 comments:

  1. Buh. I'm starting to get a JLA complex concerning anything she writes that isn't paranormal or scifi. I really didn't like her first adult contemporary novels, which has made me hesitant to read her NA romances, and now this one looks MEH too (maybe not so bad as that with the slow-burn romance and twisty-turniness, but not nearly as good as her other stuff IMO). I'm thinking where she's concerned I should stick to aliens and gargoyles, etc. Great review!

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    1. I really kind of do as well Jessica, it is so hard not to be drawn into her books but sometimes that isn't always a good thing.

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  2. I have a love/hate relationship with Armentrout- loved the first couple of Lux books, but everything else I've read from her I haven't cared for (especially her Covenant series). I think I'll add Don't Look Back to my tbr list, but it's going to go towards the bottom of the list :)

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    1. I do hope you at least try it, you never know!

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  3. While it was predictable and had familiar tropes I am glad you enjoyed this overall. I have several unread JLA books at the moment..LOL

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    1. Her work really is love or hate sometimes.

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  4. I really enjoyed JLA's Lux series and have a copy of White Hot Kiss I'm excited to check out. Don't Look Back sounds pretty good too. I can completely understand what you mean by being drawn to her books, even if the plot/characters seem predictable, something about the banter between her charcters gets me everytime.

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    1. Yes exactly!

      And don't worry about White Hot Kiss it was great! If you like her Lux series then you will like it.

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  5. I really like Jennifer Armentrout her writing style, but for some reason I haven't yet had the urge to read this one. I have heard some good things about it, but for some reason I don't think I'll read this one. I am glad to hear the romance had a slow build-up, I prefer those over insta-love!

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    1. I do too. Thanks for stopping by! :D

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  6. Hmmm. I was really hoping for something different from her with this one Ali, so I'm a little disappointed we get a lot of the same tropes. Still, like you said, her books never fail to entertain even if there are very similar characters and setups running through all of them, so I'm sure I'll still enjoy this one as I have all her others:) Lovely review!

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  7. haha I DO love the cover as much as you do. I know this may seem strange, but as long as I like the characters, predictable doesn't really bother me that much. I like that the romance is yummy and has a slow build up. This seems like one that I would enjoy/.

    Great review.

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. Thanks Michelle and I do know what you mean, a lot can be ignored for a cast of wonderful lovable characters. ;)

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  8. This is one of her books I have heard next to nothing about. I'm not sure that I would pick it up but I'm glad you enjoyed!

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    1. Yeah for some reason there is very little posted about this one.

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  9. I've only ever read one book by Armentrout, and I did not care for it. But that was years ago, and maybe it was just a one-off. I like that this is a stand-alone (I'm already reading too many series as it is!). Thanks for the review.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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    1. It is really nice to just read a stand alone once in awhile. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all the series out there!

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  10. My approval was never answered so I am kind of feeling relieved right now, If this isn't a wow book I will skip it. Thanks for the honest review.

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    1. Yeah I think some of the things in this one would have grated on your nerves Heidi.

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  11. I don't think I'll be reading this, but I have to agree: Armentrout has a way of making you ignore the oh-so-obvious flaws and just enjoying the ride. She is awesome that way, but still, there's only so much I can take. Her last three books disappointed me so I'll just skip this one for now.
    Great review, Ali!

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  12. I actually never read an Armentrout book. I think I'll probably start with another one though. Great review.

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    1. I would definitely start with one of her YA series first.

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  13. Man, there are a lot of amnesia/memory loss books out there making the rounds. I agree about the cover, but I'm not feeling the love - I'm not feeling an insta-spark with it. ;)

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    1. Yeah this one was a hard one, I wanted to really love it, I just couldn't.

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  14. I am a fellow cover whore (I LOVE that you call it that by the way)..The cover is very creepy to me..I have a little confession....I have always been afraid of those stupid little music boxes with the dancing ballerinas. They have always been creepy to me. I saw the cover and almost didn't read because they seriously creep me out. Silly I know...One of those fears I don't know where it came from, but it's there. It's fantastic. Great review. Maybe not a love for you, but it still sounds great. Thanks for sharing

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    1. That is so funny because they have always creeped me out as well Becca! I have never owned one and have never gotten my girls one either because of it.

      These and those creepy dolls with the big blinky eyes are just too much for me.

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  15. This sounds like an enjoyable read, and JLA knows how to create yummy male leads for sure. I hope to find time for this soon. Wonderful review!

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    1. She really does there is no doubt about that!

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  16. I like the cover, saw a bunch of mixed reviews for this one. Will keep an eye on it.

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    1. The cover is great, kind of creepy!

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  17. I am so excited for this book! Anything Jennifer Armentrout writes is usually amazing. It's a bummer the outcome's kind of predictable, but the male lead sounds great. Awesome review :)

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