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 read an article last year about a guy, who as a result of a car crash had amnesia. He had apparently had something of a personality overhaul and woke up a very different man. I found the idea fascinating and this is what JLA cover's in Don't Look Back. Teenager Sam has no recollection of her past, who she is or where she lives. The downside is that she was apparently not very nice before 'the incident' and cannot fathom having possibly surrounded herself with such nasty people. I actually found this idea kinda freeing, because without her memories Sam can fix wrongs and start again. She's fierce, strong and outspoken - I really liked her!
Don't Look Back is a YA mystery thriller with the intrigue revolving around how Sam lost her memories and what happened to her missing frenemy Cassie. The mystery element worked really well within the story because the reader gets to uncover the truth as Sam does (a lot of it isn't pleasant).
I haven't found a JLA hero that I haven't liked yet, but I really liked Carson. Carson is slightly sceptical about the 'new' Sam, but he's really supportive and patient with her (even when she didn't deserve it). At times Sam and Carson's friendship reminded me of Beau and Ashton's in Abbi Glines' The Vincent Boys, in that they were best friends, then they didn't get on at all. But don't worry Don't Look Back is a very different story to The Vincent Boys and I loved Carson.
I guessed some of the plot and had Cassie pegged fairly early on, but it took a long while to form any suspicions towards the main mystery. The secondary characters including Sam's twin Scott and his girlfriend Julie were great. I wasn't entirely sold on Del because I didn't like the lengths he went to in manipulating people.
I find it hard to get my head around teenagers thinking sex is the way to save a relationship, or when kids have a lack of supervision. BUT Sam and Scott's family situation is part of the mystery. Also Jennifer does a great job in portraying the nasty, spoilt rich kids as immature and she shows such attitudes to be wrong. Sam realises you should never have to force yourself to do something and should only ever do anything for the right reasons!
Can we have another story focused on Scott this time? Pretty please?!
- I couldn't believe the authorities were just letting me leave with them. What if they weren't my parents? What if they were psychos kidnapping me?
- Carson on a motorcycle? Seriously, what could be hotter than that?
- Our bodies were pressed together in all the wrong places. Or the right places, depending on how I wanted to look at it.
Author Spotlight (taken from previous tours):
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.