Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release date: 15th April 2014
Synopsis. (Goodreads) 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?
Review: 5 out of 5 stars
As a huge JLA fan, I was curious about Don’t Look Back but I didn’t race out to buy it the first moment it was released because of this part in the synopsis ‘The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level” – it’s not the type of story-line or character I like to read about and to me a mean girl never truly redeems herself but JLA definitely surprised me and wrote a character I really came to admire for her tenacity and her kindness and a thrilling mystery that had me glued to the pages.
Samantha woke up bruised, battered and with amnesia; she has no recollection of anything prior to the night she went missing with her best friend Cassie; her family and boyfriend are strangers and the life she once had forgotten; but her personality prior is probably best left there, she played the role of mean girl to perfection and soon came to realise the life she was living was all a façade in order to keep up appearances.
The plot was filled with mystery and suspense, I found the pacing to be even and the ‘whodunnit’ storyline to be exciting and intriguing; I had a few suspects in mind but I was completely wrong, JLA shocked me with the culprit which I appreciated, the element of surprise is something I always enjoy.
The romance was written well, Samantha was dating all round popular guy and big time jerk Del but with no memory of their long-term relationship her feelings are conflicted, especially when she starts to see her childhood friend in a whole new light; I am a sucker for a smexy, supportive guy and Carson Ortiz to me was an absolute sweetheart! I adored the way he protected Samantha despite the way she had previously treated him, the friendship they shared as children was really sweet and I was saddened by the way her mother treated him because he was the hired helps son; it was ridiculous!
Samantha pre amnesia is not a character I would have liked at all, shallow, mean, cruel but the Samantha we now know was great! Gone was the girl who was obsessed with image and popularity; in her place was a really sweet, kind-hearted girl. I am glad for the change because the old Sam definitely would have made it to my dislike list.
JLA is one of my favourite authors, her characters continue to amaze me; her storylines keep me engaged and her writing is absorbing and keeps me interested whether it be from her witty banter or descriptive imagery, it is all done extremely well.
Another favourite to add to my JLA list.
About the author: # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen. Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.