Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
“I was stuck in a life I didn't remember, squeezed into the shell of this girl - this Samantha Joe Franco - and the more I learned about her, the more I was starting to hate her.”
Don't Look Back is a thrilling, mysterious and somewhat romantic novel that I was not expecting to enjoy as much as I did. For this Halloween month I decided to read as many spooky or mystery books as I can and get on with the spook vibes October brings. The first book I decided to grab was this thriller that I received from a friend on my birthday. She had loved it and I was excited enough to read it. The first half of the book, however, was nothing like I expected.
The characters, I believe, were my favorite part of this psychotic story. Samantha Joe Franco is our main character, after being found bleeding and lost in her town with no recollection of what happened to her and her best friend Cassie, all she can do is try to piece back her life together. Coming to terms with the fact that she wasn't a nice person, her family was a mess and both her relationship with the boyfriend she doesn't remember and the friends she really doesn't enjoy all take a toll on her and her mental health. The whole drama in regards to her literally loosing her mind, thinking she's guilty of a horrendous crime, all with the addition that she might be falling in love with the guy she used to hate when she had memory.
Samantha's personality is strong and witty and I definitely loved this about her. The characters around her are also really entertaining to watch as they enfold into Armentrout's story. Carson Ortiz's personality also made this book so worthwhile to read.
However, even though I really thoroughly enjoyed the book there were some aspects of the book that blindsided me in a bad way:
1. The character development in the second half of the book as soon as Samantha breaks up with her boyfriend and starts hanging out with Carson makes the story go from a psychological thriller to a complete romance. Prom and dresses and romance takes a huge part of the second part of the story and that chemistry between Carson and Cassie that I saw in the beginning kinda got lost on the second half which I really dread because I loved it.
2. The ending was a little abrupt to me and the whole revisiting who the killer was at the end felt a little rushed. I was expecting the whole mystery to end and that it would wrap well, however that was not what ended up happening. Maybe if some of the sappy scenes were replaced with broody mysterious scenes the ending would have been a little more world spinning.
The story however is extremely well written, the plot is fantastic, and the author makes the characters come alive. I really recommend this spooky (ROMANCE) book.
--- 3.5 stars ---