Mundie Moms

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L Armentrout, Book Review

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by: Disney Hyperion
To Be Released on: April 15th, 2014

Source: arc from publisher to review
Rating: 4.5 Stars - I Really Enjoyed It!
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to 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?

A thrilling, on the edge of your seat thriller with the perfect blend of Armentrout swoon worthy character chemistry. 

I've come to realize there's nothing that Jennifer Armentrout can't write. This book is definitely one that's an exciting thrill ride of a read, as much as it is a great murder mystery. The cover alone has that creepy, yet intriguing look to it. I had to know what the heck this story was all about. Everything surrounding Samantha's accident and disappearance is a mystery. What happened to her? Where's her best friend/frenemy? To make matters worse, Samantha (Sam) doesn't remember a thing. At first, she doesn't even know who she is. Normally I'd be rolling my eyes with the amnesia part of this story, because too often in the books I've read where this was part of the story, it wasn't well executed. Luckily that's far from the case with Don't Look Back. It's extremely well done, and plays a huge part in not only the book's plot twist, the over all mystery of the story, as well as with Samantha's character development. 

 Samantha is a character I was really intrigued with. She's not someone I connected with as much as I had wanted to, but instead she was a character I really enjoyed reading about. She has no recollection of anything. Not who she is, who she was before the accident, or who anyone in her family is. She's thrust into a world where she's at the top of the social ladder, lives in the upper class of society, and as it would seem, has it all. The more Samantha tries to remember and figure out just who she really is, the more her brother, and her friends tell her, and the more she digs around in trying to remember things, the more she realizes just how horrible of a person she was. I think she would give Mean Girls a run for their money. The thing about Sam, and I loved how Armentrout showed this other side of her during her dealing with amnesia, is that she is a great girl. She's got a huge heart, and for some reason she acted differently and was incredibly mean to everyone. Though that same sweet girl was still there, buried deep inside, with out her memories, she's able to be that girl again. Thankfully Samantha's amnesia has given her a second chance.

I totally admire Samantha. Not only has something tragic happened to her, she jumps back into a life she doesn't remember, she lives with people whom obviously love her and she them, yet she doesn't remember them, and on top of it all, she realizes she was not the kind of girl she now has the chance to be. Samantha's amnesia allows her to be just her. The girl she's kept locked up inside. While I admired her, enjoyed seeing her change, and sat gripped on the edge of my chair while she slowly tried piecing events together to figure out what happened to her, and figure out where Cassie is at, I seriously wanted to slap her when it came to her when it came to Del. For as smart of a girl Samantha is, it was a no brainer that he wasn't being honest with her. Given that she came to trust her brother, and his best friend Carson, they were even telling her about him, she totally went along with Del. That part of the book peeved me with her. This guy was nothing but a, well I can't say what I think he was. It's not appropriate it for my blog. But, I absolutely loved the relationship Samantha re-develops with her twin brother, and with Carson.

Oh my Carson! Jennifer L Armentrout fans know she has a talent for writing amazing swoon worthy character chemistry, and these hot boys who sweep readers off their feet. Carson is in a league all by himself. He's all that and more. He's that ever patient best friend who knows her so well, is forgiving of her (though thankfully not right off the bat), helps her cope with all she's dealing with, and loves her. Carson and Samantha have a history together. They were best friends all growing up, and then Samantha's inner mean girl came out, and she treated him so horribly which caused them to drift apart. Luckily that didn't change the fact that deep down they both still felt for each other, though it was masked by her being a you know what to him, and he not dealing with her like that. Seeing them work through that, though she still doesn't remember any if, was great. It reconnected them, and allowed me to see that friendship, trust, and relationship grow. Now, throw in the other side to everything going on, and Carson becomes her protector as well. 

Talk about a twisted murder mystery with a shocking betrayal. Jennifer knows how to keep this story rolling. Not once was I able to completely figure out who was behind it all. From the bits and pieces that Samantha started remembering, to her trying to remember more of the events by going to certain places, the weird notes, and someone following her, this story had plenty of thrilling moments. Armentrout did a great job at introducing a variety of characters who could all be seen as the suspect. In uncovering the truth, readers slowly see the bigger picture of everything, and just how far back the troubles go. What an awesome pacing to the story. Nothing is rushed, and everything is unraveled layer by layer, making it easy for me to come up with various theories of what happened, and who could have done it. This is unlike any of Armentrout's previous books, and it's fabulous! Jennifer Armentrout fans will enjoy this one! 

The Course of True Love (And First Dates) by Cassandra Clare is OUT TODAY!

Happy Book Birthday to the last installment of The Bane Chronicles! Today, Cassie posted about The Bane Chronicles and shared THIS:

Here's what she said:

Cassie, will there be a whole new cover for The Bane Chronicles’ print edition? — addictedtothese
Here it is! Magnus’ pretty face, revealed in honor of the release of the last of the Bane Chronicles, The Course of True Love (And First Dates)  which details Magnus’ first date with Alec, and how it went horribly wrong and then oh so right. :)
The print edition will release in November, and has a special bonus mini-story in it as a reward for those who had to wait for print. :) It also contains interstitial comics drawn by Cassandra Jean!
Maureen and Sarah and I had a blast working on the Bane Chronicles. It was a fun, fantastic experience filled with terrible green jokes about Ragnor, sexy audiobook readers, and of course, lots of time spent with Magnus, which is always a good thing. Thanks so much to everyone for your support of TBC!

I can't wait to sit down and read today's release and get my hands on the published book in November.

The Maze Runner Movie Trailer

It's finally here! Check out THE MAZE RUNNER's movie trailer! 

What do you guys think? I can tell you guys from the unedited clip they showed us at Comic Con during the Nerd HQ event for The Maze Runner, that it's going to be an awesome movie. Just that clip alone was seriously amazing. I can not wait to see this movie!