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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 aren'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, a…

Don’t Look Back

by Jennifer Armentrout

Overall Book Review:

I have seen a lot of reviews about this particular book, and for some reason I didn’t pay attention to them at all. This is a lesson to me to pay attention because I almost missed out on what was, to me, a five star book. Ooooh, what a rarity! But really, few books meet the rating of five stars so you know that this book was good.

What exactly made this book so outstanding?–Well, multiple things. One was the way this book began. The first chapter was intense and gripping, which is often a must for me. Then there was the fact that the main character was somewhat of a mean girl in her school and to her friends–which is something I like reading about, for no apparent reason. I really liked the many parts in this book where it was apparent that Samantha, the main character, is changing for the better. All of her friends and family know her as a girl who thinks she is better than everyone else, a girl who thinks she deserves all the world can give her and more. However, since she and her best friend went missing, and Samantha showed up–alone–she has been different. Nicer. As if she has a heart, where once she had a steel cage. Those around her have no idea what to do with this “new” Samantha, and I just thought it lent this book an interesting twist.

This book is a technically a teen book, but I would use judgment in who you recommend it to. Some of the content is violent and intense.  (I wouldn’t recommend a 13-year-old reading it, even if they say “but I’m a teen!”. They’d be better off to wait until they can handle what this story has to offer.) For those older teens, and even adults though? Go right ahead and enjoy this wonderfully creepy book.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  4 religious exclamations; 16 mild obscenities; 10 derogatory names; 9 scatological words; 4 anatomical terms; 1 offensive hand gesture; 1 F-Word derivative.

Violence/Gore:  A missing character shows up with blood on hands; two characters go missing; a character is mentioned to be injured and bleeding; a character is mentioned to be dead from drowning; a boy hits a peer out of anger; a character shoots another to defend self; a character is mentioned to have pushed a character, causing to fall a far distance and die; a car crash is mentioned to occur due; several creepy scenes are described involving a character seeing a character who is missing and presumed dead; a character has flashbacks about a scene that occurred in which she is being chased and blood is involved/described.

Sex/Nudity:  Minors kiss; minors are mentioned to be sexually active; a girl is referred to as hot; minors have sex in two brief scenes, very little description is given; minors are mentioned to start to undress each other before sex; a boyfriend is mentioned to cheat on his girlfriend; sexually explicit texts are mentioned to have been sent to multiple people; teens are said to “hookup”.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, missing persons, personal crises.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Minors drink; adults drink; minors are mentioned to be drunk; accident a result of drunk driving.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.