Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back

4.8 40
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
     
 

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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

Overview

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?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 7–10—From the very first page, readers are thrust into the mind of confused amnesiac Samantha, who finds herself at the center of the mysterious disappearance of her best friend, Cassie. The protagonist was the last person known to see Cassie alive; the problem is that the teen remembers nothing of their last night together and, for that matter, nothing of her life at all. With the help of her brother and the compelling and handsome Carson Ortiz, Samantha figures out that the old Sam, the one she can't remember, might be one that's worth forgetting. Popular, powerful, and mean, she and her best frenemy Cassie had ruled the school and put down anyone in their path. In the search for someone who would have wanted to cause the two of them harm, she realizes that the list could be a long one. Someone clearly knows things no one else could about that night and leaves threatening notes telling the narrator to stop searching for the truth. Readers are led to wonder if Samantha's gnawing suspicion that she might be the culprit herself is right or perhaps if her developing romance with Carson is really a romance with Cassie's killer. The action-filled plot and the shocking revelation of the murderer's true identity will leave fans of suspense and mystery thoroughly satisfied.—Joanna Sondheim, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
From the Publisher
Armentrout (the Covenant series) immerses readers in the wildly altered world of 17-year-old Samantha who, upon awakening in a hospital with dehydration, a concussion, and extreme shock, remembers nothing about her life. She is told that she was found in the state forest after being missing for four days and that her best friend Cassie is still missing. Quickly learning that she was both popular and despised at school, Samantha is sickened by her so-called friends and boyfriend, as well as disturbed by the tension between her parents; she attempts to make amends with those she has betrayed and develops a crush on someone she never gave the time of day to before. When Samantha begins to receive notes that urge her to distance herself from her past, she's determined to do the opposite and find out what happened to Cassie while unlocking her memories. Armentrout's taut mystery, chilling images, and smooth writing deliver ample suspense, however, the real impact of the story lies in witnessing an individual's rare chance to rediscover and reshape her identity. Ages 14 up.

Publishers Weekly

Gr 7-10 From the very first page, readers are thrust into the mind of confused amnesiac Samantha, who finds herself at the center of the mysterious disappearance of her best friend, Cassie. The protagonist was the last person known to see Cassie alive; the problem is that the teen remembers nothing of their last night together and, for that matter, nothing of her life at all. With the help of her brother and the compelling and handsome Carson Ortiz, Samantha figures out that the old Sam, the one she can't remember, might be one that's worth forgetting. Popular, powerful, and mean, she and her best frenemy Cassie had ruled the school and put down anyone in their path. In the search for someone who would have wanted to cause the two of them harm, she realizes that the list could be a long one. Someone clearly knows things no one else could about that night and leaves threatening notes telling the narrator to stop searching for the truth. Readers are led to wonder if Samantha's gnawing suspicion that she might be the culprit herself is right or perhaps if her developing romance with Carson is really a romance with Cassie's killer. The action-filled plot and the shocking revelation of the murderer's true identity will leave fans of suspense and mystery thoroughly satisfied. Joanna Sondheim, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City

School Library Journal

Samantha has been missing for days. When she reappears, her entire life seems new, leaving her with many more questions than answers. Her parents, friends, and boyfriend all expect the old Sammy, but the new Sammy is nowhere near the same person. Sammy learns the horrible truth about herself: she used to use her popularity and wealth to control and manipulate everyone. To make matters worse, Cassie, Sammy's best friend, went missing the same day as Sammy, and she is still missing. Most will not admit it, but Sammy feels their stares and is able to read between the lines: they blame her for Cassie's disappearance. Armentrout leaves the reader with many questions: Will Sammy ever recover her memories? Who is to blame for Cassie's disappearance? Did Sammy hurt her friend?

The first-person narrative gives a glimpse into the intense frustration that goes along with memory loss. Sammy shares each of her personal struggles with the reader. After every question and with each clue she finds, the reader partners with Sammy to piece together her discombobulated life. Anyone who picks up this book will develop a close relationship with Sammy, leaving the reader fully invested in the character and the mystery. Sprinkled throughout the story, profanity and flirtation make the dialogue and relationships more realistic. Armentrout tastefully develops love scenes, which may cause the reader to fail to realize the extent of what just occurred. With an unexpected and a little over-the-top resolution, Don't Look Back will keep the reader guessing until the very last page.-Richard Vigdor.

VOYA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423187738
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Sold by:
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE -EBKS
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
15,188
File size:
678 KB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout 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.

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Don't Look Back 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Tween_2_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Is there anything Jennifer L Armentrout can't right? Heck no. Don't Look Back was AMAZING! Though I don't read a lot of it, I love the YA thriller genre. Also, Jennifer is a book-making machine! She has something like fifteen books coming out this year, two of which I've already read! Don't Look Back was a creepy, fun ride that I couldn't put down! The main character is Samantha, Sam for short. She reappears four days after she went missing with no memory, she doesn't even know her own name, but without the girl she disappeared with, her supposed 'best friend' Cassie. Sam learns that before she went missing, she took mean girl to the extreme. Sam realizes that the life she was living before is not one for her, and that she honestly doesn't like who she was before. Sam is a likable character that I wish I could read more of, but I believe this is a standalone. I loved Sam's twin brother Scott. He was simply adorable. It was really interesting seeing Sam reunite with some friends and see the truth about others. While I had some suspicions about how it would go down, I was not prepared for the full extent. I had a few guesses about characters that were involved in some way, but whoa! I definitely did NOT see that end coming! Thank Jennifer for an amazing, surprising ending! The writing was very well done. I feel that it could have used a bit more world-building, especially with her brother Scott and friend Julie, but can be forgiving due to the fact that Sam doesn't have her memory to help out the readers. If you haven't already, run out to the store and get this book immediately! It was SO good! Also, I want to note that this is Jennifer's first book in hardback, at least in YA. I give Don't Look Back a fat five stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had me constantly guessing and caught me by surprise at the end. I read the whole thing in a matter of hours, great read!
Paige1819 More than 1 year ago
OMG All I can say is this book was Amazing!! Make sure you have a lot of free time before you start reading this book cause you're not going to be able to stop once you start!!!
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
Samantha doesn't remember anything about the 4 days she and her best friend were missing. In fact she doesn't remember anything at all!! She doesn't know her name nor where she lives. She is told that Cassie is still missing but no matter how hard she tries to remember, she cant. Strangers turn up at the hospital saying they are her parents but she doesn't recognise them. What happened to her and why?  One good thing for Sam though is that as she learns what she was like before, she doesn't like what she hears and now has a chance to change. She was a total b**ch before and cant believe how bad she was. She has a second chance at life and tries to grab it but with Cassie missing she cant seem to let it go. As flashes come to her she starts finding notes left for her warning her "Dont look back. You wont like what you find" Who is leaving the notes and is she in danger if her memories are coming back? This is my first Jennifer L Armentrout book and it definitely wont be my last!! Her style of writing just about blew me away. She packed so much into the book without it being too much.  Samantha was your typical mean little rich girl before the accident. She was spoiled, nasty to everyone and an overall horrible person. When she is found with no memories I loved seeing her real character emerge. She cringed everytime she was told what she was like before and to her, her so called friends are worse. She cant figure out why she was such good friends with Cassie because it seems like both of them were always fighting. I loved the idea that she could start over and this time do it right. I also loved her struggle trying to remember. We are left trying to figure out if Sam is sane or not and if what she is seeing really happened.  My favourite character was Carson. With all her other friends acting weird, and her so called boyfriend acting weirder Sam doesn't have anyone to rely on. That is until Carson. They were best friends growing up but once Sam met Cassie all that changed. He went from being her best friend to being the son of the hired help. She gave him such a hard time as the Sam of before!! He was weary at first that Sam was putting the act on but as he realises that she actually cant remember he is there for her fully. He was so sweet and kind and he captured a piece of my heart!!  I loved everything about this book! From the very first page I was completely hooked. While I had some things figured out the author still managed to throw a few curve balls that would leave you speechless. This was an absolute rollercoaster and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens! The mystery and suspense was breathtaking and the whole way through you never know whats going to happen. I thought at times I had the bad guy figured out, I had the main suspect right, but with the way the author told the story I was constantly second guessing myself.  With amazing characters and an intriguing plot, Dont Look Back was a fantastic, action packed, edge of your seat, breathtaking mystery and Id highly recommend. You will not be sorry!! I think this is one of my favourite reads this year and I will definitely check out more from Jennifer L Armentrout. 
ABookVacation More than 1 year ago
Armentrout is quickly proving to be one of my “go-to” authors—everything I’ve read of hers over the past two months has been riveting, and I’ve really enjoyed them all, Don’t Look Back included. I loved the suspense of this novel. Though Amnesia stories seems to be cropping up more and more in the YA genre, I found Don’t Look Back to be different enough that it really sparked my interest… plus, Armentrout is just an all around great writer. I could feel Sam’s fear, disdain, and confusion as I read, and the fact that I was able to connect with her made it all the more fun. The characterization was amazing, and I loved watching Sam struggle to fit in, but ultimately deciding against it—choosing to make waves and change for the better instead. I also really liked the mystery involved in the disappearance of Cassie, especially because Armentrout opens up many doors in terms of what might have happened and whether a murder even occurred at all… and I really enjoyed the suspense of it all. I never suspected the ending, though I thought I had it pegged at least three times. Truth be told, I never saw the revelation coming until it was upon me, and by that point I was overwhelmed with tension! You think you know a person… If you’re a fan of suspense novels, if you’ve enjoyed any novels that deal with amnesia stories lately, then I think you’ll really love Don’t Look Back. It has just the right amount of creepy and it definitely keeps you guessing, especially in terms of whether or not Sam is truly insane.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read Don't Look Back because I love Jennifer Armentrout as an author, and pretty much anything YA and NA she writes goes automatically on my wishlist. (I can't speak for adult stuff, since I haven't for whatever reason tried them yet.) While the mystery feel isn't always my favorite as far as genre, I would be intrigued by the synopsis even if it wasn't JLA because the memory loss is always a topic that catches my eye, and especially more so that she wakes up and discovers the life that she lead she didn't much like. I wanted to put together the pieces of what made her change from the Sam she used to be into one that was a mean girl and seemed to contradict her natural sense of how to treat people. I got caught up in her story, like her trying to make her and her best friend's disappearance make sense, as well as the obvious different of the Sam that wakes up with no memory of the past and the one who was there before the accident. Her family is super surprised along with her friends and boyfriend at how differently she is looking at life, treating others, and it brings her and her brother Scott closer, as well as his friend Carson. We realize that they have a history together, and there is obvious chemistry and attraction between them. It is the only kind of semi cheating that I can deal with because I never got a good feeling with Del, and it is almost like two different Samanthas. I had my suspicions about what happened to Samantha and Cassie, some of them were affirmed by the pieces of memory and also visions that Sam keeps having and others seem to lead me away from my thoughts. But Jennifer always manages to throw in things that I didn't seem coming. Really, she had me suspecting everyone from Sam herself to the mailman (not really, but I think that I suspected everyone in the book at some point.) To have such a confused narrator, everything is thrown into question and with such a personality change, it also ostracized not only herself but the other characters. She keeps me so entertained from her snarky wit to her flawed but relatable characters, smoking hot guys that have a deeper level than just the looks and charm, and her fast paced stories. The romance was great and I liked the friendship aspect that they built as children and the complicating factor was the middle time where she was a mean girl. The ending took me by surprise but I appreciate that it showed that the truth came out, character growth in Sam, promise of hope in the future for healing, moving on, but still remembering a hurting girl who died too soon. Bottom Line: Great mystery from an unreliable narrator. Throw in some humor, hot romance and flashbacks you have this amazing book by Jennifer.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Armentrout has done it again. Proven she can tackle a completely different genre (contemporary mystery) and still manage to make it an addicting, mysterious, head scratch inducing, romantic, and favorite read. I devoured Don’t Look Back in a day because I read it everywhere. I couldn’t guess the mystery and I thought the main protagonist has a really good voice.  So Samantha finds herself walking in the middle of the road, the cops stop her, identify her and she finds out she has been missing for some time.. and not just her, but also her best friend. Samantha doesn’t remember a single thing a couple of weeks before her missing period as well as her missing period. We know nothing, and I just found the way the mystery was introduced to be so addicting. So her best friend is missing and everyone has hope once again that they might find her. However, Samantha discovers some weird things about her old self, for one she’s the meanest of the mean girls, treats her family like crap, and parties hard, the clichéd rich kid wrecking their car because she was drinking, and right down to having fake best friends. So yea, if you’re not intrigued now, maybe the next part will make you want to pick it up?  Enter Carson Ortiz, Samantha’s brother’s friend and the help’s son. Of course she used to treat him like crap, including her parents. As soon as Samantha sees him, she gets that feeling when you see a guy and you immediately crush on him? He is of course wary of her because of how she treated him. Still, Samantha starts to become super aware of Carson even with her constant reminding that she already has a boyfriend that she’s been with for several years. I just thought the romance was deliciously done and I really really love Carson. He is filed under “Guys that allow me to have hope for our male species”. He was a friend she really needed and was very honest and truthful and was always there for her even when no one else believed her. Their relationship was one I was rooting for from the start. Also, I liked Samantha’s brother and how protective he was of his sister. I feel there are a ton of secondary characters worth mentioning but it’ll end up being too long of a review. This proves how talented JLA is because I read this book over a month ago but I still remember everything.  The mystery aspect of the novel was also magnificently written. I honestly couldn’t guess who the perpetrator was at all. It came as such a big shock when it was revealed. I had a lot of theories and I am usually good at predicting them but for this one I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. I really really recommend this novel so hard for contemporary mystery fans.. even just contemporary fans or just YA fans in general. I was blown away by Don’t Look Back and I am really excited to read any new book she writes in this genre.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very surprised with Jennifer Armentrout coming out with a young adult suspense book! I will always read her stuff, but this one was interesting in the best possible way! It had the suspense and the romance and the incredible twist at the end! The only thing that sort of bugged me was how long it took for Sam to recover her memories. That caused the book to have a slight drag in it. Overall, I was very engrossed in the book and would definitely recommend it to any of her fans!
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
After reading Frigid, another thriller of Armentrout's I added this to my TBR way before I even read the synopsis. I loved it and I just knew I would love this one as well. And of course, I did. One can never go wrong with her writing. It can cure any book slump and will make you swoon, make you laugh, and in this particular one will send your heart racing.<br /> Starting with the mystery, this one was a doozie. I can normally come up with my theories about halfway through, but this one took me until about 75% through. And by then I had about 3 going on. I never did come up with one exact one, BUT, one of my many theories did end up being correct. But the story that went along with it? Yeah definitely was not expecting that. It was crazy and something I never would've expected. <br /> Then there were the characters. Let's just say Sammy is one strong MF. She went through A LOT and she was still there trying to make sure everything was solved. She could've waited until all her memories came back but she stuck it out until the end. Then of course there was Scott. I really loved him. Although &quot;before&quot; Sammy wasn't the easiest to get along with, from the very beginning he was always there for her. I know it wasn't easy because siblings are supposed to despise each other lol But he still made it work for her. Then of course there's Carson. He was so incredibly sweet and super forgiving. He knew the Sammy that had always been inside her and had the patience to help coax her back out. And one last question... Was &quot;Sammy&quot; and &quot;Winchester&quot; a shout out to Supernatural? lol <br /> The only thing I didn't like was the thriller part I guess. Frigid made my heart speed up and I was naturally scared. In this one. my heart didn't speed up until the very end and I was a little upset by that. I wasn't really scared when I read it and I really wanted to be. But in the end it did get my heart racing to stroke territory, but by then we were already about to find out who the killer was. I guess I just wanted to be more scared throughout the entire book. <br /> Although I wasn't as scared as I had wanted to be, it was still an enjoyable read. The characters and the NEED to find out who the killer really was had the book stuck to my hand!
kcody03 More than 1 year ago
There are no do overs in life, or is there. This book is full of the wit and charm that I have come to expect from Jennifer's books, but it also has a lot of mysterious elements added. The mystery and suspense really had me guessing throughout the book. There was also a great deal of growing up from the characters in this book. I really liked the premise of this book and the idea of a second chance at life and becoming a different person is very interesting.  Samantha was strong and interesting character. She is very human and makes human mistakes, but she is also willing to learn from them and try to turn her life around. I really admired this about her because lots of people want to be different, but it takes a strong person to really change. I also liked how she tried to be a better person even when she could have gone back to what some believed was her perfect life.  My second favorite character was definitely Carson. He was such a great guy. Not many people would have stayed around to help someone who treated them like garbage, but he did. He is so sweet, understanding, and all around adorable. In fact I can't believe she didn't fall in love with him even with her past personality. He is the kind of guy that everyone should have around and never lets you down. This story was one of the most fascinating ones I have read in a while. I really enjoyed seeing Sam grab hold of her fractured life and start to better herself even if  it was an uphill battle. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in a heart pounding thriller and a dash of romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Armentrout has out done herself yet again. While being different than herbother books, she certainly didn't have any problems capturing my attention and keep it on the book.
Anonymous 5 months ago
This is a very awsome book i love it
Anonymous 8 months ago
Loved this book couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Haven't been reading for awhile and I wanted to get back to it and I was so glad I came across this book! It's a must read, read it in two days!
terferj More than 1 year ago
This was amazing! I couldn't get enough. It sucked me in right in the beginning and kept me interested throughout the whole book. Trying to guess who and what happened was a big mystery for me. I did not see how things turned out beforehand. I was kinda shocked it went there at the end. There was so many twist and clues making me think it was certain people but it turned out not to be. Loved. I really loved Samantha. I totally felt for her. She went through something traumatic and had no relocation and had to piece what happened together. Awesome. I seriously don't think the author can write a boy that is not delicious. Lol. Where can I get me one like Carson? But really this was great and suspenseful. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I really don't think the author can write a book I dislike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
!!
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
The title is what called out to me in this book I saw the cover and hoped it would be good, but what got me was the synopsis inside the book with just a few sentences I was hooked and knew it would be a good. I was far from disappointed. This is a great young adult and teenage book to read there is not graphic or sex scenes just what is insinuated. The book starts off strong and keeps up the suspense and guessing until the very end. Samantha is missing and when she is found she has no memory of who she is or what has happened to her or her friend Cassie. What we learn is Samantha is not a good person truly she is rude, mean, hateful and has a clique of girls who are just like her. Some people believe her to have killed Cassie, but Samantha doesn't remember doing that even though she is getting feelings and memories back slowly she wonders if she maybe did do it but she doesn't know it just yet. As it was no secret her and Cassie were explosive together. We see Samantha come to terms on the new her being as she gets a second chance almost, she apologizes to those she hurt before and she sees herself in a new light now. She learns that the person she once was, was someone horrible and she can't believe it. Samantha is determined to find out what happened to Cassie even if she is a suspect but what will it cost her? It seems someone has a secret to hide and they will stop at nothing to keep it that way. What happened at the cliff will Samantha ever find out? The characters were either likable or despicable. You have the mean girls who you know you are not going to like then you have the mellow characters who are likable such as Carson, Scott and his girlfriend Julia. Samantha is the main character in this book and as you get to know her you end up liking her but can not believe she was one of the mean girls. I have to say I enjoy books like this that deal with the drama, murder or suspense happening within the story, along with the love that seems to always develop the guy who you know you are not suppose to be with but you just do it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stayed awake all night reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It will leave u on the edge of your seat every page you read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blake0 More than 1 year ago
In Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Samantha Franco is found walking down the road covered in blood. She has severe amenesia, though, and can't remember anything. The night she went missing, her best friend also went missing. Throughout the story Sam is slowly gaining back memory of what happened the night she went missing. Through the little bit of romance, Sam completely reinventing herself as a person and the thrilling mystery of what happened on &quot;the night&quot;, this book will keep you wanting more. This isn't the typical &quot;high school romance&quot; novel with nothing but mushy scenes, but instead is a thrill that always keeps you guessing. I'm not the type to enjoy predictable books, especially predictable endings. Don't Look Back was far from predictable. The ending twisted everything up, but left you aware of everything that happened. If you like high school set, suspenseful and unpredictable novels, then this is the book for you. Because of the extremely detailed imagery that makes you feel like you are a part of the story, I would highly recommend this book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was well written and such a page turner. It kept me reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
:)