Second Look: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

13418925Title:  Don’t Look Back
Author:  Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Contemporary; Mystery; Thriller
Age: 15+ (Mild, mild sex)

Synopsis:  After being missing for two days, Samantha Franco shows up with no memory of who she is outside a national park in Pennsylvania.  Diagnosed with retrograde amnesia, she has no idea what happened to her or her best friend, Cassie.

Sam tries to piece her life back together, but realizes she doesn’t like the person she used to be (from what everyone tells her).  Given a second chance, she finds friendship in Carson, the son of her family’s estate caretaker and pulls away from her Mean Girl friends.  When she’s suspected of murdering her BFF Cassie, she fights to remember what happened on the cliff.

Thoughts:  I loved it.  It took me a little bit to stay focused (not because of the story and/or writing, but because I’m so engrossed in work/writing that I have a hard time staying focused on ANYTHING…end tangent), but once the story got started, I had a hard time putting it down.  I just had to know what happened and who was leaving Sam these creepy notes about not wanting to know the truth about what happened.

Armentrout weaves mystery and suspense easily into this novel.  Not only does Sam want to know what happened to her best friend, but she wants to find out if she really is responsible.  With a rekindled friendship with her twin brother and childhood best friend Carson, she forsakes her Mean Girl, School Royalty friends and mega hot boyfriend.

Recommended if you like(d) Sara Shepard’s PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, this book is definitely for you.  It has all the action and suspense, but a little bit better written with a more likable protagonist.  (And it won’t go on for 16 books…)

As you all know, I’m a huge, huge, HUGE fan of Armentrout’s Lux series and Wait for You/Stay With Me books, so I was a little curious about her dive into a new genre.  I was definitely NOT disappointed.  This comes out in April.  Go, buy it.  Love it.

Rating… 9/10 stars.

Releases: April 10, 2014

Shameless plug: If you’re in EPA during April, you should check out YA Fest.  Ms. Armentrout will be there and signing this book!!

SECOND LOOK: Jennifer L. Armentrout’s ONYX (Lux #2)

Jennifer L. Armentrout is the sweetest person in the world.  I was lucky enough to meet her at YA FEST 2012 this past weekend and she gave me her last copy of ONYX.  I read it in, like, 10 hours.  I couldn’t put it down.  But I wanted to wait until the official release came out today to read the POV scene from Daemon before posting my review.

Title: ONYX
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux, #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Aliens
Age: 15+ for violence, sexuality

Synopsis
Picking up where OBSIDIAN left off, the story continues pretty much uninterrupted.  Daemon tries to convince Katy that they should be together.  She thinks it’s because of the link that they now share.

Early in the book, Katy gets REALLY sick.  It turns out she’s suffering from ‘alien flu’ (her words).  After a brief hospital stay, she feels better than ever.  However, it doesn’t take long to realize that she’s developed powers – very similar to Daemon’s.

Enter a new boy, Blake.  Katy goes out with Blake to make Daemon jealous (hint: it works), but he also reveals that he can help her control her newfound powers.  Much to Daemon’s chargrin (and protests), Katy starts practicing with Blake after school.

The Big Bad in this book isn’t the Arum (though they make a few appearances), but rather it’s the DOD (Department of Defense).  There are a few interesting revelations, too, near the end of the book.

According to another review, you should read the novella SHADOWS before reading ONYX for background on Dawson and Bethany.  I didn’t, but ONYX still made sense.  However, it’s getting added to my READ SOON!!1 list.

Thoughts
It’s really hard to write a review for a book I love.  I think my love turns normal words into “a;dhadha;dha;dha;dhaehq’d” and then no one can understand my glee.  So, there’s that.

In all seriousness, as a sequel, ONYX is just as good as OBSIDIAN.  Katy is still as kickass as ever.  Possibly even more because of the effects of alien flu.  Daemon’s still very snarky, but we see a softer side to him, which rounds out his character.  And while there’s the “obligatory” love triangle, Armentrout takes a new stance with it.  While Katy seems interested in Blake, she never really takes it far.  It’s always Daemon she wants and she doesn’t go back and forth about that.  Needless to say, Blake never stood a chance – I mean, really?

One of my favorite things about the book, hands down, is how strong Katy is.  She’s a role model for tough girls and I like that.  She doesn’t put up with Daemon’s BS, even if she’s gooey-eyed for him.

I really can’t say enough good things about this series.  It’s got a little bit of everything.  Not only is it awesome and sexy, it’s got a kickass female heroine.  What’s not to love about that?

I can’t wait for the release of OPAL (Lux #3)…whenever THAT is. :(

Bonus Items
There’s only 1 POV scene for Daemon, which is a little sad.  But it’s a great scene, so if I had to only have one – I’m glad we got the end scene.

Rating… 12/10 (That’s right, a 12!  And I stole the rating from Katy’s Krazy Obsession in this book.  This book is a “forget your homework, don’t feed your kids, and quit your job one-sit read.”