Reviews for Don't look back

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

This engrossing thriller packs a heady atmospheric punch with plenty of theatrical scares, but it's a bit too transparent to fully succeed as a mystery. Samantha is recovering from a complex concussion that not only obliterated her memory, but also wiped clean her personality. Despite this, disturbing, bloody images visit her after she is found alone and bruised in the wilderness, days after she and her best friend, Cassie, went missing. And she is sobered by what she learns about her past self. Teen readers will appreciate Samantha's earnest attempts to redeem herself in the eyes of her brother and childhood friends, even as she is horrified to learn that she's alienated them for years with her petty, cruel behavior. Particularly complicated is her relationship with Carson Ortiz, the son of the groundskeeper on her extremely wealthy parents' estate. The two are obviously attracted to each other, but Samantha's wicked snobbery has been keeping them apart. Romance fans will love their playful banter, though it's too bad ethnically stereotypical references to Carson as a "Latin-lover" and his "exotic" good looks linger into this 21st-century text. Samantha's disjointed hallucinations of an eerily disheveled Cassie and of a hazy sinister figure are genuinely creepy, but for those who guess the culprit early on due to some unsubtle clues, it's likely the carefully tension-filled pacing won't work. An engaging, if flawed, mixture of mean girls, steamy romance and psychological terror. (Thriller. 14-18)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Samantha is discovered wandering through the woods, amnesiac and covered in blood. When the body of her best friend Cassie is discovered, Samantha starts to worry she has gone insane. With the help of hot Carson, she begins to piece together who she was before--and who Cassie's killer may be. Strong suspense and some genuinely creepy moments distinguish this psychological mystery. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Amnesia complicates an otherwise standard murder mystery in Armentrout's psychological thriller about a missing girl's return and her efforts to recover her lost memories. Samantha's memory loss is so total that not only can't she remember what happened the night she and best friend Cassie vanished, or how she turned up alone in the state forest, but she can't recognize anything from her former life. Her wealthy family, hot boyfriend, and popular friends are strangers, none of whom she is sure she can trust, especially after she learns what the old Samantha was like: a quintessential mean girl who used her money and influence to bully others. Redemption isn't easy, and once Cassie's body is found, Samantha is left wondering if her old self was capable of murder. Sinister flashes of memory and other threatening notes help set an ominous tone, though the finale is a bit anticlimactic. Some new, supportive friendships and a steamy romance with Carson, the groundskeeper's son, also provide a balance to the suspense. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The best-selling author of several series with big fan bases, Armentrout's latest should benefit from author events, advertising, and, most likely, plenty of fan-to-fan buzz.--Hutley, Krista Copyright 2010 Booklist