Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Forget You - Jennifer Echols

WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER? There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Warning: There are spoilers in this one.

Let me just say right away that I've already read this book twice in two months. That should speak for itself on how much I really really loved it. This author is incredibly talented, but in two areas especially: 1. She's awesome at characterization and really getting her reader thoroughly invested in each character's story and personal desires; 2. her pacing is great. The book reads quickly, but you don't feel rushed at all. Everything seems to happen at exactly the right moment that it should happen. There is a slow but steady progression of the relationship between Zoey and Doug that had me biting my nails but cheering things on also.

Zoey's character is very genuine. Her personality is exactly what I picture for a teenage girl with her particular circumstances but there's nothing fake or prissy about this girl. She's strong, while still making her fair share of mistakes. Far from detracting from her likeability, though, I liked her more because even when she made a mistake, she was able to think her way through it and come to the right conclusions eventually.

Doug is probably one of my favorite male characters I've read in a while. He has flaws, but when he's good, he's really good. In a bad boy kinda way. :-) He's the kind of guy that, in high school, made your toes curl when he looked at you. Who wouldn't love to read a character like that? Deeper than that though is Doug's ability to care and love.

These two characters share some of the steamiest scenes I've read in a teen book in a long time, but they were completely appropriate, very realistic, and were there to progress the story further. They accomplished that. Great sexual tension between these two.

If there was one thing I might have changed about the story, it would have been to have Zoey figure out the Brandon thing a little sooner. She's too smart for it to have taken so long. Otherwise, the author handled the mystery very well. She dropped hints throughout the story, but didn't lead the reader around by the nose. Zoey's discoveries of the puzzle pieces gave the reader just enough at just the right times.

This is definitely a must read. I loved it, loved it, loved it!

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