Forget You by Jennifer Echols
publisher: MTV Books
release date:July 20th, 2010
edition: ARC, source: Traveling Arc Tours paperback, 256 pages
intended audience: Young adult
recommended: 16 and up.
Description from goodreads:
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. With her life 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.
Review: I had some very mixed feelings about this. It was definitely a fascinating story and held my interest all the way through...sometimes because I liked what I was reading, and sometimes to see if the characters would finally figure out the solutions to their dilemmas that seemed like they should have been obvious all along. Now that I've mulled it over for about a week, I realized I didn't hate it...I was just very frustrated with the way the characters handled themselves. Which doesn't make for a bad book, and in one way of looking at it, I guess it's good to get emotionally sucked into the character's world, even if that emotion is predominantly frustration and impatience!
Zooey is a pretty mixed up character to begin with. She has alot on her plate, with a mother becoming mentally unstable and a father who has run off with his 24-year-old pregnant girlfriend. When her mother tries to commit suicide, she is left to stay with her dad, who is more worried about her getting in the way of his shiny new life. Completely distraught, she goes to a party and ends up "hooking up" (a term I hate, by the way, but the one that was used in this situation) with her friend Brandon who she is fully aware that he sleeps with every female (or two) that he can. Up to this point, the situation was believable and understandable that she would do something rash to distract from her problems at home. Its what follows that I really had a hard time buying into. Basically after this night, Brandon tells everyone what happened between them and then completely blows her off, and so obviously turns his attentions to the next girl. After the accident, when Zoey is trying to put together the pieces of her memory that seems to be missing, she completely ignores the signs that he has no interest in being with her and clings to her relationship with him, repeating over and over throughout the whole book, "I'm with Brandon! I have to be good to Brandon!" It just took alot of suspension of reasoning to believe that this girl who is suppose to have a good head on her shoulders would behave with so little self-respect.
The love/hate relationship between Zoey and Doug was really quite fun to read! I loved his sense of humor when dealing with her. It got pretty steamy there a few times! However, a big part of their conflict took a little suspension of belief as well. Zoey doesn't remember anything about the night of the accident, and she is scared to tell anyone this because her father (who was incredibly cruel, I might add!) threatened to lock her away with her mother if she had amnesia. Again, understandable. So she goes about trying to find out what happened on the sly, while trying to make it appear to everyone that she remembers everything. But, with the things that she was asking and saying, it should have been obvious to Doug right away that she didn't remember the night at all. I kept getting so angry with Doug, thinking he was just being cruel by not telling her what happened right away. Then it was said that he really had no idea that she couldn't remember. I had a hard time believing that. A really hard time. I was also very frustrated with Zoey's friends. Shallow as they come. I mean, what kind of friends find out your whole life is falling down around you, and they actually get mad because you didn't tell them something that was never their business to begin with?
Still, even though I very literally and out loud said "well, duh!" when a major plot twist was revealed, it was a fun ride getting there that fled by in two days of reading. And like I said, there is nothing wrong with getting a little emotionally invested in a story! :) It's the beauty of books...not every books is suppose to speak volumes to you, go exactly the way you want it to, or make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Some stories are frustrating and I guess that's okay!