Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for Forget You (from Goodreads):
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.
I’ve been drawn to amnesia based stories since I read Rosebush by Michele Jaffe years ago. So when I first came across this book I was excited by the premise and quickly put it on my to-read list.
Have you ever read a book’s synopsis, then the book and felt a little mislead? I did a little with this book. To be honest, I kind of expected the story to start right as Zoey wakes up from the hospital but I did appreciate the first few chapters of background that we get. Forget You throws you right into the mess that is Zoey’s life: which is not the nicest place to be as the proverbial shit is starting to hit the fan. The chapters give you the little insights into Zoey’s life and introduces all the relevant characters.
Why I say I felt mislead is because of her relationship with Brandon–the synopsis gave me the impression that they had been dating for years and that they were the stereotypical perfect high school couple when that isn’t the case…at all. They have actually only been “dating” (and that is a very loose term for their relationship) for a week by the time the accident rolls around. So it isn’t some profound relationship like I expected it to be; which is honestly fine and I actually prefer that their relationship is like that to a certain extent (I don’t like typical story-lines after all). but it threw me off for a bit because I was expecting the generic perfect boyfriend/girlfriend couple and I was looking forward to the juicy gossip about why she was suddenly hanging around bad boy Doug that accompanied that.
I also had a hard time with the flow of the book. It seemed choppy to me. I think it had to do with Zoey’s statement of facts. Perhaps the tense she uses contributed. It just seemed very curt. Not how a seventeen year old would talk. Kinda like this paragraph. It wasn’t like it was horribly written but it took me a while to get used to the way the book was flowing. I often had to reread paragraphs to make sure I was fully understanding what was happening.
And that perpetual state of confusion followed me throughout the book because I could not get a handle on Zoey. She seemed so scattered in her thoughts and convictions. And to an extent I let that slide in Young Adult books, especially where the main character has been dealt a heavy hand–I mean part of the charm of YA is watching the characters grow from their experiences after all. However, Zoey just seemed odd to me and at first I thought maybe that was because of a psychological issue given the situation with her mom and I was kind of excited if that was going to be the big twist I had been expecting. But it wasn’t. Sometimes she came across as intelligent, other times she was just plain stupid and as a reader it was frustrating because she is the only narrator you get.
I think the worst part of this book for me–being the logical person that I am–was that the entire situation could have been explained if Zoey just owned up to the fact that she didn’t remember the night of the accident. No one would think any less of you if just admitted that after a major accident you didn’t remember what happened the few hours before. It’s called a symptom of a major concussion and it is expected to happen; it’s normal and given that that is what Zoey has been striving for the entire novel you think she would appreciate it. Instead she decides to play coy and the entire premise of the novel is based on the assumption that this character knows, etc. Why make an even bigger mess of your life by ignoring the larger issue? It sure has hell didn’t work for your parents so why did you think it would work for you?
Man oh man…why can’t people just say what they honestly mean?
So I’ll just say that I didn’t get this book at all…and I will promptly forget about it.
Perhaps there was this greater message that all these 5-star reviews on Goodreads received when reading this book; but I sure as shit did not get it. Frankly, I’ve read much better and this book did absolutely nothing for me.
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: Nope.
Genre: Young Adult, Amnesia, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Recommended for: 16+
Heat Rating: warm (sex is mentioned a lot though)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Similar Reads: Rosebush by Michele Jaffe; We Were Liars by E. Lockhart