Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Review: Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Released: July 20th, 2010
Grade rating: B
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 struggling with this review for a while, and it's all thanks to my mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed parts of it, like the character of Doug and the girl torn between two boys, though I had some problems with Zoey. I just couldn't seem to like her, and I thought the way she treated both Brandon and Doug made next to no sense. She wasn't in any way written badly, in fact that's Echols' extremely strong point: she's a fantastic writer. I just felt that, in this case, Forget You was lacking something.
As I've previously mentioned many times, Echols is a great talent in YA. Going Too Far and The Boys Next Door are both brilliant examples of fiction for teens, and her boys always stand out from the crowd. Forget You's Doug is no exception; I loved him. Echols also isn't afraid to write a steamy scene or two, and when I say steamy, I mean steamy. Page 211 (in the ARC) is like the hottest scene in YA, and just has to be mentioned. I'm not saying I went back and read it a few times or anything... *cough*. Though I know for a fact I'm not the only one!
The one thing that really irked me about Zoey was why she even bothered with Brandon at all. To put it nicely, he was a complete idiot. I get that she couldn't remember the whole night, but surely she could have figured out who was the good guy and who wasn't worth a second thought?! Zoey is my least favourite of Echols' female protagonists, though I did like her more towards the end of the book.
Echols gets teenagers, and she writes them as if her own teenage years are a not-so-distant memory. She gets the drama of relationships and big decisions, and for that reason alone I will read everything she ever writes. Although I don't think Forget You is up there with her best books, Echols has more than proved that she's here for the long haul, and I look forward to whatever she comes up with next.