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. (from Goodreads.com)
I’ve never read anything by Jennifer Echols before, although I was curious because of all the glowing reviews of her work across the blogasphere. When Dwayne over @ Girls Without A Bookshelf had an ARC tour of her latest book, due to be released in July, I signed up right away, eager to sample this author myself; and I really wasn’t disappointed.
Forget You tells the story of 17 year old Zoey. Her father has just left the family to move in with his pregnant 24 year old mistress and her mother, unable to cope, has attempted suicide. With her mother being treated in a psychiatric hospital Zoey is forced to move back in with her father, who is more embarrassed at his ex wifes problems and concerned only about his impending wedding vacation. He is awful, seriously one of the most hideous characters I’ve ever came across! The way he threatens Zoey, firstly about her mother and then about the amnesia she is clearly suffering after the wreck are quite shocking. Really, it’s no the wonder the poor girl is a mess herself!
Zoey’s character was a strange one. She’s not particularly likable on the surface, especially to Doug (more on him soon) however with all that’s going on, it’s understandable. She’s used to being in control, only now everything is spiralling out of her control and she’s confused. Her relationship, or to be more precise, non relationship with Brandon was slightly frustrating. It’s clear from the start that he used her, but despite the most obvious of signs, she’s convinced they are together. I wanted to give her a shake, but to be fair, I got that too. We’ve probably all got a Brandon somewhere in our past-if not then you’ve probably been lucky. Mine was Gav, a 15 year old in the year above me at school. After one quick snog, I was infatuated for months, following like a lost puppy while he did everything he could to ignore me. So maybe my experience was slightly more innocent than Zoey’s, but it’s still the whole unrequited love and being played like a good ‘un that is oh so familiar to most. (BTW, I did recently look him up on facebook-the years have not been kind!)
Doug on the other hand is just… well, I want one! Hot, broody , passionate and with a dangerous past he is dreamy-ness itself. And in love with Zoey, despite the horrible way she treats him. Honestly, if you don’t want to push her out the way screaming ‘forget her’ while you’re reading this, then quite frankly I think you must have a heart of stone. With the most amazingly romantic lines, he had hooked straight away. One example is when he is trying to get her to realise Brandon would be no good for her anyway by predicting her future life with him, and ends with “But your chance to do something bright and beautiful, like you – that will be long gone” *sigh* Get ready to have your pulse racing while the rest of you melts into a simpering puddle on the floor.
I really enjoyed Echols writing, which is truthful and not afraid of showing the flaws in her characters. It’s filled with the most blissfully gorgeous lines such as the one above and some beautifully descriptive prose, which brought the setting, atmospheres and people to life. I did find it a little jumpy in parts-occasionally I felt as though I’d maybe missed a paragraph or two when I hadn’t, as something didn’t seem as clear as it should be. I wanted to know what exactly had happened the night of the crash, and was kept in the dark as much as Zoey until right at the very end, which meant I was desperate to keep reading whenever I got the chance. It is a bit full on and steamy, and had me slightly blushing on the bus a couple of times…so maybe not one for the younger end of the YA market! I’m glad I finally got a chance to read Jennifer’s work, and this most certainly won’t be the last.