ARC Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Dont you forget about meRating: 4/5
Genres: Paranormal, Horror, Young Adult
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS
Pre-Order on AMAZON THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except…
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

REVIEW

“There is always a price to be paid”

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I am so happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. I read Another Little Piece last year and fell in love and that was when I knew that Kate had to go on my (mental) ‘I will read anything this author puts out’ list. When I heard that she had a new book coming out, I went berserk and flailed and stalked Edelweiss continuously to see when it would be available for request. And then it was.

Some readers who read and didn’t like Another Little Piece might encounter similar issues, but I think that for the most part, this is a lot better paced and will be enjoyed by a larger variety of people than Another Little Piece was. With that said, I definitely prefer Another Little Piece but (Don’t You) Forget About Me was JUST as amazing.

Gardnerville is a small town with secrets. The residents live long healthy lives and no one ever gets sick, but every 4 years, a teen loses it and goes off on a murderous rampage. Lately though, things have been changing. People are coming down with the cold, the old have started showing their age, and the teens aren’t losing control. Something is wrong and Skyla won’t figure it out until she remembers what she is trying to forget

Skylar is an unreliable narrator much like Annaliese from Another Little Piece but the difference between the two is that you don’t even realize Skylar is unreliable until the mystery starts unraveling. For the most part, she seems reliable aside from the fact that she may or may not be addicted to Forget Me Nots which she takes to forget – forget something she can no longer remember. But somehow, in spite of this, you like her. I don’t really know what it is about her; she should be annoying —  she really should be — but you cannot help but like her. She can read people’s secrets and she should respect their privacy but that doesn’t mean she is tempted. She is very human in some ways, but she is also very mature. She has grown up surrounded by secrets. Secrets call to her. And sometimes she even takes them.

The secondary characters are an interesting lot to say the least. From Elton who you’ll come to hate and pity at the same time, to GG who you’ll have no clue about until the end, to her little brother who is just adorable.

The love interest. Foote.

“A boy full of secrets who can take a few bullets and chalk it up as nothing more than a scratch is made for this town. He’s doing just fine here, and I have no doubt that he’ll stay.”

He is mysterious but he isn’t an ass. You’re never quite sure of him but you cannot help, but develop a crush on him like our female lead did. I think one of the reasons I like him is that even though you’re never sure about him, he doesn’t lead her on. Ever. He is himself and that is why he is so hard to discern. He’s had a tough life but while it haunts him, I don’t feel like it changes who he is. A really sweet guy *sigh*

The romance is of the best variety. A good ole slow burn and better yet, it isn’t the focus. Hell, there are times you wonder whether the two will even ‘get together’. This book should not be labelled a romance because it is NOT one. There are hints of one and that’s about it but even those hints are perfect.

The mystery is what makes you giddy though. This book is stuffed with creepy. LOTS AND LOTS of creepy. And you never know what the hell is going on. Was Piper good or bad? Why the hell is Elton drugging all these kids and why is it a good thing? What is so special about the soil? What is so special about the Gardners? What is it that Skylar cannot remember? Everything is so well done.

This book is a giant puzzle and the author takes her sweet time giving us the pieces. You cannot call this one predictable. At all. But at the same time, it’s not unpredictable either. She doesn’t throw in twists, she gives you an honest to goodness mystery that she solves perfectly too. We are right there with Skylar trying to figure out what is going on and Kate isn’t offering the readers any clues. We have the same clues as the main character, but with the added advantage of getting hints from the past.

I absolutely LOVED how Kate incorporated pieces from the past into the novel. It’s usually annoying, but she does it so, so, so well. Like, can I emphasize what a brilliant mastermind she is?

You can also see how much Quinn has grown as a writer since Another Little Piece. This book is just as beautifully crafted as Another Little Piece, but where Another Little Piece took time to capture your attention, this one grabs it right from the start and it takes you on a long ride that leaves your mind boggled and wondering whether Kate sold her soul to the devil in exchange for brilliant writing skills.

This book is definitely a favorite of 2014 like Another Little Piece was of 2013 and really, I NEED MORE OF BOOKS WRITTEN BY KATE. I gots to have more.

I cannot say everyone will enjoy this because everyone won’t, but I’d still recommend it to everyone in the hopes of finding someone who loved it just as much as I did.

Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Overall: 4.4
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    WEEEEEE! I freaking loved this one! I agree it’s just as weird and cryptic as Another Little Piece was but I preferred this one. It was such a fun mind-f*ck of a book like whoa!! And YES I love unreliable narrators and Skylar’s character was just so brilliantly crafted. “He is mysterious but he isn’t an ass.” WIN!!! I agree the mystery is not predictable per se, but it’s not unpredictable either, however I’m certain that was the author’s intention, we were meant to kind of clue in and experience the MCs reaction to it all, knowing what mess she was about to become. So happy we agreed on this one *high five of awesome*

  2. says

    I’ll definitely be checking this one out now, I haven’t read Another Little Piece either but now both of them sound like my kind of book.

    The unreliable narrator concept actually really interests me, especially if it’s something you don’t know automatically because it’s a cool surprise when you realize everything is not what it seems. Fun!

    The love interest sounds like a total winner! Kind of a strange name, though. :P And the romance not being the main focus sounds so perfect especially with the books I’ve been reading lately.
    Alise recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday [36]My Profile

  3. says

    I LOVE CREEPY. Okay…that sounded warped. But seriously, I do. x) It’s awesome. Ohhh, and don’t you love it when an author continually shines in awesomeness?? It just absolutely makes my day! I always hate being highly anticipated for a book from a favourite author and then it flops. The romance sounds exceptionally well written too. *swoons* I need to bump this up my reading list obviously!!
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Alexander Altmann A10567 by Suzy Zail (tissues, I need tissues)My Profile

  4. says

    Fantastic review, Rashika! I just moved Another Little Piece out of my archive (since I already have it), but I’m sure I’ll be getting to this one too! They’re are very few varieties of CREEPY that I like, but this sounds exactly like that kind. I love unreliable narrators and just GAH! EVERYTHING–clues, well-incorporated back-info, slow burn hints of romance!!! I wants it! :)
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie MoningMy Profile

  5. says

    LOVED the book so much.

    And I agree so much about Elton, it goes beyond agreeing into the land of sharing. I hated him so much, but then I found out about her sister, and I was thinking how would it feel to be in love with someone like her sister? But worst of all, how would it feel to realize what she actually was? Remeber her reasoning for always trying to outrun the train? Everytime I think of it, I break a little inside. ;(
    Stuti recently posted…WWW Wednesday #2My Profile

  6. says

    Yessss!! I’m so so super excited about this one and I’m super happy to hear that you loved this one Rashika!
    Love that the romance is a slow burn and that there’s an unreliable narrator and that it is creeeeeeepy and that the mystery is the slow piece by piece kind of built!
    Fantastic review!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: The Liberator by Victoria Scott!!My Profile

  7. says

    Oh wow! This sounds absolutely pheonominal Rashika! :D I’m loving the sound of the characterization and romance. And the fact that it’s one of your favorite books so far this year? Definitely a good sign! And I love how you mentioned that Kate has improved as an author since her first book. That’s always such a wonderful thing to hear! :D Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Dorothy Must DieMy Profile

  8. says

    This one seems super intriguing and promising to me (: I’ve never read anything by Kate but this book seems like a great place to start. Skylar seems like a very interesting narrator, and the fact that she’s unreliable draws me even more in. Foote also seems super mysterious and I love the fact that the romance is slow burn and doesn’t take over the plot. The creepy factor and the mystery also seems AMAZING. Gah, you’re making me want to buy this book right now.

    Amazing review (:
    Larissa recently posted…Discussing Through Midnight (31): “Strong” CharactersMy Profile

  9. says

    This book sounds absolutely amazing! The mystery is so intriguing and I just really want to know what happens. A great book is made up of realistic characters and a good plot. This one seems to have both. I definitely need to pick this one up! :D
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…The Book Blogger TestMy Profile

  10. says

    I’m so glad to see you enjoyed this one as much as you did, Rashika! It’s definitely one of my highly anticipated reads for the year as well and I cannot wait to finally crack open my ARC now, especially since we have similar reading tastes and I am confident I’m going to adore this one. Fantastic review! :)
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  11. says

    I love creepy stories with screwed up characters. It calls out to the dark and twisty in me, lol. I have Another Little Piece on my kindle and I need to bump that on my reading list because I’ve read so many good things about it. I skimmed your review because I plan to read this as well but your rating is definitely adding to my excitement for this book!
    Amir recently posted…{Blog Tour} Kate Sebastian’s Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers Excerpt + Giveaway!My Profile

  12. says

    This sounds so mysterious and really good! I love a good mystery, but I usually like more romance in my reads than this seems to have. Still, this does sound amazing. Wonderful review, Rashika! :)
    Rachel recently posted…Monthly Recap: AprilMy Profile

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