Book Review: (Don't You) Forget About Me
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Mystery
Kate Karyus Quinn has a knack for writing the oddest, most deliciously creepy mysteries I have ever read. Her novels read like the literary love child of Edgar Allan Poe and Lewis Carroll. There is a magical and twisted quality to her work.
(Don't You) Forget About Me is a twisted mystery that is reminiscent of the Pied Piper. I don't know much about the original text other than it involves some rats and a charismatic person who compels others to do his bidding. Those elements certainly make an appearance in this one.
One of the things I find most appealing about Quinn's work is that they are vastly different than my typical reads. Her novels always take me by surprise and also deliver some crazy twists and turns. This one I spent a large percentage of the novel having no idea what was going on. Part of that is due to the way Quinn writes - she only releases information in small portions to allow the reader to piece together the big picture on their own. Quinn's novels truly make you think. Another reason why it took some time to figure out what was happening was due to the fact that the main character, Skyler, is on a drug for the first portion of the book that makes her forget. The pills make Skyler a fairly unreliable narrator for the beginning of the novel. Eventually, she stops taking the drugs and then she is able to tell the story in a more coherent manner.
Another element that makes this novel difficult at first is time shifts. Each chapter has a portion that occurs in the present and a section that occurs in the past. The past segments are intended to provide clues and backstory. I loved that the novel was written in this manner. The complexity of a Quinn novel is a thing of beauty. It's nice to read a novel that challenges me.
There is also a romance that I loved. It isn't the main focus of the novel (which was a refreshing change), but I loved the characters together.
I'd love to talk more about the plot and why I loved its twists and turns, but I couldn't think of a way to do that without spoiling the read. (Don't You) Forget About Me reminded me of a fun house at the carnival; things that appear to be one way are in fact something totally different. You're in for a dark, delightful treat. I loved the lore behind Gardnerville and the 80's music influences.
One Last Gripe: I still have questions about Elton.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the ending when everything came together.
First Sentence: It was a bizarre May Day parade at midnight instead of midday.
Favorite Character: Foote
Least Favorite Character: Elton
Welcome to Gardnerville.
A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.
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.