Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

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. 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.

Jennifer Echols is one of my favourite Young Adult authors. Though her books are set in southern states of the US, where the culture couldn’t be more different to mine, her tales of youthful misadventures in love and life always seem real to me.

Forget You is a different kind of book to The Boys Next Door, which is an all-time favourite. Dark and angsty and full of frustration, I don’t know how the author managed it, but she had me laughing out loud more than once in the middle of all the drama.

The thing about adults reading YA is that they tend to look at teens through an adult lens. The mistakes narrator Zoey made in this story felt so true to life. We’ve all been through that awful stage where we pinned all our hopes on the wrong person and couldn’t see what was right in front of us. We’ve all spent time believing there’ll only be one guy for us, and so the first one must be the right one.

I loved the struggles of both lead characters, Zoey and Doug. I love that Echols doesn’t write perfect characters, because the level of perfection in many (most?) YA books drives me bonkers! It’s a rite of passage for teenage guys to screw up in the romance department, and I find her heroes all the more endearing because they actually do screw up sometimes.

Ethnicity plays a part in this story, and this was a situation that is so different to my experiences in Australia! While I know being Asian isn’t anything unusual in most places in the United States, it is where Forget You is set. Two of my closest friends growing up were Indian and Chinese – I just can’t imagine growing up without being immersed in many other cultures.

The references to sushi annoyed me though – is the ‘sushi is raw fish’ myth ever going to go away?!

Forget You was a great book. I’m constantly searching for more like this one.

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Posted on 05/07/2013, in Books, Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Issues, Young Adult Romance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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