(Don't You) Forget About Me
Kate Karyus Quinn
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, YA
Publication date: June 10th 2014
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.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-
Holy crap! I feel like my brain is totally spent after this mind-f*ck of a book! Books like these are so hard to review, so I’m going to do my best to make sense of my thoughts. First, I gotta warn you this not the kind of book that will mesh with everyone. For one, it’s so different it breaks all molds of normalcy ever built around story-telling. For another, it introduces the kind of paranormal where you have to go in with an open mind, and just accept this town for what it is (similarly to Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz).
Welcome to Gardnerville. A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.
This is the story of Gardernville. A bizarre isolated town where sickness and death are avoided – at least for 100+ years. However they pay dearly for this privilege. When you start this book, you’re blindly thrown right in the middle of this messed up place. Nothing will make sense to you, and you won’t understand anything that you’re being told, however this is not irritating or overwhelming, it’s actually the opposite. It left me unable to turn the pages fast enough. The cryptic nature of Quinn’s writing, much like her previous novel, is gripping, slightly disturbing, and plays with your mind every step of the way.
We’ve got a protagonist, here, who’s just as much of a mess as this town. After her sister was locked up in this spine-tingling prison of sorts, Skylar is only trying to forget. Except she thinks she’s forgotten too much. She’s been living in an existences of nothingness that the purple pills bring her. Inside this haze is where we first start to become aware of secrets and bits of information that, okay, are mostly completely out of context and make absolutely no sense, but little by little, the picture begins to form, and the puzzle pieces are at least starting to take form. Still, you can’t help but wonder: is this clarity, or is it madness?
At every other chapter, through the recovery of Skylar’s memories, we go back to a certain day in time where we discover more about her past, and, at the same time, we get to relive the town’s darker moments which allows us an understanding – albeit a scattered one for a while – of its current state. As I mentioned, this story forces you to keep an open mind. It’s so far outside the box that it’s not even on the same plane of existence. I was personally hypnotized by all the weirdness; for every sliver of information, my fascination grew, I became even more disturbed, and I loved every freaking minute of it!
This is the kind of story that stems from a wild, bursting imagination of someone who knows how to write it, and how to make you become a part of it. (I would also pay handsomely to be in her head for 10 minutes!) I’m certain this one will be sitting next to Another Little Piece in many readers’ favorites shelf!