Thursday, May 22, 2014

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

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
Published by HarperTeen on June 10th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

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.

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!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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18 Responses to “Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Woo! This looks like a really crazy read and I like how the main character is as messed up as the town too. I can see how that would make the book entertaining! I haven’t read the author’s first book yet, but I’ve heard some really good things. I’m going to have to give this one a try really soon.
    Great review, Giselle.

  2. Pili

    Maaaaan, Giselle!! I was soooo excited for this one before, and now I’m EVEN MORE excited!! I read and loved Another Little Piece and then preordered this one, and I just cannot waiiiit!!

  3. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    This sounds like a really well-written and unique read, plus I think I’d enjoy the paranormal aspects. I’m in the mood for something different, so thanks for bringing this one to my attention!

  4. Hafsah

    The title and cover don’t hint at the synopsis at all, which sounds amazing. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it, and I’m going to have to check it out! I think I’d like to be disturbed 😛

    Fabulous review!

  5. Sara B.

    This sounds really interesting! It definitely piqued my interested. I’m adding (Don’t You) Forget About Me to goodreads right now! Thanks for the great review!

  6. Rashika

    I am telling you Giselle, she sold her soul to the devil, I DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE SHE DOES IT! She is so wonderfully talented and I am basically dying to read whatever geniusness she will come up with next.


  7. Michelle

    I’m going to begin reading this now- what a coincidence, haha, and I’m SO GLAD that you adored this book! I didn’t really like Kate’s Another Little Piece, but this one sounds so good. What an interesting idea!

  8. Abbe Hinder

    When I first heard about this one, I wanted to read it because of the title! I love the song, but after reading your review, I really want to read this book because of how creepy it sounds. Skylar sounds out of control just like that town. Great review!

  9. Melliane

    Oh I didn’t know this one but it sounds really good! I confess I’m intrigued to discover this little town and I’m curious about your comment about an open mind! Thanks for the review!

  10. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    Weird, bizarre books are totally my thing! The plot sounds intriguing, and I’d really like to know more about the way things work in Gardnerville. I can’t wait for this book to mess with my brain!

  11. Faye D'Social Potato (@kawaiileena)

    This makes me really, really excited. I have the ARC of this book from Edelweiss and have been wanting to read it for a while, considering Rashika loved it so, so, so much. So I assume this one is way more WTF (in a good way) and creative than Another Little Piece? 😉

    • Giselle

      I really liked Another Little Piece, too, but this one is very different from that one. It’s still the same cryptic, almost disturbing style of writing she has, but the premise/story itself could not be any more different! Hope you love it!!!

  12. Justin @ Justin's Book Blog

    I can’t wait to read this book! After taking a break from blogging for almost a year, there are so many books I have missed out on hearing about. I am glad I saw your review of this one, it will definitely be one that I purchase. And I see you are partnered up with Jenni now, that is awesome!

  13. Carina Olsen

    Yesss. Amazing review sweetie 😀 I am SO GLAD you loved this book as well. <3 I also loved it to pieces. Sigh. It was just amazing, wasn't it? I really, really want a sequel, though, hih 😀 Thank you for sharing. <3

  14. Bonnie

    5 stars??? YES. I’ve got this one coming up soon and hadn’t heard too much about it till now. Really enjoyed Another Little Piece so high hopes for this one, definitely.