by Jennifer Echols
Summary: 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.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Jennifers books, I haven't read one yet that I haven't loved and I pester Julie (the lovely co-blogger) to read them quite often and while this book isn't really my favourite of her books, I did still really love it.
Plot wise, it may be tied for favourite with Going Too Far but Zoey irritated me. She's my least favourite out of all of Jennifers protagonists. At times I just wanted her to be real so I could yell and/or shake some sense into her. Normally my dislike of the main character would have a bigger impact on whether or not I love the book but the way Zoey was--the way she acted and things she did--it made total sense and it was understandable. So while Zoey annoyed me about 65% of the time, I got why she was behaving that way.
Actually, there was only one character in the book that I consistently liked (except for Cody Fox, maybe, but he was mostly just there and I didn't pay much attention to him), the rest had their little redeeming moments but overall I just didn't like them... that makes it kind of weird that I loved the book so much because generally if I don't like the characters then I'm not going to like the book - Jennifer Echols has some mad skills to become an exception to that rule, seriously.
One of Jennifers strong points seems to be writing fictional boys that I fall for and finish the last page pouting like a disgruntled two year old because they're not real and they can't be mine - Doug was no exception, he was just lovely and he was the one character I did always like, even when he was the brooding bad boy. The way he was with Zoey just made me melt like a stereotypical girl.
Another good thing about this book is that Jennifer doesn't shy away from the topic of sex*. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't get R rated with those scenes/thoughts, she doesn't glorify them or make them seem pornographic... she just makes them real and she doesn't censor the characters in fear of what those oh-so-lovely Book Banners (note the sarcasm) and overprotective parents might say about books like this being available in the YA section.
She even makes two references (that I noticed) to masterbation [le gasp!] which, lets face it, it's pretty universally acknowledged as a common and normal thing... and yet it's rarely spoken about in books outside of the erotic section and is almost a taboo subject in YA lit.
Basically, you should read this book and if you haven't read Jennifers other books then you should read those too (I especially recommend The Boys Next Door and Going Too Far). I really can't wait to see whatever literary awesome Jennifer cooks up next.
I think you can read the first chapter of the book on Jennifers website (and theres some excerpts of her other books on there too, last time I checked).
*Please note: while I'm praising Jennifer for not shying away from the topic of sex in the books, that doesn't mean that this book is full of sex and sex talk - it's not, I just wanted to point out that she deals with the topic realistically in her writing instead of trying to censor it.