Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Tags: YA, bipolar disorder, amnesia


High school senior Zoey thought her life was bad enough when her father left them for another woman and her mother suffered a mental breakdown. But then she gets into a bad car accident... with no memory of what happened the night before leading up to the accident... and with Doug Fox, of all people. Doug, a hot former juvenile delinquent, has seemed to have hated Zoey since freshman year.

If Zoey wants to piece together what happened that night, however, she will need Doug's help. And the more she gets to know him, the more confused she is. She's with Brandon, the school's star football player...right? Then why does she feel so attracted to Doug? Is she going to go crazy like her mother?


Jennifer Echols is the author of a well-appreciated number of touching romances for both MTV and Simon RomCom, but FORGET YOU felt sadly short in my opinion. I never fully felt a connection to and between the characters, and the the plot was jerky and disorienting more often than satisfying.

It's hard to get a read on Zoey. One minute she seems self-assured and capable of figuring out her own problems (with support from others, probably, but mostly independently); the next, she's flipping out, desperately and stubbornly repeating her emanations that she's "with Brandon" (which I can understand to an extent: she's at a vulnerable time in her life and wants to feel loved--but she had been so much smarter before they got "together" that I didn't entirely understand why she was so obstinate about the situation with Brandon), and then practically manipulating Doug's help for whatever thing she needs next. Zoey's eventual revelation of her mother's psychological illness did not have enough lead-up for me to believe that they were causing her own insecurities as well. Thus, I was left simply feeling confused, then irritated, that she was so inconsistent, her motivations so opaque.

I felt like I was in a fog for nearly the whole time I was reading this book. I found myself constantly having to stop, think "What the heck just happened?" and going back to reread the paragraph. Probably not a good sign. I'm not asking for perfect clarity from a story, of course--sometimes it's a good experience for the reader to do some deductive work themselves--but I DO want motivations and events to be believable and understandable. In FORGET YOU, I had trouble believing that. Zoey's far from perfect--she can be downright cruel and inconsiderate at times--and that's okay, but I just couldn't qualify her reasoning for being so.

Similarly, I thought Doug's devotion to Zoey was sweet, but I couldn't understand it. They were both attempting to play games with each another, both being people who like to be in control. Which is totally fine, except that I didn't understand that until the very end, when they actually explain it out loud. Such a fundamental aspect of their personalities should be more apparent throughout the book. Once again, there was very little explanation for why the characters were acting in their crazy ways. The why's in this book were not answered as well as I wanted.

FORGET YOU is a brave attempt to break a lot of YA conventions, but it fell short in many areas for me. However, this will not deter me from reading Jennifer Echols' other works, and this doesn't mean that FORGET YOU is a bad book. It is simply a challenging one to be engaged with.

Similar Authors
Simone Elkeles
Kieran Scott
Elizabeth Scott

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Plot: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Cover discussion: 3 out of 5 - I think those are very good models for Zoey and Doug, but otherwise, it's just a sweet little thing that could work for many other love stories. I like how the desaturated brightness looks good alongside Going Too Far, though.

MTV / July 20, 2010 / Paperback / 304pp. / $11.00

ARC received through Around the World Tours.


  1. I just started reading Going Too Far and I'm enjoying it.
    Although you didn't like it I'll still give it a try since I've been crazy about Forget You for a while.


  2. Hmmmmmm She's usually one of my favorites. I'm thinking I'll still give it a try... Thanks for the review! :)

  3. My problem with this book was Zoey's assumption that Brandon was her boyfriend. Every time she pulled the "Brandon Boyfriend Excuse" (as I was referring to it), it annoyed the piss out of me. I had a really hard time getting past that. I can understand her motivation for doing what she did with Brandon, but NOT the bonehead assumption that he was her boyfriend. I mean he was pretty much absent from the entire rest of the novel! Guh. even thinking about it annoys me. LOL

    Glad I wasn't the only one who wasn't enamored with this one!

  4. I agree with this review, Steph. Zoey was definitely my main problem, and the whole thing with Brandon.

    Like you said, Jenn Echols has written some brilliant stuff, but this one just didn't live up to them.

  5. Hey thanks for the honest review. I can either push this one off until later or not bother. Either way I appreciate your in depth review with your reasons.
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  6. Excellent review, I think you have perfectly captured the issues with this story.

  7. Oh man, it's so nice to know that I'm not the only one confused haha. I'm reading this one at the moment and yesterday, while reading a few chapters I had to stop myself and admit that I really wasn't 100% sure as to what was happening. I thought it was only me. It's pretty good so far although Zoey's not my favourite. :/

  8. Fantastic review. I recently read the Endless Summer bind-up and enjoyed it. I'll steer clear of this one for the time being though!

  9. i am trying to finish it up today and quite frankly it hink it sucks. i was excited by the premise but it really sucks. i am over the animal similies.. ugh.. and dude just admit you have no memory, and what hospital lets you go home right after that hard of a hit and what parent goes to hawaii after you hit your head that hard? yeah no.

  10. hmmm i really appreciate your honest review. definitely gives me something to think about.

    happy blogging!

  11. I'm with ya. Zoey was a very annoying character. The whole "But Brandon is my boyfriend" made me want to smack her upside her head.

  12. It seems like when mc's "loose their memory" the author looses their grasp of their personality. I don't know why that is. I've tried to help a couple of writers out with stories where the mc loses their memory and it's tough.

    Thanks for the heads up on this one!


  13. Thanks for the honest review!

  14. I so agree with your review.

    So, that makes me feel better as I kept seeing 5 stars everywhere and was feeling mystified and out of the loop.

    And, maybe, too old (@ 30) for this kind of book - which frustrated me (the book - not being 30), although I get why teens would like the sexy stuff, it didnt mean anything to me as the characters mystified me and somehow I kept feeling confused about plot points. Not that it was hard to follow, rather I didnt quite get things when they did happen (motivations, actions and stories from the past, etc.)

  15. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't love this one as much as I did. Zoey got on my nerves a LOT (omg, I wanted to kick her every time she said Brandon was her boyfriend!!), but I guess I understood her even if she bugged me.

    One thing I really loved, though, was that Doug was half-Japanese! My husband is Korean, and it really isn't often you see Asian guys (or even half-Asian guys) as love interests. I thought that was cool. (Although how she didn't KNOW he was half until halfway through the book, I have no idea.)

  16. I completely agree. I've been trying to finish this one for 2 months now.

  17. I agree. This review is telling the true. This why I always visit this blog for honest reviews just like this. I wish you will continue doing this great job.

  18. I'm not loving Jenn's MTV releases. Didn't like the one that came before this, and since I'm not hearing anything more convincingly positive about this one, I think I'll skip it. Thanks for the honest review. :)


  19. I am way behind on this but totally agree. I really enjoyed Going Too Far and Echols' other work but this one just fell short and disappointed me.

    Like someone said above, I was annoyed by Zoey a)not realizing that Brandon wasn't her bf just because they slept together once and especially since she supposedly knows him so well and b)not admitting that she had amnesia.

    It bothered me that she seemed to correlate amnesia with craziness. I mean, you just hit your head; amnesia is SUPPOSED to happen. And if it's something like just one night, it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

    But anyway, great review! I enjoyed reading it.


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