For What It's Worth

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: Forget you by Jennifer Echols

Forget You
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. Feeling like her life is 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. (YA)

SPOILER WARNING: I can’t really discuss what I thought about this book without getting into the plot. While I don’t reveal any specifics – my review may walk that spoiler line for some people. You were warned!
I have had a really hard time writing this review. I love Jennifer Echols writing. I wanted to love this book. I did love this book until about page 58, then it took this leap into un-believability for me. As a friend said to me – it’s one plotline away from a soap opera. Anyway…..onto the actual review.
Zoey has a horrible – and I do mean horrible – father, her mom is suffering from depression and has a breakdown. Zoey starts spiraling out of control and tries to lose herself in the arms of pal & playboy Brandon. Her actions are understandable and downright riveting.
Shortly after they hook up she is in a car crash that erases her memory of the night before. The only thing she can remember is being rescued by Doug, the boy who has been so mean to her in school and who she is now inexplicably drawn to. She’s confused about trying to save her “relationship” with Brandon and her growing attraction to Doug.
OK – here’s where the book lost me.
In what world are Zoey & Brandon dating? I get why she feels connected to him – really I do. I understand why at first she “may” feel she’s different than the other girls given her prior friendship with him but there is absolutely no evidence that there is any type of relationship going on. None. Zilch. After one week this should have been clear to Zoey too. I wish Brandon had at least given her mixed signals to mislead her and the myself, the reader.
Then there is the Doug relationship. She keeps alluding to how Doug taunts her? When? With the way she went on about him I expected a real jerk but I think he’s downright pleasant to her considering how she’s prejudged him and even cost him a summer job. I fell in love with Doug immediately. He was a saint in my opinion. Zoey treated him very badly and he kept coming back for more.
Forget You would have worked better for me if it stayed with the original premise of a good girl with a troubled family, acting out in all the wrong ways and a guy who loves her trying to guide her back. Unfortunately this wasn’t that story. The amnesia storyline didn’t hold much interest for me. The really big – and I felt important issues - brought up in the beginning were dropped in favor of the “what happened the night of the crash?” story. Even on that count I felt short changed. Perhaps a chapter or two from Doug’s perspective would have helped me to see another side of it. I felt left out of the biggest event of the book.
As I said earlier, I love Jennifer Echols writing. I LOVED Going Too Far. It was on my top 10 list for last year. I have enjoyed many of her lighter stories also; “The Ex-games” and “The Boys Next Door”, so I’m really disappointed that this one just didn’t connect with me.
Having said all this….99.9% of all the reviews I have read are very positive for Forget You so by all means ignore me and go read it. I believe most readers will have a positive experience with this book even though I did not.
I just wanted to mention one more thing that I keep seeing mentioned in reviews for Forget You - the sex scenes in this book. There are several steamy ones (not very many IMO) but I’m not sure why they are being singled out as being more explicit as compared to anything else that I’ve read in YA lately. Echols did a wonderful job with them and I didn’t feel they were in there just for shock value. I haven’t read any complaints about the scenes but I just found it odd that this seems to something that keeps coming up in reviews pertaining to this book almost as a warning to readers but not mentioned at all in reviews of other far steamier books. Just curious.
Loved: I’ll go with Doug. The first 1/3 of the story is amazing.
Nitpick: What can I say? – I just couldn’t get into the whole Brandon/Doug/car crash/amnesia storyline. There was too much – yet not enough going on….if that makes any sense. The family issues were oversimplified in the end in favor of a strange love triangle. There is a last minute reveal about Doug at the end that had me scratching my head – he’s lucky I already loved him! It was so out of character it almost made Brandon look good.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4. Thisloved it and really connected with it so go get it and happy reading! I would just recommend that you also read Going Too Far, a far better book IMO!

Authors website:
Buy the book! Forget You


  1. I really enjoyed this book. SOme of the scenes were a little ummm... out there. Nice reivew. I agree with you about the father. He was such a jerk.

  2. I think Brandon was just the seperating factor for Zoey and Doug. They were best friends and she really didnt know anything about Doug. I knew they should have been together and I think she did too it was just an obstacle that she had to face for herself. Great review, I love honesty!

  3. Exactly! Excellent points all around. I think I would have respected Zoey and enjoyed the story much more if she were actually in a relationship with Brandon. That wouldn't be too hard to revise! Just add in a little respect and commitment, but have Doug still be the best guy for her.

    And doesn't the dad basically get off scot-free? I thought there would be a huge character growth thing where Zoey has to publicly disown him or something. Seriously, the man needed to be flogged and keelhauled.

    Excellent review. And I agree on Doug--that last weird thing didn't seem at all in character for him.

  4. Great Review! While I am one of the people that liked this book you brought up some valid points.

    I think the "dating" thing was a logical response for a girl who thought she had a connection with a guy then gave her virtue to him and is going through some emotional drama at home. I think she just asuned they'd be together. Echols would have been better off having Zoey say "I'm with Brandon now" instead of using the word "dating".

    I also think that if you put into perspective that they are teenage boys the actions were believable at the end...

  5. One more thing...

    You are right it does read like a soap opera, but at 16 years old I went through almost the exact same thing including a car accident with temporary memory I suppose it was easier for me to relate

  6. Thanks for commenting everyone. The review was a little difficult to write. I wanted to make my points without giving too much away for people who want to read it.
    Day - I completely understand why she thought she was dating Brandon - at first. I get why she felt she would be different. I just think I would have felt better if Echols had written in a few scenes where Brandon led her on a bit so it would have made sense that she still thought they were in a "realtionship" even after he hadn't talked to her in weeks. Zoey barely even questioned it.
    As for the teenage boy thing - I didn't exactly like Brandon but I've known guys like him and I think he came by his playboy status honestly - he doesn't exactly lie - he just uses avoidence when he's ready to move on. The Doug thing at the end was just an odd add on that didn't fit with his character.
    I felt that as Kate said - the Brandon relationship & that Doug twist at the end were thrown in as obstacles to keep her and Doug apart a little longer but didn't really fit.
    I didn't mind the amnesia storyline either - I just felt that between that and her family life neither story got the time it deserved and was over simplified. I would have loved to delve deeper into her family life or have just had the amnesia plotline or maybe have them intersect more.
    I think the book is worth reading & like I said the majority of people are going to love it..I was just a little let down.
    I could have had really raised expectations too considering how much I loved Going to Far which is sort of similar.

  7. Tiger - Yeah I was bummed about the Dad thing. He is really one of the worst father figures I've seen in recent literature and he just got sent away mid point in the story and it was resolved with her explaining to him that she didn't like how he talked to her. I really wanted to read THAT story.......Read Going Too Far

  8. I have to read Going Too Far! This is the first book in this sub genre I've ever read, so I have nothing to compare it to...

    Yes- Bad dad...slime ball, selfish jerk...

    And I didn't quite understand the issues people had with the mature nature of some of the issues in the book. Someone told me it was the "self pleasure" scenes that bothered them and that they thought might be inappropriate. But you are right, other YA books like House of Night for example, have far more explicit scenes...

  9. Day - Going Too Far is so amazing - kind of the same premise though.
    I just don't get the warnings - I was thinking it must have been the tub scene but I still don't get it. Shade had a "self pleasuring" scene, I just read a YA where he was doing quite a bit to the girl while she was on the (and thre is failry steamy stuff in Going Too Far) Why is random sex ok but not masturbation? Like I said no one seemed to take issue with it.. but it keeps getting mentioned almost like a warning label. I do think it's worth mentioning that the book has mature themes - I'm just not sure why it's only brought up with this specific book. It just seemed odd to me with all the sex going on in other books.
    Sometimes I think I read too much! It can kind of make you jaded - it gets harder to find something that seems original and mind blowing :-)

  10. Ignore all those typos above :-) I'm too lazy to delete it and do it again....

  11. i love her books!! i didn't read the review b/c of spoilers and i def. want to read this :)