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

Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me – Kate Karyus Quinn(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
Published by Harper Collins
Published: June 10th 2014
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five-stars

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except...
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.

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

thoughts1
This book was one big huge mind game and I must admit I loved every minute of it.

I have had Kate Karyus Quinn’s first book Another Little Piece on my book shelf since about the time it came out and I never got around to reading it. I know I want to and I’m excited for it, it just never happened. And then I saw the cover for this one so I had to get this too. Only this time I actually picked it up and read it. And man oh man oh man. From the first page I had no idea what I was reading. It was like a Melina Marchetta book where I was completely clueless as to what was going on. But the more I read the more I loved and the more I had to know if the theory forming in my head was right and how the whole thing would turn out.

(Don’t You) Forget About Me – go ahead and sing, I did!- is a story like I have never read before. It is about a town called Garnerville where people go to get well from terminal diseases. They come in on the train and immediately get well. But with that healing power comes a sinister force called the 4th Year. Every 4th Year a teenager completely loses it and kills someone. And Skylar Gardner knows this all too well. 4 years ago her sister Piper was a 4th year assailant and lead a bunch of people to their watery grave and sent to the reformatory. After years of trying to forget what actually happened and hiding from it Skylar decides she needs answers. But as she gets closer to the truth she starts to wonder if it was easier to actually forget. One thing is for sure, nothing Gardnerville is what it seems.

My brain can’t really process the awesome weirdness of this book. It hard to even really put the whole thing into words because the book really was downright weird. I had no idea what was happening half the time. I had a theory pretty early on about how I thought it was all going to play out, but with every turn of the page I questioned if I was right or not. Just when I thought I had something figured out Quinn added a new level of bizarre that left me rethinking yet again. It was kind of fantastic actually. Between the plot and the characters and the back story and the song titles, it was a definite unexpected favorite read. It had all of the elements I wanted and didn’t even know I wanted/needed. Simply put, it 100% worked even though it was a little outside my norm.

I guess what I liked the best was how Quinn used the past and the present to tell the story but did it in an ambiguous way. The way they wove into each other giving just enough information at a great speed really made this read even more enjoyable. I loved getting to know these characters through snippets of their past and what they were currently going through in the present. Plus each character had great layers to them and it was fun to get to peel them back. Not to mention the song titles. Man I’m still singing some of those.

All in all (Don’t You) Forget About Me was a surprising read. It was weird and confusing and creepy and mysterious and I loved it. I was enthralled right from the beginning and was hooked with every last mind game. Mark my words, Quinn’s first book will not sit on my shelf for too much longer. I’m curious what kind of journey that can now take me on. A definite should read.

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  1. ohhhh this one DOES sound weird, creepy…and I’m totally fascinated by it! Your review has me totally intrigued and I think I may have to check it out!!!

  2. I am reading Another Little Piece right now and it is totally one of those books where I have no idea what the hell is going on. It’s funny that you mention Melina Marchetta because for the first 1/3rd of the book I was having Jellicoe Road flashbacks (because I have NO idea what that book was about for the longest time either). I’m halfway through this one now, but still utterly confused… yet I still like it somehow??? I love that this new book by her is the same. And that title!! LOVE it!

  3. I really need to give this book a try soon! I heard a lot about Another Little Piece, too, and the weird factor is definitely out of my reading comfort zone, but I want to give it a chance. Plus, looking at the summary, I really want to know what’s going on!
    Great review, Andi! 🙂

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