Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: Don't You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Don't You Forget About Me
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Rating: 4/5

Cover Impressions: 
So pretty, though I don't quite connect the tree with the story.  I would have loved to see something around the Rehabilitation Center or the Forget-Me-Nots.

The Gist:
At first glance, Gardnerville is a magical place where the dying experience a miracle cure and no one ever gets sick.  However, no great magic comes without a price and Gardnerville is no exception.  In cycles of four years, the teens in town undergo a transformation.  Some might walk off never to return, others might set a building on fire.  In fourth years, things get even more dangerous and lives are often lost.  Skyler struggles to forget the fourth year when her sister, Piper, led the town's teens on a parade that ended in a plunge off a bridge.  Popping pills and avoiding people, she tries to numb the pain but she cannot escape the fact that a fourth year is coming, and her own inner demons are calling from the depths. 


I loved Another Little Piece and was very excited to see what Kate Karyus Quinn had in store for this novel.  Again, I adore her world building.  The town of Gardnerville is like nothing I have encountered before.  Magic simmers just below the surface and erupts with volcanic power and devastating consequences.  I am a huge fan of the premise that great magic requires great sacrifice and the way KKQ has created an idyllic small town with a very dark secret was whimsical, but with a serious bite. 

Each inhabitant of Gardnerville seemed more interesting than the last.  Each had their own story and I loved seeing them play out through Skyler's story.  I found it hard to sympathize with Skyler as she numbed her pain with pills but I could see how she struggled to maintain a grip on a reality she had spent so long altering.  I was not a fan of the love interest and could really have done without it or him.  Likewise, the "Bad Guy" (whose name I have forgotten).  Perhaps I could have enjoyed his character a little more, had it not been for the fact that he was a teacher who was (at one point) involved with a student.  The ick factor on that one is just too high for me and I cannot deal with it nor get past it. 

KKQ's manner of storytelling continues to be unique and intriguing.  We chase Skyler's memories through the rabbit hole and end up in a place that is even more dark and disturbing than the Gardnerville we had thought we had known.  I will say, though the twists were interesting and well-planned, I did figure them out far in advance of the plot.  This is certainly not meant to be a deterrent for another reader, I just was so hoping for a shocking surprise and didn't get it. 

I love Kate Karyus Quinn's writing and will be signing on for anything else that she writes. 

Teaching/Parental Notes:

15 and up
Sex: Alluded to
Violence: A number of violent deaths: drowning, suicide, etc Sexual Abuse of a Child
Inappropriate Language: Bastard, Asshole, Fucking, Pissed, Shit, Bloody
Substance Use/Abuse: Drug use


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