Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Review of Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols writes teen romantic dramas and teen romantic comedies.  Though I'm far from the target YA demographic, a good love story gets me every time.  Isn't this a gorgeous cover?

Keke put on the first clothes she found on the bedroom floor, whether they were hers or Lila's, dirty or clean.  I had seen her do it.  Lila handled the personal upkeep better, though she obsessed about it until she looked like a parody of a girl.  Tonight her hair was hot-rolled and pinned and overfixed for a windy beach party.  I had told them they both looked so extreme because they were trying to differentiate themselves from each other.  If they'd relaxed and settled for the happy medium, even if that meant looking alike, boys would have asked them out more.  They did not listen to me.  If there had been one of them they might have been taken seriously, but it was hard to give unsolicited advice to two people at once, because they could drown you out with protests.  They told me they could never be as pretty as me, so my advice meant nothing.  I started to explain that looking like I did took work, and my mother taught me this in turn -- but they shut me down.  - Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Forget You
The blurb:
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 and knocked up his twenty-four-year old girl friend.  Like Zoey's fear that the whole town will foind 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.

Forget You is the sort of book that I set aside for my nieces because it's much more than the usual YA romance novel.  The characters might seem typical, but Jennifer Echols gives them complexity, depth and humor.  

We meet:

  • Zoey - captain of the swim team, wealthy (sometimes described as a "spoiled brat"), popular, and high school senior.  Her parents are separating and she's chosen to live with her mother, but her mother's had a nervous breakdown and Zoey's trying hard to prevent this from becoming news in their small town;
  • Keke and Lila - twins and on the varsity swim team.  They're Zoey's closest friends and they sometimes drive her nuts. They think alike, act alike but try hard to differentiate themselves from each other. They're flaky, kind, and funny high school seniors;
  • Brandon - blond, wealthy, popular, captain of the football team, and high school senior.  He's a major flirt and seems to flit from one relationship to another. He's one of Zoey's best friends and she's a constant confidant for his romantic escapades; and
  • Doug - the one person on the swim team that Zoey doesn't get along with.  There's some history and some antagonism. We don't know exactly what happened, but Zoey comes down hard on Doug.  He has a juvie record and though the record is sealed, Zoey points out his past to keep him from getting summer jobs, etc.  With his juvie record, Zoey's persistence, and high school being what it is, Doug hasn't ever had a girl friend even though he's one of the best looking and athletic high school seniors.

Forget You is about how things are never quite what they seem from the outside. It's about misunderstandings and prejudices, loyalty and friendship.   It reminds us of what life is like as a teenager -- when parents have so much power over your life and your identity and how we each learn to break free.  Carefully crafted, fun, and sympathetic, Forget You is a story of love and friendship.  If you're looking for a YA romance for the summer -- whether for yourself or a friend, I highly recommend Forget You.  I really loved it!

ISBN-10: 1439178232 - Trade Paperback $11.00 (Young Adult)
Publisher: MTV: Original edition (July 20, 2010), 304 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Jennifer Echols is the author of teen romantic dramas for MTV Books and teen romantic comedies for Simon Pulse.  She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family.  To read an excerpt of the book or find out more, visit Jennifer Echol's website at

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I'm glad you liked this. I'm really looking forward to reading this because I loved Going Too Far and I've read all of Jennifer Echols' other books. It's still not available over here though.

    On a completely different topic, I was wondering if you might want to join a directory that I've created for Filipino Book Bloggers? Just click on the link to find out more about it. :)