Title: Forget You
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 10, 2010
Published By: MTV Books
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.
Well... wow. In one word, this book was gripping. Raw. Gritty. Gut-wrenching. Okay... I might have gone a wee bit overboard with the one word descriptions, but I hope you guys understand what I'm trying to say. This book is good. It is seriously flat-out amazing. I mean, sure, it has its scratch-my-head, slap-my-forehead and scream-in-frustration moments (but then again, only a few books don't illicit such reactions), and yes, there are a few plot points that could have been explored better, but overall, Forget You is an amazing read. It has been well over a week since I finished reading this book, and I still can't stop thinking about it.
Based from the few reviews I've read in the bloggerverse, the main reason as to why some readers didn't like Forget You as much as they did Going too Far was because of the book's MC, Zoey. In all honestly, I'm not that fond of the Zoey either. I had such a difficult time understanding why she acted the way she acted at times and I couldn't even begin to fathom most of the decisions she made, but let's try put things into perspective here. Her mother attempted to commit suicide; her father - who has left their family for his girlfriend, doesn't give a damn about what happened and is hell-bent on keeping the world from finding out what happened to Zoey's mother. Add in the fact that Zoey suddenly loses memory of an entire night after a car crash, and when she wakes up, she finds out that things aren't as she remembers. For one, Brandon, the guy she thought as her boyfriend is studiously ignoring her, while Doug, the guy she can't stand - and the guy who can't stand her - is suddenly all interested in a relationship. Zoey is dazed, confused, and frightened, even and worst of all, she can't let anyone know just how little she remembers of that night.
So let me ask you this - based on the premise, based on all that Zoey's going through - doesn't it only make sense that she tries her best to keep her life as she remembers it? In my opinion, that's why she keeps reiterating that Brandon is her boyfriend (even though it's painfully obvious that Brandon considered her a fling and nothing else) because that's something she remembers clearly, and that's her semblance of normality right there. While it is indeed true that she and Doug have this connection - this intense connection - that's something that she can't wrap her mind around because she can't remember just what it is that happened between her and Doug, and as a result, she's frightened. She's mindblowingly frightened. Zoey's terrified that there's so much that she has forgotten, and even worse, she can't ask for help because she can't have the rest of the world thinking that she's mentally ill like her mother. Now, based on all that I have said, doesn't Zoey's actions throughout the book make more sense? In my opinion, the way Echols portrayed her was spot on and painfully honest.
Now that we've made sense of Zoey, let's now move on to what made me like this book (well, at least for me) - Doug. I loved how Doug cared for Zoey, and just how much he is willing to do for her. He's willing to to wait for Zoey to make sense of things, and he's there for her at every step of the way. Doug is loyal, honest, and is such a compelling character - he's one of those characters that I never get tired of reading about. He has gone through a lot in his life, and I loved how Echols didn't gloss over that one bit. She was able to portray just how it is Zoey and Doug helped each other through the hardships of their respective lives, and at the same time, she manages to create a love story unlike any other. There is simply no way that you won't root for Zoey and Doug to live happily ever after, believe me.
As much as I enjoyed Forget You, there are a few things that I wish could have been explored more. I wish we could have learned more about Doug. While we did learn a lot, there's just this feeling that it's nowhere enough. I felt like Echols barely tapped in the surface of Doug's character, and I feel like there's a lot more that he could have contributed to the story. Second, I also wish that we could have explored the character of Zoey's father more. He was painted as a goonish, jerk of a father (I mean, come on, installing cameras all over your house just so you can watch your daughter's every move?) with no ample reason for just why it is he acts the way he does. Lastly, I wish we could have explored just how Doug came to love Zoey. I mean, I believe that he truly does love her, but I honestly wish that we could have gotten the long story.
All in all, I consider Forget You a compelling read. This is one of those books that will stay on your mind well after finishing it, and trust me, you won't be able to stop thinking about it that easily. Sure, Zoey might get on your nerves, but she is an engrossing character to read about, and Doug as a character isn't too shabby either. Forget You is a quick read, and I suggest that you give it a shot. It's a book that is vastly underrated but shouldn't be.
Rating: 3.5 Stars