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

Cover of Don't You Forget About Me

Summary

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.

My thoughts

(Don’t You) Forget About Me was right up my alley and once I started reading it I didn’t want to put it down. I got lost in this mysterious and creepy place called Gardnerville where no one gets sick but its habitants have to pay a price for that. I started reading this without any expectations and only heard a few things about Kate’s first book, Another Little Piece, that is supposed to be creepy too and that I can’t wait to read too.

A unique and captivating idea

A town where no one ever gets sick is not that new an idea but the price these people pay for that is all the more exciting to read about. While following Sky’s story you get to hear about all these things that happened when teenagers started to get violent and it’s both creepy and shocking that it’s normal for them and how they deal with it.

Many things happening between the lines

I was kind of shocked about Sky’s life. There are the obvious things that seemed to be kind of normal in this town that were already bad enough and no teenager should go through. There were also other details about her life, especially her family that made me really angry. This town is really creepy and it’s shocking how normal some bad things seemed to be for its habitants. The reason why this book didn’t get all five stars is that I didn’t feel fully comfortable reading about these bad things and how they are handled, especially the drugs.

A wonderful, beautiful atmosphere

I love reading magical realism. Those books always have this peculiar and unique atmosphere. I enjoy reading these kind of stories a lot, those that tell the story of the everyday life of the MC but thanks to the magical aspect that life is never boring and even the most mundane events have something special about them. These kinds of books are also rather quiet even when bad things happen. All those emotions are not a direct part of the story but between the lines.
It was just like that in this book too. Sky’s story is thrilling and exciting to read about. This one is all about memories and forgetting or even suppressing them. Thus you always feel something lurking in the background, a secret, something magical that wants to get out, that wants to be known. And once it was out I was amazed about what it was and fell even more in love with this whole idea than I already was.

Songs stuck in my head

Everytime I saw this book I instantly had the song stuck in my head. Kate took it even further and made me hum all these different songs while reading. Every chapter that is about the past doesn’t have a chapter number but a song as its title. And they all fit the story so well.

Interesting POV/way of telling

This book does not only include music, but it’s also about cassette tapes and because Sky uses them to record things, there are certain chapters that are written like she is talking directly to her sister. Some chapters are written in second person form and I was surprised that I had no problems whatsoever switching between two forms. I actually liked these special chapters a lot. I can imagine that this book is great as an audiobook.
I also liked how this story tells the past and the present and makes you guess what’s to come. Even better was the ending, when everything neatly fits into place, everything starts to make sense and you finally get the overall picture.

Overall

(Don’t you) Forget About Me is a creepy story that is told in a unique way. This book comes with this special atmosphere that seems to be typical for magical realism and keeps you at the edge of your seat while reading. I hope Another Little Piece is just as good and that we get more books like this to read by the author.

(Don’t You) Forget About Me by

Published June 10, 2014

Genre: