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Forget You by Jennifer Echols

I am having difficulty believing it was almost a year ago that I read Going Too Far. It was a solid swallow-in-a-single-gulp read and, I have often thought of Meg's "I am full of fear" mantra and smiled. I'm happy it's received the welcome attention it has in the blogosphere and I knew her next romantic drama would meet with a host of eager readers. When I first read the synopsis for Jennifer Echols' Forget You, I admit I was completely sucked in by the amnesia angle and the whole waking up to find you have a different boyfriend from the boyfriend you thought you had bit. I mean, who's not up for that? So many great possibilities when the protagonist herself doesn't know exactly what's going on. Plus, I enjoyed Ms. Echols' writing quite a bit in Going Too Far. And nearing the end of July as we are, this book was fast starting to sound like the perfect summer read to me and I looked forward to it with a high degree of anticipation.

Zoey works at her dad's water park--Slide with Clyde--along with all seventeen other members of her high school swim team. All except Doug Fox. The boy who did a year in juvie and always seems to give Zoey a hard time. As captain of the swim team, Zoey runs a tight ship in and out of the pool. Her friends respect her and admire her for her work ethic and her seemingly perfectly put together exterior. Then her dad knocks up his 24-year-old human resources manager and Zoey finds herself racing the gossip home to her mother before things get any worse. And for awhile it seems that everything will be all right. Yes, she and her mother are on their own now as her father is going to leap into his midlife crisis with reckless abandon and marry Ashley. In Hawaii, no less. But then Zoey comes home to find her mother unresponsive on the bed next to a dangerously empty bottle of pills. And suddenly her vaunted ability to keep tight control over her life has disappeared without a trace. Forced to move back in with her furious father, while her mother resides indefinitely in a mental institution for evaluation, Zoey tries to exert a modicum of control over her life and decides to sleep with her longtime friend (and player with a capital P) Brandon. The next thing she knows she wakes up in the hospital, having apparently crashed her car after the party. And, even more mystifying, Doug Fox is attached to her hip. The large gap in her memory appears to include several vital things and Zoey is determined to find out what they are.

I'll just go ahead and start by saying that Forget You is an example of another great setup that fell very flat for me. Much of the problem was plotting issues, along with an abundance of confusion throughout the story. So many character traits and decisions just didn't add up and I felt like I was constantly scratching my head, like I was missing more puzzle pieces than poor Zoey. I liked Zoey. I felt incredibly sorry for her. Her mother attempts suicide and then gets locked up in the hospital, where no one will allow Zoey to visit. Her father is like something out of a nightmare and the boys that she lusts after are neither of them anything to write home about. Her commutation of a one-night stand into a full-blown relationship with Brandon can be chalked up to her completely understandably disordered mental state. For awhile. But unfortunately I was only able to suspend my disbelief so long. She knows his reputation. She knows the reality of him. And, smart as she is, it seems beyond unlikely she would persist in such an unbelievably unrealistic scenario, when presented with the lovely young hottie by the name of Doug, who clearly wants her. Yesterday. And despite the fact that she so wants him back, she treats him pretty poorly. And he takes it! I mean, he snarks at her a bit, and definitely tries to get her to see the light. But ultimately he takes it. It was hard for me to keep a torch for Doug burning when he kept turning belly up. And not treating her very nicely either, come to think of it. These two were undeniably drawn to each other, but they didn't seem to much like each other. I have difficulty signing on for that sort of deal. I guess I just need a little more than attraction to go on. I couldn't feel the connection between them, much less want them to be together. They didn't leap across the page at me and their magnetism alone just wasn't enough. And so what I hoped would be an absorbing, sweet read ended up an extremely confusing and fractured one. As evidenced by the links below, some people feel similarly and many do not. If you've not ready any Jennifer Echols yet, I highly recommend starting with Going Too Far and working your way out from there.

Linkage
Book Crazy Review
The Book Smugglers Review
The Crooked Shelf Review
A Good Addiction Review
Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf Review
Lurv a la Mode Review
Pure Imagination Review
See Michelle Read Review
Wondrous Reads Review

Comments

  1. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Totally agree with your review. You nailed the issues with this story exactly.

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  2. Sorry you did not like it much...I felt pretty differently but then that's why there's so many books in the world! Thanks for the link! :)

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  3. I haven't read this yet but I want too, and I have a feeling my expectations are extremely high because I loved Going To Far, and you and I tend to have similar taste so I'm sure my opinion will fall somewhere near yours.

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  4. Anonymous11:38 AM

    I just skimmed your review because this one was next on my TBR pile, but I see this fell flat for you. I'm so sorry to read that! Going Too Far is one of my favorite 2009 novels and I've been waiting for Forget You for ages. Well, I guess that helps me decide whether to read Forget You or Heroes Return next. I'm moving Heroes Return to the top.

    KarenS

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  5. Ijust finished reading and reviewing this as well. I felt pretty much the same way you did.

    I felt sorry for Zoey, but I could NOT stand the whole "Brandon is my boyfriend" thing. NO HE WASN'T. I was so annoyed by this the whole time. I liked Doug and I think Echols can write excellent smexy bits but bottom line was I couldn't stand Zoey and it kept me from being able to enjoy the novel as a whole.

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  6. Oh, drat. I loved Going Too Far (like a lot of other people), but I've hearing some not-so-great things about this one. :(

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  7. I completely agree with you! I'm about 2/3 into this one and I started it sometime in early June. I keep wanting to love it (due to my full-on adoration for Going Too Far), but I can't seem to get past Zoey's confusing self. I don't hate her though, which I find surprising since I usually can't stand female protags who behave similarly. I think a lot of my sympathy for her is due to her horrible family situation. However, that only extends so far...

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  8. Oh I remember your review for Going too Far and wanting to read it after I read your review. Sorry this one didn't turn out too well :(

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  9. Aww, sorry this didn't turn out so well for you. I've been bugging the local bookstore if they already ordered copies of this. I might not bug them anymore because of your review. I've also seen other reviews that said they didn't like this one that much. I kind of felt the same with Echols' Endless Summer, it just didn't work out for me. I will probably still read this one although I'm not that excited anymore.

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  10. That review is so true. I agree on everything that has been written in that review. Thank you for sharing it. It is a very informative review.

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  11. completely agree. going too far was definitely better. zoey and doug never seemed like real people...they both kept making such inconsistent choices. i was sorry not to enjoy this book...but alas.

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  12. also: i just noticed you have a widget of dead sexy mr. thornton (and margaret) of north & south. i think we are kindred spirits.

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  13. Anon, glad I'm not the only one.

    Jenn, I know. And I'm glad people are loving it, too. I just wished I had as well. Oh, well.

    Caitlin, yeah, my expectations were rather high as well. But in this case it wasn't a case of the expectations interfering with the reading experience. It just did not work.

    Karen, I'm a few pages into HEROES RETURN now. So good to be back....:)

    Mollie, yeah. Zoey struggled. And the thing was I didn't dislike her. I just thought she was poorly written. She was smart. She shouldn't have harped on Brandon so. It felt inauthentic. But the thing is--I didn't like Doug. I just...didn't. *sigh*

    Heidenkind, yeah. Reactions seem to be split. It's the greatest book EVER or it is a confusing mess.

    Jacqueline, exactly! It's mystifying. I don't hate her at all. I just don't buy her continual obsession with a boy she knows she doesn't love and didn't want a relationship with in the first place. It's bizarre.

    KIKA, yeah, it really didn't. But GOING TOO FAR is totally worth a read. :)

    Chachic, I wouldn't bother bugging them anymore. Sadly.

    dining room tables, why thank you.

    jane, that's right. They didn't seem real. They started out seeming real and then they just didn't develop. All the forward motion stopped and nothing interesting happened after that.

    And if you think Mr. Thornton is dead sexy then we are definitely kindred spirits. I'm following your blog now and agree on your review of FORGET YOU that they were defined by what happened to them. They never really acted on their own. Ugh.

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  14. I have no idea why Zoey was written so inconsistently. I KNOW she had just gone through this whole big emotional drama with her family, but really? The girl was off in dream land for 90% of the book. I was *really* hoping this one would turn out as good as GOING TOO FAR, but sadly, no.

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  15. Michelle, I know. It doesn't compute somehow. Having read GOING TOO FAR, there was none of that and so I'm at a loss for why it showed up here. I thought she should maybe have been in a coma or something for longer than just a DAY, if just to explain her extreme out-of-it-ness better. You know?

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  16. Anonymous7:33 PM

    Well, I've just reached page 242 and Zoey's talk with Doug has annoyed me so much, I want to give up and move on to Mockingjay (which just arrived this evening).

    The fact that Zoey didn't just ask Doug what happened that morning he showed up at her place made it clear to me that the rest of the book would not work for me.

    After Return to Paradise, I think this is my second biggest 2010 disappointment. Though I'll still read her next book.

    KarenS

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  17. Karen, *sigh* Disappointing, isn't it? I don't honestly know what happened with this one. But the overall connection between them never worked for me and it really needed to to make the book as a whole float.

    I'm sorry about those two disappointments. I agree completely. But I'm going to read her next one as well. *fingers crossed*

    Have you gotten to MOCKINGJAY yet? Very interested to hear what you think!

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