WHY CAN'T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET...AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER?When I first read all the rave reviews of Echols' Going Too Far, I was psyched to read it. I love a good YA contemporary romance and am always looking for new authors. Although I liked Going Too Far, I didn't love it, and I certainly didn't think it lived up to all the hype. However, I did enjoy it and was hoping I 'd LOVE Forget You. Alas, I liked this one much less than Going Too Far.
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. With her life 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.
Why? Simple, Zoey. The main character. I, frankly, could not stand her. On one hand I really felt sorry for her. She has this horrible father. I mean BAD. Then her mother tries to kill herself and is admitted to the loony bin. And her horrible father threatens her, demanding she tell no one about the incident, including her two best friends. He then makes Zoey feel like she can't say or do certain things for fear people will also think she's crazy, like her mother.
She's having a helluva tough time. Right after her mom's incident her Dad and his new girlfriend head out to Hawaii to get married leaving the seventeen year-old Zoey alone. Sigh. Talk about bad parenting. So, I feel for her. I really do. However, the night her mother attempts suicide. Zoey does something drastic and out of character (which is understandable considering the ordeal she's been through) by losing her virginity to Brandon, her man-whore, player of a friend. Maybe not the best decision ever but ya know we all make mistakes, we do stupid things when we're hurting or in pain. That's not what bothered me.
What bothered me was for the entire rest of the novel she referred to Brandon as her boyfriend and somehow equated this one time incident as a relationship. I'm sorry honey but a one time hook-up does not a boyfriend make.
I can somewhat understand her motivation behind this. She's in this uncontrollable situation and keeping up appearances has always been part of who Zoey is. Brandon is the football captain and having him as her boyfriend would, in her mind, help keep the appearance of a normal life.
I can't express how obnoxious and annoying I found it every time Zoey said something to the effect of Brandon being her boyfriend. I felt so bad for Doug, because you know he felt just as frustrated with this ridiculous notion. I loved the scene where he suggested she get a card that she could whip out every-time she was going to use the " Brandon Boyfriend Excuse"(BBE), as I've been referring to it in my mind.
Doug. He was the books saving grace for me. I loved him. The bad boy rep but really he's a nice guy. I really wanted to smack Zoey upside the head every freaking time she used the BBE with Doug. Bitch, he's not your boyfriend, grow a brain! Gah!
Despite my complete annoyance with Zoey I have to say that Echols can really write one helluva love scene. She manages to make it hot and sexy and completely believable between two teens. I also loved that she doesn't shy away from generally tabooed topics such a masturbation. The incident is brief but I cheered when I read it. I remember my first time reading about *gasp* masturbation when I read Judy Blume's Deenie and I like to see authors tackling such subjects!
Overall, I was just so annoyed with Zoey's insistence that Brandon was her boyfriend that I could NOT find enough empathy to move beyond it. And not even Doug could get me past it. But never fear readers, I seem to be in the minority in my thinking. If you can get past Zoey's bonehead assumptions you'll probably enjoy it. However, I couldn't and it really impeded my enjoyment of the novel.
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Disclosure: I received this copy from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for this review.