Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Last fall, I fell extremely hard for Jennifer Echols and her intensely brilliant YA novel Going Too Far. Echols has this knack for beautifully portraying teens trying to figure out relationships while dealing with some pretty weighty family and personal crisis to boot. Naturally, I've been eagerly awaiting the release of her latest YA novel, Forget You, with a heavy dose of giddy anticipation.

Doug and Zoey are not what you'd call the best of friends. Doug has always gone out of his way to torment and be rude Zoey but she hasn't extactly extended the olive branch either. Knowing Doug spent time in Juvie several years ago, Zoey made sure he didn't get a summer job life-guarding at her father's water park with the rest of their swim team.

So when Doug unexpectedly appears at her house acting like her boyfriend, though all he did was rescue her from a car crash the night before, she's more than confused. Especially since Zoey can't remember a single thing about that night before or after the car wreck. All Zoey knows is that she's not Doug's girlfriend because she's dating the handsome - if fickle - football player Brandon. Given their past animosity, Zoey knows she has to figure things out with Doug since he is the only person who knows about her mother's recent nervous breakdown following her father's decision to leave them for his 24 year-old pregnant girlfriend and Zoey really doesn't want that information spread around school. Yet swift as an ocean current, the normally in-control and disciplined Zoey finds her life tearing apart at the seams as her family is one big messed-up tangle, her boyfriend continues to remain suspiciously absent, while another boy, one whom Zoey shouldn't want but can't seem to stay away from either, is fast becoming a constant presence.

Forget You is one of those novels that captures all the breathless joy of a summer romance while doling out its fair share of heartache and hurt at the same time. The premise of the novel itself is incredibly intriguing - a girl who can't stand not being in control, yet who can't remember the details from the one night that significantly changed her life.

As much as I wanted to fall head over heels in love with this story and even though Jennifer Echols has this innate connection to the psyche of the average teen, I never once believed Zoey's assertion that she and Brandon were in fact an item. Zoey's a smart girl, she knew all about Brandon's tendency to wander (he'd told her in detail himself), not to mention that she was basing their entire relationship on one hurried sexual encounter with no discussion about a relationship whatsoever. Yet she persisted in believing that she and Brandon were a couple despite her feelings for Doug. I can see her wanting to hold onto that 'relationship' as a way of anchoring her out-of-control life, yet it just seemed like she was just grasping at straws.

What I can fully understand however is Zoey's inexplicable (to her) attraction to Doug because, boy howdy, is he ever a winner. Whereas Zoey often irritated me, Doug constantly impressed me with his maturity, depth, and willingness to sacrifice. That said, Zoey and Doug as a couple exhibit some real chemistry. I'm just not sure if should be classified as anything deeper or longer-lasting than lust. They are like two magnets, who despite all their best efforts can't but help be drawn to each other. Every encounter leaves both feeling raw and frustrated yet wanting more than ever to spend time together. Fundamentally Forget You is in large part a novel about sex. The consequences of sex, the longing for the opposite sex and how sex itself is viewed differently by different people. How simple yet how complicated sex can be at the same time. All of this information which constitutes Zoey's crash-course on the subject during the first few weeks of her senior year.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
The Book Whisperer review
Cleverly Inked review
Gossamer Obsessions review
Lurv a la Mode review
The Story Siren review
Wondrous Reads review

book source: provided by the publisher

4 comments:

jane gallagher said...

i enjoyed reading your review. totally agree about zoey's denial re: brandon. that was so irritating to read. it would be one thing if brandon at least threw her a bone here or there, but he never did - so it seemed a bit far fetched that zoey was so certain he was her boyfriend. i think i'm a little less euphoric about this book than a lot of others, but i did enjoy reading it and will probably continue reading echols...her stuff is just so steamy!

Chachic said...

Hmm sounds very different from Going Too Far but still intriguing. I've seen mixed reviews of this one - some people loved it, some didn't and some wanted to love it but couldn't because of some issues. In any case, I already have it on reserve at the local bookstore and they just need to inform me once it becomes available, probably in the next week or so.

Angiegirl said...

My problem was I couldn't get on board with Doug either. *sigh* Wanted to badly, but every single one of them fall apart for me in the end.

Michelle said...

Jane - Yup. Her stuff is very steamy. Which is why I finished this one even though I got pretty frustrated with the characters at times. Glad to know I'm not the only one who didn't totally connect with it.

Chachic - I'm like you. I was going to read this one whether or not it got good reviews just on the off chance it would be as good as GOING TOO FAR. Sadly, I don't think it was, but I'm interested in what you have to say.

Angie - Oh that is too bad. But I can really see why you'd feel that way. All around, it just wasn't as well thought out as GTF. Which is a shame.