14 May 2014

(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

By: Me My Shelf And I | 14 May 2014 at 12:15 AM | | | | | |

dyfam

A great concept that I felt got a little cluttered in the end.

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(Don't You) Forget About Me
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Release Date: June 10th, 2014 Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 2.5  Birds

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.

With such an amazing concept, and 80's song lyrics as some of the chapter titles, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have the bumps along the way that I did with DON'T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME.

The best way for me to lay out my thoughts about this novel, is to do a Pro's and Con's list – a little different than my normal review form, I know. Just go with me. I find when I have trouble with a book, I fall short on mentioning it's better qualities and I don't want that to become habit. This book definitely has it's good qualities, I just struggled deeply with the parts that I personally didn't enjoy.

PROS

  • Gardnerville is beautifully set up, Kate Karyus Quinn really delivers on the visuals and feel of the town. One of the images that sticks with me, even now, is the Reformatory looming over the town, high up on it's hill side perch almost like it's watching everyone.
  • Concept. Can we just take a minute to marvel at how cool this idea is. "Come live in Gardnerville – all your illness will be cured, you'll live much longer than a normal human. Oh, one last thing, some of us develop supernatural powers and every fourth year those under 18 have a wee bit of a hard time controlling them…things can get hairy." So, so cool.
  • Opening chapter – amazing, gripping. Makes you want more.
  • The book is told through the eyes of Skylar, going back and forth between present and past tense. In the past tense, the chapters are titled with 80's song titles (LOVE IT!) and she's speaking to her sister Piper, recalling memories.
  • The Quints. Creep-y! Love them!
  • The Pills. There are a series of pills made by the Quints, that provide you with various forms of release. Forget-Me-Nots, for instance make you forget for a period of time. When you come down you will not remember anything that happened during the time you were on them.

CONS

  • The most difficult part for me while reading was the blurred lines of consent. In several dozen instances the idea, suggestion, or less frequently even the flat out event of trading sexual favors for information seemed to be the go-to option. In one particular instance the person looking for his "payment" knows flat out Skylar is not lucid, but continues to try to take it any way.
  • Elton. He makes my skin crawl. Elton moves to town and takes a teaching position. He quickly starts a relationship with 3 of his students, simultaneously, getting one of them pregnant. There's no mention of shock from the community and they even make him something like a mayor after some time. There is never a mention of his age, so you are lead to believe that because of his job he clearly has been schooled for such a career and must be at least late 20's to early 30's – old enough to know better, especially since he came from the outside world where it's common knowledge that what he was doing was illegal. It really creped me out that this would be written with such an air of approval. Almost as if saying "The town was okay with it, you should be too", kind of thing.
  • After awhile, the book became disjointed. So many plots coming together at once, many which seem to pop up mid-way through the book. It became cluttered and chaotic to me.
  • Predictable. The answer to what is going on is spoken plainly by one character, then another explains what he said so if you missed it, well you just can't.  And it happens just as you begin to climb the Everest of the climax. I was a bit bummed.
  • Rats. That's all I can say about this, but I just felt that even though it's a magical town…this was a reach.

While the Pros outweigh the Cons in number, the disregard for sexual boundaries really effects my review the most. Fiction is fiction, and an author is entitled to their story. I will never deny that, in fact I encourage it. Simply put, in my opinion  the use of sexual suggestion in it's various ways through out the book feels reckless and irresponsible. It did not move the plot forward, in fact it seemed to serve no real purpose other than to shock and awe.

2half

Amber

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