Published: MTV (July 20, 2010)
Source: I purchased this book.
GoodReads Summary: WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER? 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. Feeling like her life is 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.
My Thoughts: This review may contain very minor spoilers. Nothing that wasn't alluded to on the back on the book, though.
Zoey is plagued with amnesia following a car accident and is struggling to find out what happened and who she's dating these days. I did not at all understand her insistence that she and Brandon were together. He was absent for the majority of the novel! I despised Brandon, but I can't say I was surprised by his actions. Zoey knew how he was prior to getting involved with him. He TOLD her he was the non-committal type. Doug, on the other hand...what a freaking sweetheart. I wanted to jump into the book and shake Zoey, to make her see the amazing, wonderful things I was reading. Doug has game, you guys. Perhaps not as strong as Brandon's, but his subtle game made me fan myself at times.
The slowly building romance between Doug and Zoey was satisfying, but frustrating. The constant references to Brandon's feelings and "not making him jealous" began to grate on my nerves. And it wasn't like Echols wasn't aware of what she was writing, because she had Doug go off on Zoey for her broken record tendencies. (Did anyone else not understand the huge deal behind Doug going to juvie? It wasn't like he killed a kitten or anything.) Oh. And certain *ahem* scenes? HOT. HOT. HOT. I have to applaud Echols for taking on a subject that is not often touched on in teen books. Or any books for that matter.
I really struggled trying to connect with Zoey. I get that she wanted to conceal her family issues in order to give off an "everything is fine" vibe. But seriously. Your dad knocked up a 24-year-old girl with whom you and all your friends work. I think they've got an idea that all is not well on the homefront. I'd expect anyone to go through some serious emotional difficulties if this happened to them. Heck, if it happened to me, there'd probably be some vandalism of the perpetrator's personal property. (Violence is never the answer.) Zoey's dad was a jerk. I wanted to hug her anytime she exchanged words with her father. That's how mean and hurtful he was. I've got to give her credit for holding it together, despite the crappy hand she was dealt.
Despite my lack of connection with Zoey, I still think Echols is a beautiful writer. I've got Going Too Far on standby, and I cannot wait to see what else is in store.