Monday, July 28, 2014
(Don't You) Forget About Me
Gardnerville is a miraculous town. No one dies of disease and only the extremely old finally succumb after over a hundred years. People come there as a last resort when all treatment has failed. But the town isn't perfect; it's also magical. You might think this would be amazing and wonderful to live in, but the reality has hormone filled and emotional teenagers murdering their peers with magic powers. The effects are the most devastating during fourth years. Sisters Piper and Skyler were always inseparable until Piper committed a horrific crime during a fourth year and was then imprisoned in the reformatory. Skyler has been taking forget-me-not pills to live in a constant state of oblivion. She gets the pills in exchange for pointing out people who are on the verge of emotional instability that would give rise to another disaster. If she wants to save her sister, she has to kick the pills and figure out a way to stop the murderous cycle in Gardernville.
(Don't You) Forget About Me was a surprising read. I had an idea going into it how the plot would go and I couldn't have been more wrong. Plus the concept of a magical town with a dark side is one reason why I couldn't put the book down. Gardnerville is a magical place filled with health and people who live abnormally long. The price for that longevity isn't small: every year strange and dangerous occurrences happen with the teens there, triggered by hormones and heightened emotion. Anything can happen from heating the weather to unbearable temperatures to electric orbs that lure people into touching them to compelling people to jump off a cliff. Is it really worth it? People with inoperable tumors or incurable diseases will live healthily for a very long time, but risk dying in a bizarre and unforeseeable way. The ways the extreme fourth years can manifest were varied and unique. These scenes provided a level surrealism and dark whimsy that I haven't read in a while.
The characters were odd in their own ways and the town gave most of them some sort of supernatural power. Skyler is the most unreliable narrator I've ever read because she doesn't even know what's true or false. She constantly takes these forget-me-not pills that send her into comfortable oblivion with no idea how much of the past or present she has forgotten. The reader stumbles around with and her tries to make sense of the glimpses of the present and the past and it all comes together in an unexpected way in the end. Skyler's sister Piper is hard to deal with. She's strong, take charge, and bossy, but she doesn't seem to always think things through or consider how her actions will affect other people. I liked her in general, but she could be annoying. The romance with Foote was sweet, but not really needed in the story. I liked his character all right, but the story wouldn't have changed much without him,
(Don'tYou) Forget About Me is a surreal and mindbending adventure. I love Gardnerville and I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery before the end, which I failed at. The characters are memorable and fully realized. I would definitely read other books by Kate Karyus Quinn. Highly recommended.
My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins