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.
I know that the author is very well versed in the Young Adult Lit circles and has published incredible works. This is my first book by her. She is an excellent writer and definitely speaks to her audience. She wrote an amazing character by introducing us to Doug. I didn't like anybody else in the book.
Truth be known, I think I would probably rename this book, "How to Lose Your Virginity at 17." Zoey seemed intent on doing exactly that. The secondary theme of Zoey trying to control her surroundings due to her lack of life control was excellent. I really wish there was more on this compulsion.
I know I am part of the "parent crowd" but as a high school counselor, I pride myself on knowing a little more about the teenage culture. There were parts of the story where Zoey seems to jump from thought to conclusion without letting me into the process. I really didn't understand how Brandon continued to be her "boyfriend" when he didn't show up. I thought Zoey was really rather stupid.
I didn't love the book and I wouldn't recommend it to any teenagers I know. On the other hand, I thought the writing style was strong and I would probably read another title by the author before deciding whether or not I like her books. This one just didn't draw me in.
*This book was provided to me by Galley and Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review.