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(Don't You) Forget About Me

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Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

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.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published June 10, 2014

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About the author

Kate Karyus Quinn

51 books561 followers
Kate Karyus Quinn is an avid reader and menthol chapstick addict. She has a BFA in theater and an MFA in film and television production. She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, three children, and one giant dog.

Find her online at katekaryusquinn.com

Sign up for her newsletter for exclusive content and giveaways! https://tinyurl.com/y9zz4hp6

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 485 reviews
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
April 21, 2014
Holy crap! I feel like my brain is totally spent after this mind-f*ck of a book! Books like these are so hard to review, so I'm going to do my best to make sense of my thoughts. First, I gotta warn you this not the kind of book that will mesh with everyone. For one, it's so different it breaks all molds of normalcy ever built around story-telling. For another, it introduces the kind of paranormal where you have to go in with an open mind, and just accept this town for what it is (similarly to Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz).

Welcome to Gardnerville. A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

This is the story of Gardernville. A bizarre isolated town where sickness and death are avoided - at least for 100+ years. However they pay dearly for this privilege. When you start this book, you're blindly thrown right in the middle of this messed up place. Nothing will make sense to you, and you won't understand anything that you're being told, however this is not irritating or overwhelming, it's actually the opposite. It left me unable to turn the pages fast enough. The cryptic nature of Quinn's writing, much like her previous novel, is gripping, slightly disturbing, and plays with your mind every step of the way.

We've got a protagonist, here, who's just as much of a mess as this town. After her sister was locked up in this spine-tingling prison of sorts, Skylar is only trying to forget. Except she thinks she's forgotten too much. She's been living in an existences of nothingness that the purple pills bring her. Inside this haze is where we first start to become aware of secrets and bits of information that, okay, are mostly completely out of context and make absolutely no sense, but little by little, the picture begins to form, and the puzzle pieces are at least starting to take form. Still, you can't help but wonder: is this clarity, or is it madness?

At every other chapter, through the recovery of Skylar's memories, we go back to a certain day in time where we discover more about her past, and, at the same time, we get to relive the town's darker moments which allows us an understanding - albeit a scattered one for a while - of its current state. As I mentioned, this story forces you to keep an open mind. It's so far outside the box that it's not even on the same plane of existence. I was personally hypnotized by all the weirdness; for every sliver of information, my fascination grew, I became even more disturbed, and I loved every freaking minute of it!

This is the kind of story that stems from a wild, bursting imagination of someone who knows how to write it, and how to make you become a part of it. (I would also pay handsomely to be in her head for 10 minutes!) I'm certain this one will be sitting next to Another Little Piece in many readers' favorites shelf!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,483 reviews7,781 followers
September 19, 2017
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“My life. It’s not right. It didn’t begin like yours. It won’t end like yours either.”

When my kid brought this home from high school for his nightly required reading, I was all in for a buddy read. Not only because both my kids have been a bit scumbaggy in the past and fibbed about reading when actually they were smuggling iPhones/Pods up to their rooms or sitting on the toilet staring at the wall rather than attempting to expand their minds, but mainly because . . . .

(If you don’t know the significance of the above image/you didn't immediately get an earworm just from reading this title, you are waaaaay too young to be my friend and also probably the target demographic for this book.)

But then the unthinkable happened and the KID ACTUALLY FINISHED BEFORE ME. And the reason? Because I couldn’t stop reading pornography long enough to catch up to him . . . .

That’s all in the past, though, right? So let’s get to the book.

Welcome to Gardnerville . . . .

“A place with no disease where everyone lives past one hundred doesn’t sound like paradise to you?”

“That’s only half the story. The rest is the reformatory and fourth years and kids turned into monsters.”

Skylar’s sister Piper was one of the aforementioned fourth years. She was a kid who turned into a monster. Now she resides in the reformatory and Skylar needs to get her out before this fourth year’s events begin.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this without giving everything away. I will say, it earns its Stars by feeling original, well written, and containing moments that the cool kids would have this to say about . . . .

(All the cool kids still say stuff like that, right?)

Anyway. Although I did see the “twist” coming, it didn’t really bother me because the getting there was pretty fun and the fact that my kid really got absorbed in the story? That makes all of this stuff . . . .

Not matter so much. Kudos to you, Ms. Quinn. You get 4 of the Starzzzzzzzz.

P.S. Oh, and Ron 2.0? You’ll be happy to know the youngest manchild is currently reading Winger. And he loves it because he is not a wrong reader like you ; )
Profile Image for Rashika (is tired).
976 reviews710 followers
August 12, 2016
***This review has also been posted on This Social Potato

“There is always a price to be paid”

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I am so happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. I read Another Little Piece last year and fell in love and that was when I knew that Kate had to go on my (mental) ‘I will read anything this author puts out’ list. When I heard that she had a new book coming out, I went bzerk and flailed and stalked Edelweiss continuously to see when it would be available for request. And then it was.

Some readers who read and didn’t like Another Little Piece might encounter similar issues, but I think that for the most part, this is a lot better paced and will be enjoyed by a larger variety of people than Another Little Piece was. With that said, I definitely prefer Another Little Piece but (Don’t You) Forget About Me was JUST as amazing.

Gardnerville is a small town with secrets. The residents live long healthy lives and no one ever gets sick, but every 4 years, a teen loses it and goes off on a murderous rampage. Lately though, things have been changing. People are coming down with the cold, the old have started showing their age, and the teens aren’t losing control. Something is wrong and Skyla won’t figure it out until she remembers what she is trying to forget

Skylar is an unreliable narrator much like Annaliese from Another Little Piece but the difference between the two is that you don’t even realize Skylar is unreliable until the mystery starts unraveling. For the most part, she seems reliable aside from the fact that she may or may not be addicted to Forget Me Nots which she takes to forget - forget something she can no longer remember. But somehow, in spite of this, you like her. I don’t really know what it is about her; she should be annoying --  she really should be -- but you cannot help but like her. She can read people’s secrets and she should respect their privacy but that doesn’t mean she is tempted. She is very human in some ways, but she is also very mature. She has grown up surrounded by secrets. Secrets call to her. And sometimes she even takes them.

The secondary characters are an interesting lot to say the least. From Elton who you’ll come to hate and pity at the same time, to GG who you’ll have no clue about until the end, to her little brother who is just adorable.

The love interest. Foote.
“A boy full of secrets who can take a few bullets and chalk it up as nothing more than a scratch is made for this town. He’s doing just fine here, and I have no doubt that he’ll stay.”

He is mysterious but he isn’t an ass. You’re never quite sure of him but you cannot help, but develop a crush on him like our female lead did. I think one of the reasons I like him is that even though you’re never sure about him, he doesn’t lead her on. Ever. He is himself and that is why he is so hard to discern. He’s had a tough life but while it haunts him, I don’t feel like it changes who he is. A really sweet guy *sigh*

The romance is of the best variety. A good ole slow burn and better yet, it isn’t the focus. Hell, there are times you wonder whether the two will even ‘get together’. This book should not be labelled a romance because it is NOT one. There are hints of one and that’s about it but even those hints are perfect.

The mystery is what makes you giddy though. This book is stuffed with creepy. LOTS AND LOTS of creepy. And you never know what the hell is going on. Was Piper good or bad? Why the hell is Elton drugging all these kids and why is it a good thing? What is so special about the soil? What is so special about the Gardners? What is it that Skylar cannot remember? Everything is so well done.

This book is a giant puzzle and the author takes her sweet time giving us the pieces. You cannot call this one predictable. At all. But at the same time, it’s not unpredictable either. She doesn’t throw in twists, she gives you an honest to goodness mystery that she solves perfectly too. We are right there with Skylar trying to figure out what is going on and Kate isn’t offering the readers any clues. We have the same clues as the main character, but with the added advantage of getting hints from the past.

I absolutely LOVED how Kate incorporated pieces from the past into the novel. It’s usually annoying, but she does it so, so, so well. Like, can I emphasize what a brilliant mastermind she is?

You can also see how much Quinn has grown as a writer since Another Little Piece. This book is just as beautifully crafted as Another Little Piece, but where Another Little Piece took time to capture your attention, this one grabs it right from the start and it takes you on a long ride that leaves your mind boggled and wondering whether Kate sold her soul to the devil in exchange for brilliant writing skills.

This book is definitely a favorite of 2014 like Another Little Piece was of 2013 and really, I NEED MORE OF BOOKS WRITTEN BY KATE. I gots to have more.

I cannot say everyone will enjoy this because everyone won’t, but I’d still recommend it to everyone in the hopes of finding someone who loved it just as much as I did.

Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,808 reviews797 followers
June 10, 2017
I was expecting this book to be a cutesy little contemporary story but I was definitely way off! But I'm glad I was so far off because it was a fantastic and quite unique paranormal story and I loved everything about it from beginning to end!

The whole concept of the town of Gardnerville drew me in right from the start and it only got more interesting as it went along! Every time I thought I had something figured out, a new twist was added in and the town became more and more mysterious and I loved it!

I also really enjoyed how the chapters alternated between past and present. The chapters set in the past really added to the story. I loved getting to see what had transpired in previous fourth years and the set up it creates for the current fourth year.

There's one twist I really adored but don't get into too much as it would spoil the whole story and only gets revealed at the end. The only thing I'll say is that it completely blew my mind and literally had my jaw dropping! And I also really loved the way it all wrapped up, I thought it was the perfect ending to the story!
Profile Image for Christy LoveOfBooks.
842 reviews570 followers
December 30, 2014

Last year I read Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn and was thoroughly impressed with her debut novel. It was amazing and so unique. So when I saw Don’t You Forget About Me , I didn’t hesitate to get it. I didn’t even read what it was about. Just based on my experience with ALP, I already knew that I wanted to go into this completely blind. Honestly, I suggest that to everyone. I know you all can just go read reviews for this book somewhere else that will give you a bunch of information about the story, but trust me when I tell you to experience this book for yourself. I’m telling you, it’s quite the ride!

Every time I read the title, the song Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds popped in my head. So when I started the book and saw that each chapter is titled after an eighties song, I got a little giddy and I had a new song stuck in my head with each chapter. Eighties music rocks! However, this takes place in current day.

Seriously, this book was so damn good! Quinn is without a doubt, a fantastic writer with an amazing imagination! She writes such unique stories, and I love that it felt like I was working out a puzzle as I read it. There were hints dropped throughout, and I had a pretty strong feeling about what was going on, but Quinn keeps you on your toes the whole time. It has an amazing blend of magical realism, mystery and horror that is so well done, that I'm literally in awe.

The setting is unique (there’s that word again). Gardnerville is a place to both love and fear. No one gets sick, but there is a price to pay. You have cancer? Move to Gardnerville and you’ll be cured. But once you move there, it’s hard to leave. And every fourth year the town requires payment for its gifts. Deadly payments. With four years passing since the last payment that involved her own sister, Sky is pushed into discovering the town secrets and figuring out how to stop the Fourth Years.

The characters were interesting, to say the least. I’m not going to get into details because it’s hard to without giving spoilers. However, I will say that I loved Sky. She drove me crazy at some points, but it isn’t in a bad way. I know that might sound odd, buy it should make sense once you read this. I loved going on this insane journey with her.

Don’t You Forget About Me proved that Quinn isn’t a one trick pony. After being blown away by both of her books, I will continue to blindly go into anything she writes, knowing that I’m going to get something exceptional. So do I recommend this book? Absolutely, without an inkling of hesitation.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,743 reviews1,305 followers
April 29, 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
Skylar lives in a place called Gardnerville. In Gardnerville nobody ever gets sick, and most people live to be over 100-years-old, well MOST of them.
Every fourth year the teens in Gardnerville go a little crazy, and usually people die. Newcomers don’t seem to be dissuaded by this though, and continue to arrive.
What this book is actually about though is beyond me.

This book was confusing and boring. Even after finishing it I have little idea of what happened, and I really don’t care.

This whole book was just weird. The way the book kept jumping from present day to various past times didn’t help either; it was like present day – five years ago – present day – ten years ago – present day – seven years ago, and it was really difficult to see how all these different things fitted in together.
The world building was also confusing. Things weren’t really explained well at all, and it was like the reader was supposed to just pick stuff up as you went along, but with so many seemingly strange and unrelated things going on it was really hard to follow, and even more difficult to actually enjoy.
Even when I did work out bits of what was happening, there just wasn’t enough to keep me entertained, and reading this became a real chore. This whole book was just one big long crazy trip, and I really didn’t enjoy it. Maybe I needed to be drunk or high or something for it to make sense, because stone-cold sober, it was pretty dire.

The best thing about this book was the ending – purely because I was so darn relieved that it was over! I really don’t know what went on in this book, or if anything was resolved. The whole thing was so confusing that I really haven’t got a clue, and I really am just glad to be finished! I really don’t think I’ll read anything by this author ever again.
Overall; confusing and boring,
4 out of 10.
511 reviews211 followers
April 7, 2014
I think there's some magic in this story, not fictional magic, but the kind that enchants its readers and grapples with their memory of reading the book. See, all the while reading (Don't You) Forget About Me, I was alternately thinking about the last exam due the next day, how the story feels protracted it seemed and all the other jaded feelings. Somewhere along the way, however, I was enchanted into Gardnerville, and now there's a price to pay.

Now all I think about are the lingering and mesmerizing characters. And how immensely sad and unhealthy and haunting this book can be.

The story is dichotomous, and its first half may drive away a lot of readers. It's all over the place, it's messed up because our protagonist, Skylar, is fucked up-she's been drugging herself for years now. What happens every moment, what happens right now, we find out ages into the story the actual sequence from someone else. When I wasn't thinking wearisome it was, I actually liked it because it built up the atmosphere; I got to experience Skylar at her worst and forger connection with a unlikable, ignominious heroine. I was there for the ride.

During the second half, pieces start to come together and it's fucking mind-blowing. Quinn's written a genius book, truly. There an ingenious and troubling twist on the The Pied Piper wrapped up within. Doubtlessly, it's one of the most original and mind-bending and poignant story I've read in a while.

There is an incontestable beauty to Quinn's prose and characters, and an unexpected horror. And that's why the concept of Gardnerville, and a price to pay, works so well for this story. It's a crazy town, and it's scary without the use of traditional elements like gore, birds, shock factors. The true horror is in how far people may go for paradise, how every price is payable, and in how the mind can never let go.

Everything not saved will be lost.

However, what haunts me to this day are the characters. I cannot say too much at this point for fear of spoiling, but I wonder what it must be like to be Skylar's sister, Piper. To be To be in love with someone like Piper. And Skylar. To recover memories you'd rather forget, to finally see yourself for who you are, to see who your sister was. To let go.

The depiction of the bond between Skylar and Piper was so realistic, and despite everything, it brought Skylar to a platform where I could easily connect with her, regardless of any inhibitions might have felt. There are alternate chapters with flashbacks from a past that Skylar can barely remember, and they build up the story of the two sisters: the Pied Piper and Skylar, who'd follow her anywhere. And in there, we see that as much as Skylar loves her, there are moments she hates her so much it blocks everything out. Piper scares Skylar, she hurts Skylar, but she also loves Skylar and Skylar can't let go of that.

The paranormal side of this story, more magical realism really, is harsh and dark and woods on a snowy evening; it's weird and lovely. Because it's heaven and more hell. I think you should take a chance and venture in blindly-it will deliver. Don't ask what the story it's about and don't question it. It will gradually unravel for you and then stick itself back in the right order.

However, it's not a perfect book. I think in the first half where Skylar just wandered around and the story meandered should have been shortened; it would have given more impact to the latter half. Moreover, more importantly, it wouldn't be so boring. At times, the plot became too convoluted.

The romance was undeveloped but as a character, I think Foote was the kind of person one could get behind. He never felt contrived or typical or tortured soul; he was simply a fucked-up teenager like Skylar. As real as they get. Yet there is only an inkling of a romance, so it didn't bother me much.

The last few lines of (Don't You) Forget About Me are lovely and sorrowful and seriously, not spoilerly at all.

There’s no place like home.
There’s no place like home.
There’s no place like home.


Your past times consisted of the strange,
The twisted and deranged
And I loved that little game you had called "Crying Lightning"
And how you like to aggravate the ice-cream man on rainy afternoons...

But not half as impossible as everyone assumes
You are crying lightning

Your past times consisted of the strange,
The twisted and deranged
And I hate that little game you had called "Crying Lightning"

I think these lines could express what I think Skylar feels towards Piper, all the sky-rocketing, see-sawing feelings. The tune of the song doesn't go along with the atmosphere of the story but it's the tone of the bond between them-or my version of it-back when they were kids.
September 5, 2014
Maybe I'd once dreamed of a perfect Gardnerville too, but I'm older now and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that there's always a price to be paid.

There really really really isn't a way to express how I feel about this book and there is literally no shelf to place this on because I can't even explain it without spoilers galore. It was unique, engaging, confusing as hell and altogether heartbreaking. I don't quite know when I started to feel for this main character or even her elusive sister, Piper, but at the end of it all...I had tears in my eyes and a deep ache in my heart. I didn't expect it, either. All of a sudden the conclusion came about and I was completely fine, then out of nowhere I felt this tingling sensation in my eyes and an ache in my gut. And I think that's where my respect for this book really started to settle in.

Going out onto the trestle bridge is forbidden, and it isn't a law that needs a whole lot of enforcing. There is enough danger in this town that nobody goes looking for it. Except you, Piper. You were the exception.
Are the exception. Are.

Throughout the entirety of this novel, I felt a bone-deep connection that kept me engrossed in this story and invested with what happens with our main character, Skylar. It reminds me of another book I read earlier this year, but I feel like this one was better. There was a wholly dark undertone and while I knew it was leading somewhere we could never turn away from, I never felt the devastating heartache with each passing page like I did with the other. This book was messed up on so many levels I can't even count, and even more messed up was the mind-fuck of an ending. The whole story is this way, and maybe that's why I couldn't give that final star-I knew this wasn't going to be a normal mystery type of book and therefore, no matter the ending, I wasn't going to be shocked in any way, shape, or form. I knew, with absolute certainty, that something wasn't right and that there would be hell to pay, but I marched right along beside Skylar, right along to the inevitable conclusion the whole book was leading us towards.

If I froze that moment, and cut the train from the picture, you might be long-separated lovers, running toward each other, arms outstretched, everything forgiven, and only seconds away from a happy ending.
But this was a fourth year in Gardnerville, and there were no happy endings.

My absolute favorite thing about this story was the writing. It was beautiful, intoxicating, and alluring. I must admit I was a little shocked. This book could have so easily been written poorly alongside a confusing and unconvincing plot-but not once did I ever feel like this wasn't expertly woven and eloquent beyond my wildest imagination. There was a haunting quality in the way the words were dispersed to us, making the already eerie situation even more spine-tingling. You know that tingly feeling you get when you feel like you are being watched but you can't physically see them? That's how I felt while reading this novel. More than once I got chills running down my spine and the creepy crawlies shivering up and down my arm....even with just a single look from one of the characters I could feel myself beginning to slightly panic.

Despite everything, not many people leave this town. The train station doesn't even have a ticket booth. It's free to leave. The only people this town makes pay are those who decide to stay.

The characters are likely what will either make or break your opinion of this story. If you don't mind not knowing what's going on for 80% of the book outside of your own speculations, then it all depends on if the characters grab or enthrall you. Now, while I don't stand for all that is solid or correct or right in this world, I must say I felt a deep connection with these characters, especially Skylar. And it really doesn't make sense, even to me, how I could connect with characters that the author clearly tried to keep vague so we could victimize them as we damn well pleased, but I just felt this magnetic pull to each of them, trying to delve deeper and unravel the mystery of each story and how it connected to Skylar's devastating life. She lives every day in a haze, not remembering sometimes how to get home or walk to school, all because she binges on forget-me-nots (known and focused on as the purple pills) so she can block out and 'forget' what happened on the last fourth year after her sister led a bunch of students to their demise. We get the story ourselves through her hazy recollection of events both leading up to that day and present day accounts of how she will break her sister out of the reformatory. But this is where it all circles back-after the tragedy of that fourth year, her sister just....is nowhere to be found. But when people have 'their fourth year', they are taken to the reformatory to be locked up and atoned for their sins. So, naturally, that's where her sister went....right?

Your words sounded like the worst kind of secret, the sort that I wished wasn't true. The thing is, secrets are awful in lots of ways, but they almost never lie.

Skylar became a favorite for me very quickly. While at the beginning we can't possibly say what her personality is like because she is always doped up and trying to forget, we get a recount and visualization of the way she used to be on the flashback chapters and they help us to see where Skylar is trying to go-what she's trying to accomplish. These flashbacks have a neat little twist to them, though-they are written in second person. Omgahh that confused me at first, but then as we got deeper into the story, I started to become OBSESSED with the flashbacks because these chilling recollections spoken to Piper through the form of 'You' touched me far deeper than any of the present day story did-they brought the temperature down about ten degrees. As Skylar begins to realize time is running out and she needs to remember, she stops taking the pills and slowly comes back to us in pieces. I loved the growth of her character. It was addicting to see how strongly she wanted to save her sister and what she was willing to do to accomplish that....but as the memories progressively returned and she begins to find things out....the urge to forget again is strong. And that feeling, paired with the flashbacks spoken to Piper, made for a thrilling duo that had me pushing to finish even at the cost of no sleep.

I nodded and agreed, but all the time I couldn't help finding the new stories unsatisfactory in a slightly different way. In our Gardnerville story, we were born into the magical and dangerous place, and that left us with a new problem and no easy solution that I could see.
Maybe it was all those funerals, but our predicament seemed much worse than anything that Alice faced. How could we ever have a happy ending, Piper, when the mysterious and deadly land is where we've grown up, and there is never any hope of finding a safe place to call home?

Even now I have thoughts begging to be splashed onto this review, but I have literally so many that I keep forgetting (ironic) and am forced to wrap this up. There is no way for me to get everything I feel or felt on this review and it's probably for the best anyway-This book is so twisty and turny that the more I say, the more likely you'll figure things out. So I need to zip my lips and move on....but just know: No amount of words can or will explain the complexity that is this novel. None.

Piper, you never really needed powers to make others do your will. Not with me, at least.
And that was why there was never any choice to make.
"Yes, of course I'm with you," I said. "Always."

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Profile Image for Jamie (Books and Ladders).
1,382 reviews189 followers
May 28, 2016
My status updates for this one are literally all positive. Because until like ~85% of the book, I LOVED this. Like the mystery, the intrigue, the weird supernatural aspect to it: it had me roped in. BUT THEN THE ENDING RUINED IT. Like this book went from 5 stars to zero stars real quick imo. The ending was SO STUPID. I don't understand how people can like it at all. But let me tell you the good things first.

The supernatural element to this one was super interesting. Teens raging with hormones would murder people every four years which was like so cool and interesting. We learned a lot about past "explosions" of this and even the little things that happened in years in between. It was so cool and interesting and I was waiting to see what would happen. I even really liked that there wasn't really an explanation for it (AT FIRST) because the town seemed to be following "an eye for an eye": You get to live forever BUT some teens may murder other teens every four years. It's like the supernatural Olympics.

I also really liked our main character Skylar. I liked that she was super unreliable because she was missing memories and taking pills to forget (although I thought the way this was handled was MEH at best tbh. She was an addict but like it was portrayed as being a good thing (in town) because it kept her "under control" and I was not okay with it?? Why aren't more people upset by this??). This made her easy to connect to but also not want to trust her whatsoever. She also was doing the best she could under the circumstances: she felt the fourth year pull but really wanted to help people too. It was a tough line to walk for a main character and I think she was written REALLY well.

I also liked the secondary characters who were introduced. It as interesting to see their roles in their own lives and how this intersected with Skylar and the town's mysteries. I had guesses about everyone and their involvement and I was right on the money (there were lots of hints -- almost too many -- which made me think maybe I wasn't right, but I was). I did really like everyone though. I liked that they did what they thought they needed to in order to protect the town, their livelihood, and the people they cared about.

BUT I DID NOT LIKE THE END. And I don't mean how the "final battle" played out, that was really predictable. I mean WHY there are supernatural powers in town. BECAUSE IT WAS SO STUPID. SO STUPID. SO STUPID!!! Like I was so angry at what was revealed that I almost DNF-ed the book at 90%. IT WAS LITERALLY THE STUPIDEST THING EVER. It was as though someone thought, "oh man I need to make someone control the supernatural powers. what can I see around me???" and then BAM, inspiration. AND SO STUPID. I can't handle it. I am so mad. SO MAD.

The ending completely ruined the book for me. I almost want to pull a Piper and Skylar and rip out the pages and make my own ending. Is that the point?? Did I figure it out?? Anyway, if you're super curious but DON'T want to read it, message me and I'll tell you the ending. If you're super curious and read it and get angry, message me so we can rant. If you're super curious and read it and like it, message me to explain why because it does not compute. But like I said the first 85% was SO GOOD. Like I loved it tbh. And then .... not so much.

Books and Ladders | Queen of the Bookshelves | Books Are My Fandom | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin'
Profile Image for Adriana.
428 reviews193 followers
June 1, 2016
Primera lectura: 17/10/2014
Segunda lectura: 22/5/2016

"Say it with me now, Wills. Once like it's our curse. A second time as if it's a relief. And finally like it's nothing but the plain and simple truth. Let's say it now, so we both remember.
There's no place like home.
There's no place like home.
There's no place like home."
Profile Image for autumn.
273 reviews44 followers
July 26, 2018
the premise is cool, but for a book with this many plot twists/reveals, i just don't think they came together the way they needed to. there was a LOT of different threads, some that panned out in a cool way, and some that just made the whole thing hard to follow. definitely an enjoyable, interesting read though!
Profile Image for Aideeeee.
564 reviews48 followers
August 28, 2015
Una agradable sorpresa.

Me encontré este libro gracias a mi ceguera (di un mal click) y se me hizo bonita la portada, entonces leí la sinopsis y no le pude decir que no.

Sky es una chica desequilibrada mentalmente que vive en un pueblo mágico donde los habitantes son longevos y cualquier enfermedad puede curarse. ¿El precio? Quedarse. ¿El 'pero'? Cada 4 años los adolescentes se vuelven locos y violentos.

En el camino para intentar comprender los desvaríos de la protagonista en busca de su hermana, nos vamos a encontrar de todo. Historias raras que se entrelazan para contarnos un final retorcido, no esperado y si quieren no creíble.

Libros raros y éste.

No voy a exagerar diciendo que NO es una historia para todos. La mente abierta es un requisito y leer sin preguntar es una regla. El caso es que cumpliendo con lo anterior se obtiene una experiencia de locura inigualable.

Sky toma pastillas para olvidar, pero se la pasa recordando. Muchos personajes mueren antes de la primera mitad. Al ser una historia contada por una chica errante, hay huecos por todos lados. El romance es moderado y a nadie le importa porque QUEREMOS RESPUESTAS. Aún así, el romance en sus momentos, DUELE. GRACIAS.

Los chicos de aquí son raros, no son guapos, alguno de hecho, está lisiado. Retorcido por siempre. Suicidios. Golpes. Fantasmas. Paranormal. Magia. Historias de la abuela. ¿QUÉ HACEN QUE NO LO ESTÁN LEYENDO?

Sobre la estructura del libro; pues se divide en lo que podemos llamar el presente, que son capítulos donde pasa la mayor parte de la trama. Pero tenemos también capítulos más cortos titulados con canciones de los 80's donde podemos encontrar respuestas o más preguntas, depende cómo lo vean, sobre lo que le sucedió a su hermana.

Ajá, porque todo va sobre encontrar el paradero de la hermana mayor que hizo un desbarajuste hace 4 años... y pues, ajá, a Sky le dieron ganas de buscarla hasta entonces.

Yo no dije que algo aquí tenía sentido. De hecho, si se molestan fácilmente mejor ni lo intenten. Hay huecos. Sí que los hay. Pero a mí me dejó muy satisfecha y pues... eso.

Y si piensan que este review no tiene ni pies, ni cabeza, pero les gustó. NO SE PIERDAN EL LIBRO PORQUE VA POR DONDE MISMO. FIN.
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,432 reviews1,325 followers
June 13, 2014
I have to tell you guys... I don't even know what to say about this book and every single time I think about what I want to write (which is often) I start singing this damn song. *shakes fist at Kate Karyus Quinn).

But in all seriousness I'm not sure what I can or should tell you about this. You will be confused, you will think it's a strange read and the story itself is so bizarre... But you won't be able to stop, and when everything is pieced together at the end you will be amazed at how much you enjoyed it.

You will find the characters here unique and interesting and so so layered, you will find the plot and pacing of the story so wonderfully done and the twists and turns will have you turning pages as fast as you can.

If you're looking for something original and fascinating... A story filled with creativity and imagination... yet just a tiny bit disturbing - look no further. This one is on bookshelves now so go get it!
Profile Image for ☾.
235 reviews1 follower
June 23, 2019
It was okay. There weren’t as many twists as I was led to believe and any that did happen weren’t explained that well/at all, so I’m still confused on how a few things happened. Not the worst book, but not the best book
Profile Image for Alexandra Christo.
Author 7 books5,138 followers
January 1, 2022
This is the most wonderfully bizarre book I've read in a while.

The key thing you need to understand when going in to this, is that you can't trust anything anyone says. Everyone talks in tongues and secrets, words coated with something other than what they're saying. Even Skylar, our narrator, can't be relied on, because she swallows so many memory-fogging forget-me-nots, that her past and present all blur away in smoke.

Gardnerville is a town that sickness and death have abandoned. For over a hundred years the residents can live perfectly healthy lives, their age rarely showing and their stamina rarely slowing. When the sick come to Gardnerville, they find reprieve from their fatal illnesses. They are immune to death and, in some ways, life. But this comes with a price too deadly for words.

Quinn does a sensational job of keeping up suspense – with so much going on, and Skylar's patchy memory making reveals tantalisingly slow – it's hard not to get anxious with every page. Once one mystery is revealed, another takes its place, and so begins the looping train that is the endless enigma of the town and its residents.

This is disturbing, there's no doubt. There's the threat of bloody murder every four years, and the horrifying ways these are carried out, which are sensationally sinister. And often supernatural in some form; because Gardnerville isn't just a place where you can escape death, it's one where you can escape logic. Where powers and abilities float through the air like dandelion clocks.

And then there's the notorious asylum that looms on the hills, housing the culprits only to suddenly release them back into the town as shells of themselves. Nobody knows what causes this. And nobody knows what happens in the asylum to erase everything those people once were. It's gripping, surreal, and all so cloaked in secrecy and intrigue.

As Skylar slowly starts to fight against her forget-me-not induced haze, and resigns to finding her sister, Piper and end Gardnerville's murderous cycle, the book really starts to take root. We discover things at the same time Skylar does, even things that are in her own past. There's something fascinating about that; being on par with the narrator and going through the journey together, as though we're almost part of the story ourselves. The reveals at the end – yes, reveals plural – were all wonderful and unexpected, and that final showdown was the perfectly creepy end to a perfectly creepy story.

There's no denying the skill and imagination that went into crafting this story. Quinn truly let her writing run wild and so, in Gardnerville, anything goes. Reading this was like being inside someone else's imagination – it was crazy and nonsensical and unexpected, and so gorgeously unique in all of its erraticness.This is a fantasy in every sense of the word, and when you're reading it's important to bear that in mind. And if you do, you're in for a most surreal ride.

Favourite quote:
"Sometimes you make bad choices to keep yourself from making other, even worse ones."
Profile Image for Jo.
1,138 reviews60 followers
June 11, 2014
I really enjoyed the narrator voice. It was rich and complex, full of little wisdom nuggets, and unique. I can't say that I have ever encountered a narrator quite like Skylar. No spoilers, but I will say that up becomes down in the end. It was beautifully written, and the anticipation builds sweetly and slowly. I liked that the romance played a minimal amount. The true love story here is between two sisters who have been separated. Piper has been sent away, and Skylar is left to mourn. Quinn does a great job of showing Skylar's grief and her desire to forget everything. The narration pivots between first person and second person. I think second person is tricky to write, but clearly we are in the hands of a master as it is so well done. The irony is that as hard as Skylar is trying to forget, the more clear and precise her memories of Piper are. The second person chapters are always flashbacks to their time together.

The mystery builds so deliciously that I just wanted to tear through the pages faster and faster, but the words were so beautiful that I wanted to stop and savor them. I have a feeling that this will definitely be a second read for me. I also appreciated that this is a stand alone novel. I will absolutely be checking out more works by this author.
Profile Image for Pao.
140 reviews45 followers
September 12, 2014
If it's labeled under:

It's deffinitely going to caught my attention. That's like Wonderland to me; the more f****d up the book, the more I'll end up loving it.

After all the 5 star ratings and the dazzling reviews here, I thought I was in for treat with this one for sure. Well, at this point I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS BOOK WAS ABOUT AND THAT IT'S FREAKING UPSEATING! I feel like it was a huge disapointment and waste of my time. One minute it was talking about pills, then bird-stolen babys, then fireflies, then rats, then mind powers...

I didn't get if the soil was magical or something, if the girl really had powers or not, what was the point with the rats (?), I got bored and started counting the pages to finish it...

It was beyond confusing ¬¬.

Profile Image for Rabiah.
488 reviews218 followers
June 4, 2015
**4.5 stars**

Originally posted at: http://iliveforreading.blogspot.com/2...

My mind is numb after finishing (Don’t You) Forget About Me. I did NOT see that end coming. I’d read in several reviews before I read the book that this book basically f*cked with their minds, and so while reading the book I tried to come up with several possibilities. Obviously, I didn’t think it through, because my mind? B-L-O-W-N. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t read this one until now. It’s been on my shelf for more than a year. I know two of my friends couldn’t get through it, so maybe that’s why I didn’t really try. As usual, I have regrets. Firstly, this book was so original. I’m trying to think of books I could compare it to and I’m kind of drawing up a blank. Nothing really comes close to the material in this book! Secondly, THAT END. Yeah–I’m still hung up about it.

This book was unique on so many levels. There was the whole switch in perspective. This time, I don’t mean the switch between two characters’ perspectives, but actually the type of perspective. The book’s narration switches from first person (present) to second person (past) and this makes things verryyy interesting. Trust me. It’ll all make sense (wait for it) AT THE END. There’s also the book’s genre–it’s kinda difficult to pin down. It’s kind of a dystopian, but it’s set in our time, and it’s also a bit supernatural. Throw in suspense and a psychological thriller-esque vibe, and viola! You have (Don’t You) Forget About Me. Oh, that’s another thing. The titles in the flashbacks are all song titles. While I didn’t really think much of it while reading the book, the title–which is a song by Simple Minds–actually makes sense looking back. Again, it’ll all make sense at the end.

❝Elton bolted past me, onto the tracks, toward you and the train at your heels. If I froze that moment, and cut the train from the picture, you might be long-separated lovers, running toward each other, arms outstretched, everything forgiven, and only seconds away from a happy ending.
But this was a fourth year in Gardnerville, and there were no happy endings.❞
–p. 7, ARC*
*text is subject to change in the final version

The biggest problem for me with this book was that it would, at times, get too confusing. The ending, as amazing and mind-numbing as it is, left me utterly perplexed at the town’s history. So many things seemed so off-base for me, especially about how the reformatory came to be. I guess with (Don’t You) Forget About Me you kinda have to accept the magical-realism aspect without any questions. I also wish that we’d gotten to the know the characters a lot better. Skylar was pretty much drugged with forget-me-nots throughout the book so we don’t get too much of a connection to her character, even less so with Elton and kind of a tiny bit more or less with Foote. However I do feel that we do get to know Piper quite a bit, particularly in the flashback chapters.

An interesting take on narrative structure and voice with a fascinating unreliable narrator who will keep readers guessing at every turn, (Don’t You) Forget About Me was an astonishing and remarkably crafted story. Kate Karyus Quinn spins a dark and sinister tale that goes beyond what you could possibly imagine–prepare to get sucked into the eerie and unsettling world of Gardnerville.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan from HarperCollins International for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,907 reviews441 followers
June 11, 2014
Thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this. I didn't get to it until the day before my e-copy would expire, but it was a read that I was able to pick up and get right into.

I'm not sure exactly what to think about the book. It was a very unique story. I love how the title, as well as the titles of many of the chapters, were the names of songs I remember from the 80's. It definitely had me reading to the very end to try to find out exactly what was the real story about what was going on. And while I feel that it ended in a perfectly explained way, there was one or two things I think would have been good to maybe have in the story a bit more than they were.

The main character is Skylar. She lives in the town of Gardnerville. Gardnerville is a magical place. People don't get sick, if you have cancer, or are dying from something else, you can go there, and you will be healed. Not only healed, but people live really long lives, like hundreds of years. But there is a down side. The kids there have powers of some sort. And every four years, the powers can get extremely strong, and there will be some kind of horrible accident. When these things happen, depending how severe they are, the person, a teen usually, is sent to the Reformatory for a given amount of time. In the Reformatory, it is as if they forget everything there. If they are ever allowed out, they come home broken, quiet, not quite the same person they were before. Four years before the story begins, Skylar's sister Piper led a bunch of kids onto the train track bridge. Most were able to jump to safety before being hit by the train. And Skylar doesn't remember much after what seemed like the train was going to hit Piper. But she knows that Piper is now in the Reformatory.

Now Skylar wants only to forget. But some people are trying to get her to remember, to figure out a way to stop things that are happening. Elton, Piper's boyfriend, has created drugs that help people. forget, or other things that are supposed to make the town safer. He uses Skylar's power, which is to be able to read people's secrets from their minds, to find out who might be a danger to others, and then they are put in the Reformatory. But some people want him to stop. A boy named Foote has come back in to town on the train at the beginning of the story. That is unusual because the rule is that once you leave town, you can't come back. You will go out into the rest of the world, and die from whatever was killing you before. Skylar and Foote seem to be drawn to each other, even through their pushing each other away.

Skylar wants only to get to Piper, and find out what she isn't remembering, as well as help Piper with what was their original plan, to take the Reformatory down so that no one ever has to go there again. But along the way Skylar learns so many things aren't what they seem, that the things she thought she remembered, may not be true, or the way she remembered them. A lot of twists and turns along the way.

I kind of guessed what was going on with Piper, although it was definitely not exactly the way I pictured it. I feel like the rats that were in the town weren't really explained enough, or didn't really have as much of a part in the whole story as they should have, for what they ended up being a part of in the end. Really a twisty, creative story. A town I don't think I'd want to go to. Not even to live a longer life.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews52 followers
June 6, 2014
*1.5 star rating*

Okay so I know that this book has to do with songs, specifically the older ones that are found in our world today, but every time I see this book or think the title, all I hear is the song from The Breakfast Club, you know the 80's or 70's one?

♪Don't you forget about me... ♪

This book was absolutely horrible riveting. It was supposed to be so good and after reading many reviews, I was totally ready for a 5 star book. All of the reviews were positive and I was getting my jetpack ready so I can fly with this one. But all I got was another horrible book from Kate Karyus Quinn. But in fact, this was the worst one.

Reading the summary and looking at the cover of this book just captivated me. This idea is so fresh and so new and adding some paranormalcy into it is even better. I love the idea of monsters and this strange beautiful world coming together. Don't judge books by their amazing-sounding summaries. No, just no. You will be left sad and crying if you don't listen to me right now.

This book was taken place in the perspective of Skylar, who lives in Gardnerville where nobody gets sick and everyone is happy... At least they're supposed to be. Every four years, the town takes innocent teenagers and turns them into something deadly, something not believable. Skylar recently has lost her older sister, Piper, to this craze and was locked up somewhere unknown. Now, Skylar has to solve the mystery of this town and the mystery of her sister and what really happened to her.

Gardnerville seemed like the perfect setting, and it really was. I loved the whole aspect and idea of it seeming to be the perfect town where nothing happens, but inside, it's the darkest place that you can even imagine. That's the gorgeousness of Quinn's settings, and just like in Another Little Piece, the idea was amazing.

The plot was absolutely horrible. I was so bored and I felt that everything was really messed up. There were no explanations and nothing interesting happening. I didn't feel the urge to read this at all and I was completely bored all throughout, except in the beginning. In the beginning, everything started off well and I was absolutely intrigued. It eventually came off slow, right about until Foote came to become close with Skylar, and that's the way I was left for the rest of the book. Nothing was happening and I felt like I skimmed through it and flipped through the pages because I was lost and confused.

The characters were pretty boring. I liked Skylar, though. She was kick-ass and hilarious even though she worried about things a lot, but we all get that, right?

Even though we didn't get to know Piper too well, I liked her from the memories. She reminded me a lot of myself. xD She was the type to take charge and was smart at the same time.

The ending was absolutely awesome! Another aspect I actually liked. It left me wanting more and made me wonder what was left in life for the characters.

In conclusion, this book was pretty bad. But there were a few good things about it that made me smile.

Profile Image for Cee.
979 reviews224 followers
June 4, 2014
It's a truth universally acknowledged that if the book is weird and crazy, Celine will love it. And Don't You Forget About Me is all kinds of crazy. It's a frigging rainbow of crazy.

Every four years, the teens in Gardnerville go mental. They blow shit up, murder, commit suicide, or simply explode up because of pent up energy. During a bad fourth year, someone made the sky go dark for six years. And during one particular fourth year, Piper made fourty teens jump off a bridge to their death. Skylar, Piper's younger sister, is now left behind. Skylar tries to forget, but there are just some memories that are so persistent they cannot be ignored.

It's hard to describe what Don't You Forget About Me is like, because it's hard to compare it to other books. It's often vague, at times confusing, sometimes creepy, and crazy in a wonderfully calculated way. For a big chunk of the book the reader is kept in the dark as to what exactly is going on, analogous with Skylar, until everything fits together perfectly in the end. It's easy to come up with strange ideas and throw them into a story, but it takes extreme skill to make everything wrap up like Ms Quinn did.

Skylar, the main character, is not easy to like. She's not particularly nice, has a pretty bad drug addiction and an obsession with her older sister. She's not bubbly, or self-sacrificing, or cute. She's bitter and hurt and holds secrets, even from herself. In short, she's what happens to a human when they see their sister kill dozens of teens. And yet she still loves Piper, and longs to find her in the Reformatory on the edge of Gardnerville, where Piper has been locked up.

The story alternates between the running narrative of Skylar battling her demons, and memories from Skylar of years back adressed to Piper. At first I was a bit bored with these memories, thinking they were only meant to make us sympathise with Skylar and Piper, but in the end they turned out to be about more than that.

Don't You Forget About Me is not an easy read. It's packed with emotion, especially towards the end. It's filled with themes like drug addiction, terror, child abuse (subtle, but there), grief, disillusionment, and some seriously messed up families. At times, it's not a pretty story. Don't You Forget About Me resembles a cat that has matted fur, lost and eye, has crooked ears and has a limp, that nevertheless (or maybe because of it) becomes something close to your heart. This book is probably not one that will appeal to everyone, but if you think you can handle the oddness, give it a shot. For me the book that comes closest to it in comparison is The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. Only then with a town where no one dies from illnesses, and with rats and fairy lights that kill and people that can control emotions and a magic train that brings fresh cattle.
Profile Image for Kirsty-Marie Jones.
407 reviews45 followers
June 8, 2014

I know I've said it before, but this has to be one of the hardest books to review because the slightest thing could really turn the way you think about it and ruin the whole build-up to the reveal. I'll start by telling you about the town, Gardnerville. It's a coincidence that I was watching Haven while reading this, and in a way Gardnerville is a lot like Haven. Weird, complicated, something lurking behind what we see and what we don't see. And just like Haven, Gardnerville is a special place with a rather destructive founding, and with a little similarity to some "special" people, that's where the familiarity ends, but I'll get to the latter part in a minute. Gardnerville is a place where almost everything is quite perfect, with their quite perfect health score and quite perfect lives, except for that pesky little undertone of fear.

I'm using Haven as an example and as a way of understanding and accepting what (Don't You) Forget About Me and what it's trying to do rather than over analysing on what it's not. In Haven every 27 years the "troubles" arise and start in the town, and dangerous things start to happen, and to most of the Troubled, they end up hurting people when they didn't mean to, and it's not their fault. In Gardnerville, they have a "fourth year", which can be explained like a virus kids between certain ages catch and have to fight the previous years leading up to the fourth, where they can do something devastating to their friends, classmates, family, and the town.

(Don't You) Forget About Me is one of the weirdest novels I've read this year (don't worry- that's a compliment) it's also one of the best screw-with-your-mind ones too. It won't be for everyone, but if you love mysteries, theorising and beautiful writing, give it a chance. Even if you don't think it's for you. Trust me. It's worth it. I'm not going to lie, it's going to be confusing, it's going to be a little messy and you're not going to know what the hell is going on, but just go with it because all that confusion will lead you to something spectacular, everything has its place an importance. Gradually, with dual perceptions in the form of Skylar remembering and what Skylar's forgotten- due to the "forget-me-nots" pills, though from the same person, they both have very different personalities. The former being more mystic and cloudy and the latter being more frenzy and cryptic. And both get even more messier as the story unravels and she tries to find out what exactly happened to her sister, Piper, because before Piper's fourth year, and before she disappeared she had a plan to bring down the Reformatory, that contains the people responsible for their fourth years, that powers Gardnerville and why it's so special.

The hardest thing about (Don't You) Forget About Me though? Is trying not to sing along when you see the titles. Seriously. Try not to. I dare you.

(Don't You) Forget About Me is a complex novel, built layer upon layer with each chapter, that can unravel just like Skylar's memories, but whatever you do, just don't trust it.

~~A copy was provided by HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review.~

Review originally posted on Studio Reads

Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews379 followers
May 27, 2014

I wanted something different, something out there and so I picked this one up. With a premises like this one, how could I not be in for one wild crazy ride?

This book delivered that is for sure. I don't even know where to begin to describe the sheer unusual-ness of this read. The characters and their bizarre fourth year behavior. The messed up town, The Reformatory, the pills...I could go on and on but I won't Instead, I will say this, if you are tired of all the sameness out there in this genre, this is a read you don't want to miss.

It will give you the strange, the unusual and the bizarre, it will make your mind whirl with all the possibilities and with exactly WTF is going on feeling.

You know those stories that are so different, so unique that you just don't even know what to think about them? That long after you have put the book down your mind is still reeling and it is hard to forget it? And writing a review is almost impossible because where do you begin, what do you say without ruining anything or giving too much away?

This is one of the stories.

I have to warn you, I don't think this book, this read, will be for everyone. It is just so....different and complicated and filled with so much that is not normal that some are going to down right hate it while others won't care for it at all. And then, others will probably love it and think it one of a kind.

So, which category do I fall under? Even after putting the book down for over 24 hours before trying to write this review, I am still not sure.

I applaud the uniqueness and the whole crazy messed up concept because I asked for a ride and a ride I did get, but, did I love it? I still don't know.

And the sad thing is, I can't even tell you why or why not because it would ruin the whole story. I don't think there is a lot I can tell about it without giving something away.

Gardnervill is a town like no other. Where no one gets sick but lots of people die...at the hands of others. You see, every four years (the fourth year) the towns people (usually the youth) go crazy. Something afflicts them and people are lead to their death. Some go crazy, some have strange new abilities that set those around them on fire, some, like Piper, Skylar's sister, have the strange ability to coerce others to do exactly what they want, even if that means their death.

People come to Gardnerville to survive, to be healed from their afflictions, but is the strange town with it's dangerous fourth year worth it?

This really truly has all the makings for a really great horror flick even though the book itself wasn't frightening or scary in the least.

Even though I still can't settle on my feelings for this one, I will say that it gave me exactly what I wanted at the time. Something unlike anything else I have ever read. Something that kept me guessing and scratching my head until the very end.
Profile Image for Celine.
240 reviews125 followers
June 3, 2014
This review also appears on YA Midnight Reads

How does one review a book like this? The only way I can describe (Don't You) Forget About Me is in one word: crazy. To be honest, I still feel a bit... off. This book was such a crazy ride of twists and madness and so much weirdness. And I can tell you right now: this won't be everyone's kind of crazy. Some people are going to hate this book, or feel exceptionally "meh" about it. Some might not be able to handle the crazy - because it starts on page one, and Quinn doesn't do holding hands. You're plunged right into this crazy town where crazy things happen and you just need to go with it. Over time, you'll start understanding.

I had a rough start with this one. I picked it up twice - once got as far as 30% in - and put it down again twice. But the third time, I started from the beginning and something just clicked. I didn't understand half of what was going on, but I really enjoyed it. And then things started becoming more clear and I just blazed through this novel. I couldn't stop reading. (Don't You) Forget About Me drew me in and wouldn't let go.

You need to be able to go with things, though. If you're going to wonder how and why, this novel will not work for you. If you're able to accept all the paranormal crazy stuff going on, then go forth and read this immensely enjoyable mind-fuck of a novel. You will probably love it, because loveable it certainly is.

And oh, love this one I did. Once things got going and I was sucked into the story, my eyes were glued to the page until I finally reached the end - I just had to know what would happen and how everything would come together. It's not often that a book gets five glorious stars from me, but this one deserves it. And I know I'm overusing the word "crrazy" in this review, but that's really just what this book is. Quinn's prose is almost ethereal - it will almost make you uncomfortable with the way it creeps under your skin and truly lets you feel the madness of Gardnerville.

I'm afraid I can't really give an in-depth review of everything because SPOILERS EVERYWHERE. I can tell you the following, though: 1) This book is a complete mindfuck, and I love love love that, 2) this book is CRAZYYY and 3) if you're able to handle that, GO FORTH AND READ. This wonderfully written little masterpiece will truly creep under your skin and make you question everything you thought you knew. The characters, the romance (what little of it was there, anyway) and the plot are all spot-on, and there are so many layers to this story.

Go on and experience the madness of Gardnerville yourself. If you're able to handle the crazy.
Profile Image for Jessica (Goldenfurpro).
893 reviews253 followers
September 29, 2015
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

This was one of my most highly anticipated reads, but I oddly enough didn't have high expectations of it. I liked the author's other book, Another Little Piece, but it didn't wow me. Along with that, this book doesn't have an extremely high average rating on Goodreads. But the fact that I didn't have high expectations made me love this book even more. I was not disappointed by this book at all.

This is an extremely weird and creepy book, but in a good way. I loved how weird this book was. The town was insanely creepy, but full of mysteries. What I really found interesting was how perfectly normal this town was to those living there. The 4 year thing where normal kids go crazy is just a part of life. The inhabitants of the town even have special abilities and that's not considered strange at all!

The way this book was narrated was interesting as well. The book is told in dual point-of-view, but by both by Skylar. Every so often we would get a memory of Skylar & Piper that would give us hints of what's actually going on with Garnerville and it was a very interesting way to tell the story.

One thing that I have been loving lately in books is unreliable narrators. Yes, this book definitely has that. Skylar, our main character, has a very questionable memory. She takes pills called forget-me-nots that actually causes her to forget things, so yeah, not a very reliable narrator. What's so great about books with reliable narrators is that it makes a book more mysterious and every plot twist even more shocking! And yes, we get one of those! (and I loved it!)

Of course, this book wasn't perfect (just like Gardnerville isn't), there were some things that I had issues with, but not many. I felt that this book was a bit slow at times, even though I do understand why. I also felt that the ending was rushed. The climax was crammed into a little chapter and that was a bit much for me.

I definitely recommend this book! If you're in the mood for a weirdly awesome standalone, pick up this book! While I will be waiting for more by Kate Karyus Quinn.
Profile Image for Shae.
741 reviews168 followers
June 20, 2014
ORIGINALLY REVIEWED AT http://www.shaelit.com/2014/06/review...

Ah, Don't You Forget About Me, the book that makes me start singing/humming/whistling EVERY SINGLE TIME I think of it. Curse you, Kate Karyus Quinn, and your catchy earworm titles. I haven't read her debut title, Another Little Piece, so I had no idea what I was getting into in Forget. And now that I'm done... Well, I'm still not quite sure what I read.

Seriously, WHAT DID I JUST READ?! What happened? What's going on? Is this real life?

Forget starts off with a bang. Generally, I consider prologues to be the crutch of a lazy writer. They're boring and unnecessary, as everything they contain can more effectively be doled out within the story itself. But not this time. Forget's prologue is completely nuts and creepy and it's PERFECT. I literally read the prologue, marked my place, and then made EVERY SINGLE COWORKER on my shift stop and read it. They all agreed that it was both interesting and crazy, and then had me write down the title, author, and release date so they could check it out for themselves.

"Crazy" and "interesting" is a pretty good way to describe Gardnerville, the setting of our story. Actually, Gardnerville is freaking weird. Not weird like quirky, though it's that as well. I mean WEIRD. I've never seen Pushing Daisies, but I imagine Gardnerville to look a bit like the GIFs I've seen—very bright, with cheerful colors and people who seems cheerful, too, until you notice how tight their grins are. In Gardnerville, no one dies unless they want to. No one gets sick (physically, anyways). And their children have superpowers. From what I could tell, most of the kids of Gardnerville only gain their talents in the teen years, as hormones and emotions clash hot and heavy. On a first year, the powers trickle out as (almost) harmless pranks. By a fourth year, disaster and havoc reign. People disappear into the earth, die, turn into trees, or turn into a pillar of flame. That's the price of living in Gardnerville. You can live a long, healthy life, but it may mean that you live to see your children frozen into statues or explode into a burst of fairy dust.

But if you're a Gardner of Gardnerville, you're special. You get your powers almost from the get-go. I won't tell you about Sky's family and their various powers, because putting the pieces together is part of the fun. Ms. Quinn does a marvelous job of making Sky's inner narrative feel natural. You're dropped right in the middle of the narrative—no context, no explanations. Sky describes the odd goings-on in the town, but it's up to us to gather the pieces of what Sky considers to be common knowledge. It's a delicate balancing act, but this book pulls it off.

Another thing this book manages to pull off is the shifting timeline. Ms. Quinn bounces us all around Sky's timeline. On one page, we're present day; then suddenly, we're ten years back; then we're only four years ago, at the night Sky's sister Piper disappeared. It's a very tricky move, especially for this reader, but the execution was nearly flawless. The shifting chronology only added to the otherworldliness of Gardnerville and heightened the mystery as we try to discover what exactly happened to Piper and what it means for Sky.

Finally, Ms. Quinn does an excellent job with the people. There is no one bad guy, no Grand Poobah of Villainy in Gardnerville. There are bad people who sometimes do good things, and good people who sometimes do bad things, and people I hated, and people I feared for, and while none of them felt quite like people I would sit down and have a cup of chocolate milk with, they were still... Real, I guess. They were strange, dream-like in the way that the entire book feels like a dream, but, like real people, it was hard to shove anyone into a category.

This book is nuts. I don't know what else to say about it. It's crazy and beautiful and twisted and surreal. My only stumbling block was the amount of profanity present, but a good white-out pen will fix that, and it certainly won't prevent me from checking out Another Little Piece.

Favorite Non-Spoilery Quotes:
People will tell you that this is just the way things go around here when someone is taken with the madness. Sometimes that means losing the May Queen and her convertible too.

Since you've been gone, Piper, I've become as bad with the sighing as Mom. Sometimes it's the part of a sob that I jsut can't hold back. Sometimes the sigh's more like blowing out birthday candles to make a wish. And sometimes I do it hoping that it'll make you appear—even for just one instant—to laugh at me and tell me to stop.

Points Added For: AMAZING prologue, delectable prose, craziness, superb magical realism, creeping me out, excellent plot structure.

Points Subtracted For: I did guess the twist, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment, so I'm not sure that counts. Though the twist with Foote was a little hokey, so that counts.

Good For Fans Of: Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore, the Pied Piper myth, Wizard of Oz, magical realism, unreliable narrators.

Notes For Parents: Language, abuse, molestation, drugs, suicide, other potential triggers.

Note: I received a review copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Profile Image for Jina | JeanBeanReads.
504 reviews178 followers
December 11, 2018
I feel so wiped out after reading this book. But WOW!!!!

This is a hard book to review because I'm feeling way too many emotions at the same time. So, this book starts off by throwing you in the midst of a bunch of hectic stuff going on. It is confusing as hell and honestly it took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on. This book is pretty slow paced and at first I wasn't sure I'd end up liking it as much as I did. Because the author is doing this slow build up till half way through the book and I didn't know. Like everyone else who read this book said: MINDFUCK.

If I could give this book its on gif then it would be this one:

But as you go through the book further then it all starts to make sense as to why the first half of the book is an insane, confusing mess. The main character, Skyler is the answer to that. She is trying to handle the death of her sister and she's been taking certain drugs for years to numb/forget the pain. I do think the first half of the book should of been shortened because I feel that it wouldn't of taken me as long to get through the book and I would of had some idea what the author was trying to do. In the end, I think it would of made a bigger impact on that second half.


I wasn't the biggest fan of the chapters where Skyler had her flashbacks. Once the second half came through, again it made way more sense then because her memory was becoming more in order.

The paranormal side of this book was dope. I like that they had powers but with those powers came consequences. It was good yet dark. It all more added to the mystery of the book. Also, as a suggestion, I think it is best to go through this book blind. What I mean is, starting it and not really knowing the plot. That is what I did and it added a lot to my reading experience.

There was very little romance in this book but it gave you a little bit of taste with the character Foote. As little of time was spent in that area, I liked it. The author kind of made you immediately fall in love with his character. And everyone is in for a nice surprise to who Foote exactly is :)


I wouldn't say this book is perfect but I enjoyed it immensely once that second half kicked in. Connecting all the puzzles and figuring out that mystery with the character was awesome. I wouldn't say everyone would enjoy this book but I'd still recommend it. For people who are hesitant? Well I say give it a shot. I wasn't sure at first but then that book turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I've never read a book like that and I loved it. Kate Karyus Quinn is brilliant!

PS: I was stressing out so much about this book that I had nightmares. Yeah.

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