My mini review of (Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn, a young genre bender (mixing elements of horror, magical realism, and contemporary) about a girl with memory problems who lives in and must learn more about Gardnerville, a paradise-like town hiding a grim truth, in order to discover herself and cope with her grief, published by Harper Teen on June 10, 2014.
(Don't You) Forget About Me - Kate Karyus Quinn | Goodreads
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.
- My experience with Kate Karyus Quinn's stories has been that they are always unpredictable. I think that I might know where the story is headed, but I forget that her stories are so unique and weirdly creative. Even if the plot has a typical structure (rise & fall action plot + climax), I don't know how she plans on resolving the various issues until I'm actually reading her resolution.
- Kate Karyus Quinn also seems to be one of those rare authors whose work is very consistent. If you liked Another Little Piece, you'll probably like this. If you found ALP to be too confusing or thought it veered off into strange directions, you might think the same of Don't You Forget about Me. Both books are written in a similarly dreamy, twisted way and feature similar characters and romances. Reading this book made me think, "Ah, here's a Kate Karyus Quinn romance. Here's a Kate Karyus Quinn protagonist. Here's the atmosphere that Karyus Quinn creates."
- Don't You Forget About Me also has themes similar to those in Another Little Piece. Again there's the coping with grief twined with self-identity issues. There are characters with secrets, characters whose secrets make for interesting backstories that also feed into the dreamy, twisted atmosphere. There's a hint of romance that pushes along the themes and the plot as the protagonist learns to hold her own in her evolving world, which is one of the most creative I've read (and makes me wonder how Karyus Quinn comes up with her ideas). And again Quinn amazes me with her beautiful writing and atmosphere, and if you're looking for your next unique YA read, check outDon't You Forget about Me.