Saturday, 25 May 2013

Forget Me Never by Gina Blaxill

Title: Forget Me Never
Author: Gina Blaxill
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Released: September 27th 2012
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

When Sophie's cousin Danielle dies after a fall from her balcony, the police dismiss her death as suicide. She had broken up with her boyfriend and had suffered from depression in the past. Sophie isn't so sure, however, and when she finds a memory stick in a pair of Dani's old jeans, some new photos and information come to light that point to something more sinister. Sophie and her friend Reece investigate further and soon find out that Dani was involved with something very dark and very dangerous. As Sophie and Reece become more and more deeply involved they put themselves in huge danger too, accessing secret data, facing kidnap attempts and worse. And as they uncover the terrible truth about what really happened to Dani, Sophie and Reece must also face their feelings for each other...

I wasn't sure whether to pick up this book or not. Blaxill's debut novel, Pretty Twisted, was an interesting quick-read, but also very forgettable - I was worried that this would be exactly the same, despite the interesting concept. And maybe I really should have listened to my gut-instinct, because Forget Me Never was just as forgettable as the last.

Sophie's cousin Dani has committed suicide - or so everyone is lead to believe. But not Sophie. Hours before her "suicide", Sophie had been with her cousin, and despite her past history of mental health, she didn't seem like she wanted to end her life. So Sophie, along with her best friend Reece, go on the hunt to track down and discover what really happened to Dani - and managed to stumble into a whole lot of trouble.

The concept had me intrigued, as it had with Pretty Twisted. Blaxill likes murder mysteries, and I've got to say that I'm addicted to psychological thrillers. I wanted the outcome of this novel to surprise me, but it just fell a bit flat. Yes, some pretty extreme things happened, but they were way out of context I thought. Quick spoiler here, but this whole drug scandal didn't really make an impact on me - yet when they suddenly got kidnapped and places in the middle of nowhere? It just went from one extreme to the other, really, and I think that anticlimactic, boring undertone to the novel ruined everything.

I didn't connect well with either the narratives of Sophie or Reece. Sophie was very secretive and closed off, and a lot of the novel was loosely based around what happened at that party - what had gone so bad that had made Sophie shut off Reece and everyone else. This may sound bad, but I thought it was going to be a case of sexual assault, as that was what Blaxill seemed to be hinting at. But nope. Spoiler, but it was that she had gotten mad at a girl for being mean and had smashed up her phone, a bit of footage that had been captured and put on YouTube. Yeah. I felt like I was holding my breath on the edge of my seat, and then let out this massive sigh of disappointment. It was all very dramatic for something that was really boring. My liking for Sophie as a relateable character just went downhill from thereon in.

Reece wasn't much better. He just wasn't a good love interest, and although he was slightly better than Sophie, it wasn't by much. I also thought their relationship lacked romantic chemistry - the best friends vibe I could feel, but romance? Nope. It was as romantic as a bag a cereal. Blaxill needed to, again, make it more interesting.

The plot was good I guess, and I did find myself reading it quickly as I wanted to know what happened next. Yes, the outcome was disappointing, but it did keep me hooked enough to finish it. I think Blaxill's writing is also good, but it isn't outstanding - I wouldn't be able to single it out from a line of other mediocre authors' writing. I may sound like I'm being overly critical, but I believe that Blaxill has incredible potential as an author. Although slightly anticlimactic and underdeveloped, I think that if she just gave the stories a tiny bit of a boost and included some more gripping plot twists, then I'd be giving this four stars rather than two stars. Maybe I'll read another one of her novels again - but if I do, I hope it's kicked up a notch,  and instead of being a childhood game of Cluedo, I want a proper, young adult, Sherlock Holmes-styled investigation.
Rating: 2/5

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