(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
What's with the song title as book title thing? Ok, Hold me closer, Necromancer was funny, but this? It's like Quentin Tarrantino started writing a book and decided to give every chapter a song title (much like Suburban Strange did, ditto If I Ever Get Out of Here). Sometimes it works... the rest of the time it just feels contrived. Here, it's contrived.
About the plot, well, it starts well. There's something that turns teens into monsters every four years. Weird stuff happens, like a teen suddenly being able to set things on fire. Or mass delusion that leads to jumping off a bridge (it's not suicide if it's a mass delusion, but still...). The perpetrators of all this get sent to the reformatory, an eerie building located on a hillside away from town. And the town itself is a little strange: people arrive from elsewhere in the US, usually suffering from a fatal disease, and miraculously heal and lead long (very long) lives. The "four years" are getting worse, however, and the lives are getting shorter. So what's going on?
Skylar's sister Piper is the one behind the bridge jump, and she's now in the reformatory. Skylar hears Piper's voice in her head when she's not dosed with forget-me-not-based forgetting drugs; she's determined to figure out what's been going on and to detox from the drugs once and for all. The problem is, of course, what will she learn? how will this affect the town of Gardnerville?
The problem for me was that the pacing was uneven and the explanations for what was happening (and why) delivered too quickly. Pieces of the puzzle could have been dribbled out rather than dumped on readers seemingly all at once. The good thing is that this appears to be a stand-alone and we're left to imagine the future of the town and fate of the characters after the book has ended.
ARC provided by publisher.