By Kate Karyus Quinn
Available now from HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Kate Karyus Quinn's sophomore novel is an unsettling fable about a town called Gardnerville, where no one dies of illness but strange things happen, getting worse every fourth year. Last fourth year, Skylar's older sister Piper killed sixteen other teenagers in revenge for getting dumped. Now, it is a fourth year again.
Skylar is one of the last of the Gardners, the founding family. Her greatest pursuit is the forget-me-nots, a drug that leaves her forgetful. But Skylar needs to remember if she's going to prevent this year's tragedy. She needs to remember her sister, who no one else in the town wants to remember. She needs to remember her family's shadowy history. She needs to remember who she can trust.
(DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME is an interesting beast. Every other chapter is a tape from Skylar's childhood, recording her memories with Piper from various points in their lives. The present chapters cut in and out, sometimes coming back to a Skylar who doesn't remember what happened last chapter -- or even what happened between chapters. And the story just gets stranger the more Gardnerville reveals its secrets.
I liked the romance between Skylar and Foote, who has is own secrets. It's very subtle, which is what saves it from its predictability. The rest of the novel is too surreal for a rote romance.
If you're looking for a disorienting read that requires you to put together the pieces, I suggest giving (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME a try. It's a little bit fairy tale, a little bit magical realism, and a lot bizarre. It's certainly a memorable reading experience.