Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
Blackout by K. Monroe – Book Details
TITLE – Blackout
AUTHOR – K. Monroe
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2022
PAGE COUNT – 352
MY RATING – 3.5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.00 of 5
What It Is About
I wish I could catch a glimpse of the old Allie, just for a moment, long enough to see how she acted, how she talked, what she truly thought about everything. But even if I could study my old life for hours on end, it would never be enough to make me the same person I was back then.
Allie Castillo went through a terrible car accident and woke up not having a single recollection of who she used to be. Now she has to go back to her old life, her house and family and school and friends, hoping the familiar environment might help her get her memory back.
But when she realizes the girl who she is now might not like at all the girl she was before, Allie starts to wonder would remembering everything really be a good thing.
But things soon get a more sinister note than she ever expected and her bare life might depend on whether she can remember the night of the car crash. Because what if what happened wasn’t an accident? What if someone tried to kill her? And what if they try again?
Blackout by K. Monroe – My Review
There’s a disconnect between who I am now and who I was back then. It’s as though my life has been ruined by someone I’ve never even met, and I’ll spend the rest of it resenting them for what they’ve done.
I think that whether or not you are going to like Blackout by K. Monroe depends a lot on whether you like the amnesia trope. I personally like it.
And I haven’t read a lot of books based on it, so I haven’t had a chance to grow tired of it yet. In fact, I only read two amnesia books so far (one romance and the other YA mystery), and I liked them both.
I asked for the ARC of this book primarily because its blurb reminded me a lot of that YA mystery book I read and loved years ago. (Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout, in case you were wondering.)
The two books ended up having quite a few things in common, which was to be expected since the premises were similar and the genre and the intended age group were the same. But they were also distinctive enough so that I didn’t have the feeling I was reading one and the same story, which was great.
Waking up to a life that feels brand new and being told you were in a deadly car accident you’re lucky to have survived is harrowing. I don’t feel lucky. I feel cursed.
I’ve never read anything by K. Monroe before and I don’t know how much writing experience she has. But I am pretty sure this is her first novel, and if that’s true – call me impressed.
Though there were a couple of small things that felt a bit out of place, I really liked the way this book was written. The narration had a natural flow to it, it was really easy to fly though.
I also really loved the setting – this rainy, atmospheric, mysterious small town surrounded by forests; a perfect background to add to the unsettling atmosphere.
Pender Falls is beautiful in a way that feels heavy and haunting. The promise of buried memories lingers around every corner, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to uncover them.
Maybe that’s a good thing.
The characters were also pretty interesting. I connected with some more then with others, but all in all – I was really happy with what I’ve got.
And Allie – I mean, losing your memory has to be hard enough, but to then find out you might have done some pretty bad things before? That has to make you dread what you can find if you try and dig into your own past some more.
I really felt for her. This book made me think a lot about how I would feel if something like that happened to me. It also reminded me of a few things I sometimes wish I could forget. And made me wonder would forgetting really help at all.
It’s me, but it’s someone else. She speaks with my voice and moves with my body, even though I’ve never met her.
Typically for YA mysteries, the story was a bit naïve. Bits of jumping to conclusions. A couple of teenagers deciding they can solve a case police couldn’t, and then actually succeeding… All that jazz.
But that’s ok, I still love them with all my heart. And if you were ok with that in other YAs, I’m sure it won’t bother you in this one as well. It was done… you know. Not worse than in any other book of this type.
What did, however, bother me a bit was the pacing. The book had a strong start, but the middle was dragging a bit. At 50%, there were still only subtle hints, no real mystery, no real romance…
And the book could probably have been shorter. Several scenes felt like establishing what’s already been established.
I wonder how different our lives would’ve been if we were able to connect through our trauma rather than be driven apart by it.
I’m also not exactly sure what to think about the ending and whether I liked it or not. I guess I expected the whole thing to be a bit more of a mystery. A really good twist I didn’t see coming would be nice.
But that’s not to say I didn’t like it, I just thought that maybe it could have been even better. And hey – at least it was exciting.
All in all, I’m quite happy with what I’ve read. And I would definitely be interested to check out whatever K. Monroe comes up with next. I don’t think this book would be for everyone. But if you usually enjoy (or are currently in the mood for) a nice, atmospheric, suspenseful YA mystery, this one would probably be a pretty good pick.