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I Know You Remember

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Jennifer Donaldson is back with another twisted thriller perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Gone Girl. Zahra Gaines is missing. After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie's best friend--the only person who ever really understood her--and she vows to do whatever it takes to find Jennifer Donaldson is back with another twisted thriller perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Gone Girl. Zahra Gaines is missing. After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie's best friend--the only person who ever really understood her--and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her. Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie's return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie's every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever... As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend's new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what Zahra experienced in the days before her disappearance--one that might be better off buried. In her stunning follow-up to Lies You Never Told Me, Jennifer Donaldson once again delivers a propulsive thriller with a masterful twist, skillfully creating a world where nothing is quite as it seems.


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Jennifer Donaldson is back with another twisted thriller perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Gone Girl. Zahra Gaines is missing. After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie's best friend--the only person who ever really understood her--and she vows to do whatever it takes to find Jennifer Donaldson is back with another twisted thriller perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Gone Girl. Zahra Gaines is missing. After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie's best friend--the only person who ever really understood her--and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her. Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie's return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie's every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever... As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend's new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what Zahra experienced in the days before her disappearance--one that might be better off buried. In her stunning follow-up to Lies You Never Told Me, Jennifer Donaldson once again delivers a propulsive thriller with a masterful twist, skillfully creating a world where nothing is quite as it seems.

30 review for I Know You Remember

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Four mind bending, I didn’t see it coming, she really fooled me so bad, didn’t she, dammit, this is one of the underrated, amazing books of the year, giving a big applause for original and creative writing stars! Oh nooo! I’m not only April’s Fool because I was born April 1st, I ‘m the biggest fool of the year (I already ordered t-shirts with this motto printed on.) I can hear the author’s evil laughs, having so much fun to see me on the floor because of her final sucker punch! She killed my Four mind bending, I didn’t see it coming, she really fooled me so bad, didn’t she, dammit, this is one of the underrated, amazing books of the year, giving a big applause for original and creative writing stars! Oh nooo! I’m not only April’s Fool because I was born April 1st, I ‘m the biggest fool of the year (I already ordered t-shirts with this motto printed on.) I can hear the author’s evil laughs, having so much fun to see me on the floor because of her final sucker punch! She killed my spider senses and wrote a surprising, twisty, edgy, fast pacing YA story! Of course I’m not gonna blurt out spoilers! I don’t want any death wish, threatening phone calls, unexpected pranks (actually they all performed by my sister-in law, after I sent her voice messages about spoilers of her favorite TV series but I had no bad intention. I just wanted to share my enthusiasm about how the writers did a great job!) The story starts with funeral of Ruthie’s mother. Depressed and introvert Ruthie moves back to Alaska to live with her ex alcoholic and new religious, conservative father and his new family (step mother and step sister) in her hometown Alaska. But as soon as she moves back, she realizes her estranged best friend Zahra is missing and nobody has any clue about her whereabouts. Ruthie befriends with Zahra’s social circle to learn more about her last 4 years after she left the city because of her parents’ divorce. She realizes her friend turned into a different person who has secrets, suffering from panic attacks, thinking that she deserves to be punished. So Ruthie starts to get suspicious from everyone’s motives and starts her own investigation because she still thinks she is the one who really knows real Zahra and she is adamant to bring her back. But throughout her search, she finds Zahra’s cracked phone covered in Zahra’s blood. Did something happen to her? Is she still alive? Another girl from the neighborhood is also missing but nobody cared to start a search for her whereabouts. Ruthie never gives up. She keeps digging. AND…. THINGS SHE WILL FIND OUT CHANGE AND DESTROY EVERYONE’S LIVES! Good characterization, stunning story-telling and remarkable, thrilling, mind bending ending! I LOVED THAT! Ending is another harsh slap against your cheeks so wear something to protect your face before reading this book, better safe than sorry!!Cannot wait to read the other works of this author!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    When it comes to ya books, I usually go for contemporary or fantasy, but rarely do I chose mystery/thriller. I Know You Remember was sent to me as pre-approved Netgalley widget, and as soon as I read it’s premise, I knew I had to give it a try. I am so thankful it appeared in my email because otherwise I wouldn’t give it too much attention. If I’m being honest, when I first saw it, I thought it was a part of the series, when in reality, it is a standalone. Since I Know You Remember is a When it comes to ya books, I usually go for contemporary or fantasy, but rarely do I chose mystery/thriller. I Know You Remember was sent to me as pre-approved Netgalley widget, and as soon as I read it’s premise, I knew I had to give it a try. I am so thankful it appeared in my email because otherwise I wouldn’t give it too much attention. If I’m being honest, when I first saw it, I thought it was a part of the series, when in reality, it is a standalone. Since I Know You Remember is a mystery/thriller, I think it would be the best to know as little about it as possible, so I will try to keep my review short, because I don’t want to ruin your reading experience. The story takes place in Alaska, and I really enjoyed that aspect. I could really imagine myself there along with Ruthie, but I have to stress out that I know little about that country and can’t say if the representation of the place/people in it were accurate. This book also talks about race and how POC are treated differently, but without that in-your-face approach. I really liked that because it covers serious topic, gives you a message but is not aggressive. Ruthie was an interesting character, I enjoyed being in her head, and that is everything I’ll tell you about her. The story is written in first person, mostly from Ruth’s perspective. The writing style is easy going and I flew through this novel. I finished in a day, which is very rare for me. As for the mystery, I’ll just say that I have guessed one, minor mart of it, but all the other revelations surprised the life out of me! As I already stated, I don’t usually read ya thrillers, but this book showed me what I’m missing out. Maybe avid ya thriller readers will not share the same opinion, but to me this book was top. I highly recommend it! It’s a perfect pick for the fall. Read this and more reviews on my blog https://bookdustmagic.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    JenacideByBibliophile

    Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Penguin Random House, for an honest review. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ ~* Book Review *~ ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If this book doesn’t leave you feeling a little unhinged, I don’t know what will. Oh. My. Days. That was twisted. It has been three years since Ruthie and her mother left their hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to escape Ruthie’s alcoholic father. But following the sudden death of her mother, Ruthie is being sent back to Anchorage to Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Penguin Random House, for an honest review. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ ~* Book Review *~ ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If this book doesn’t leave you feeling a little unhinged, I don’t know what will. Oh. My. Days. That was twisted. It has been three years since Ruthie and her mother left their hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to escape Ruthie’s alcoholic father. But following the sudden death of her mother, Ruthie is being sent back to Anchorage to live with her now sober dad and his new family. Things aren’t all bad though, because Ruthie will finally get to see her best friend Zahra again. Except when Ruthie arrives at her new school, news that Zahra has gone missing is announced, and all signs point to Zahra’s boyfriend. Now, Ruthie puts all her energy into finding Zahra and uncovering what really happened the night she disappeared. But along the way, Ruthie realizes that Zahra isn’t the same girl she knew. Once a thoughtful, creative and timid girl, Zahra’s friends describe her as secretive, sometimes moody, and a big partier. As Ruthie comes closer to finding out the truth, buried secrets are dug up and the horrifying realities are uncovered. I love nothing more than a story that gives me a physical reaction while reading. And to say my mouth dropped open, would be a vast understatement to the reality of what shape my face contorted into after this ending. Though I had a strong suspicion of how this story would turn out, and I was more or less correct in my assumption, I am still SO impressed with how the author kept me questioning my opinion until the very end. I have read one or two books that have a similar twist in them, and the clues as to where the story was shifting was really subtle, but it was all in the characters! This story is told in the point of view of Ruthie as she comes back to Anchorage and begins searching for Zahra. Though, in the three years that Ruthie has been away, their interactions have been limited. Ruthie reminisces on their time together in the summer before she moved, and how they spent their days devouring books and creating stories where they were the heroines who triumphed over evil. She describes their friendship of one of imagination and creativity, and portrays Zahra as a beautiful and special girl that she was more than lucky to call her best friend. But as Ruthie begins to learn more about who Zahra is now, she begins to discover that she may not be the same girl she once knew. “Part of me, of course, just wanted to find her. But part of me wanted to find her here. Because that would mean it still matters. That the world we created together is still meaningful to her.” For most of this book, the reader is learning who Zahra is by how she is described by her friends and family. There are little snippets and trails of information that you can pick up to form a vague portrayal of who she is, but the reader never truly gets an in depth look at her until the end of the book. Because the author chose to keep her shrouded in secrecy, my imagination was going wild the entire time I was reading. Ruthie begins to discover that Zahra has episodes where she will shutdown and not talk to anyone, or where she falls into deep depressions ranting about how she wants to die and that she is a horrible person. Which instantly makes you think, did she run away? Each of these characters has the right amount of detail to make you feel like you know them, but just enough mystery to make you question each expression and action. One of my favorite things about thrillers is that it makes me pause my reading to decipher what is going on, where I think the clues will lead, and who I think is guilty of what. But the clues in I Know You Remember are so faint and expertly entwined into the words and mannerisms of these beautiful characters, that you’ll miss it all if you blink even once. The backdrop for this mystery is really what seals the deal for me and brings in the creep factor. Anchorage, Alaska with its beautiful scenery and huge wooded areas make it the perfect location for a young girl to go missing and/or the possibilities of a deranged killer being on the loose. But my favorite aspect of all, was the abandoned playground that Zahra and Ruthie had claimed as their territory for that magical summer three years prior. Rusted play structures, a lonely swing-set and a place they could create their magical stories and let their imaginations run wild. Of course...it gets much creepier toward the end of the book...*cough cough*. I REALLY wish I could say more and give out every spoiler this is, because it is killing me keeping it all bottled up! This story is twisted, manipulative, secretive, and will make you question more than just where Zahra went. And best yet, I just found out that this is a follow-up to Jennifer Donaldson’s other novel Lies You Never Told Me. Obviously I Know You Remember can be read as a standalone (since I just did that) but now I must get my hands on “Lies”, because I need more! I highly recommend this for readers who are still looking for some spooky reads, because Halloween season is year-round and we aren’t done being weird yet, are we? For those of you who get scared easily, don’t you worry your pretty little heads. This isn’t horror, it’s thriller! You’ll be juuustttttt fine. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ ~* Dream Casting *~ ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Ruthie Ruthie was pretty hard to pinpoint as far as looks, because there isn't a whole lot of detail surrounding her appearance. I mostly had to go off the cover which only shows the back of her, and I just let my imagination do the rest. My top pick is the beautiful Taissa Farmiga. If you're like me and love American Horror Story, then you would have fallen in love with Taissa in the first season. She is aloof and slightly mysterious, but has just the right amount of innocence and allure to pull you in - Just like Ruthie. My other two picks for Ruthie were Kaitlyn Dever and Maude Apatow. Kaitlyn Dever has proven her wide range of acting skills over the years, and there is something about her that makes me think she can switch her personality from sweet to horrific in .02 seconds. Maude Apatow is a newer to the acting scene, but the little I have seen from her - I LOVE! I would be so interested to see how she'd make Ruthie come to life, and to be honest, I think she would absolutely kill it. Zahra Zahra is also another tough character to pinpoint on looks, because her description is also on the more vague side. So again, this is my going off of the cover and the very little information I was given while reading. I had a few picks for Zahra, but it always came back to Riele Downs. I just can't get over how stunning this girl is! Zahra is described as a girl that people seem to be drawn to. Someone that is easy to confide in and trust, and who is beautiful inside and out. Riele Downs exudes that perfect amount of confidence and friendliness that I think would be perfect for Zahra. Tabitha Tabitha's character is an interesting mix of bitchy mean girl and really devoted friend, so it was a challenge finding the right person to portray here. So, I've narrowed it down to two raidant reheads! Ellie Bamber and Rosie Day are not only stunning with that red hair, but they also have a sharp edge to their looks that make you want to be careful around them. Tabitha comes off as a snippy, bitchy and fierce character most of the time, but when it comes down to it - girl is a little gem! Ben Peavy Ben is described as having Native heritage, dark eyes, a full mouth, and black hair that is short on the sides and longer on top. For some reason though, there is a very small pool of young Native actors to choose from. So I had to get creative for this one... I give you, Vito Basso. Pretty sure this beautiful specimen is a model and not an actor, but c'mon...we could convince him to switch careers, couldn't we? Seb Collins Immediately, and I mean immediately after Seb was described, two people popped into my head. First was the majorly talented Timothée Chalamet, who I just adore to pieces. Timothée ticks off every box there is for the pale, skinny, sharp feature description..but he is also a little too clean-cut for this character. But you know who would have been perfect?! The late, amazing, wonderful Anton Yelchin. Seb is described as a little shaggy and scruffy, and Anton Yelchin was definitely able to play this part. Unfortunately he passed away a few years ago, which is positively tragic, because he was an immensely talented actor. Bailey Sellers Bailey is one of the youngest pivotal characters in this book, and is described as being a poor and skinny fourteen-year-old girl who is physically abused at home. She is fast and has a bit of a temper, but at the end of the day, she is just a lonely little girl looking for a friend. My pick for Bailey is the oober talented Mckenna Grace. This girl astounds me every time I see her in a movie. She is versatile and immediately grabs your attention! Her as Bailey is a no-brainer!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    4/5 stars ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson is an upcoming YA thriller hitting the shelves this October! It follows Ruthie Hayden as she arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, after three years- only to discover that her closest friend Zahra has gone missing. As Ruthie pieces together the truth of Zahra's disappearance she slowly comes to the realization that the Zahra she knew is no longer the same person she once 4/5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson is an upcoming YA thriller hitting the shelves this October! It follows Ruthie Hayden as she arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, after three years- only to discover that her closest friend Zahra has gone missing. As Ruthie pieces together the truth of Zahra's disappearance she slowly comes to the realization that the Zahra she knew is no longer the same person she once was, and the truth of what happened in the days leading up to her disappearance might be better off staying buried. This book is said to be perfect for fans of One Of Us Is Lying and Sadie-and I have to say- I completely agree! I truly believe this is one that can be enjoyed by those starting out in the genre, and those who've been enjoying thriller's for a while. The twist's in this were incredible, and while there were certain things that I was able to predict- that didn't lessen my enjoyment any. I've since added Jennifer's other work (Lies You Never Told Me) to my TBR, and I look forward to seeing what else she comes up with in the future!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    What a HUGE disappointment this was. In fact, I was so outraged I almost tossed the book across the room - but I remembered in the nick of time that it was a library book! Then, I was just grateful that I hadn't spent my own money to buy this book!!!! Why do I get the feeling that the author (or her editor) had suddenly decided that her original ending didn't work, or wasn't spectacular enough, and suddenly switched the villains around? At any rate, I didn't buy it - at all. At one point, I was What a HUGE disappointment this was. In fact, I was so outraged I almost tossed the book across the room - but I remembered in the nick of time that it was a library book! Then, I was just grateful that I hadn't spent my own money to buy this book!!!! Why do I get the feeling that the author (or her editor) had suddenly decided that her original ending didn't work, or wasn't spectacular enough, and suddenly switched the villains around? At any rate, I didn't buy it - at all. At one point, I was going to back track and check when Bailey went missing - the timelines didn't seem to be matching up, but I actually didn't truly care anymore. Although the writing was good, the storytelling was often excruciatingly sloooow.... Some of the dialogue was also off or unnatural: for example, teens don't usually use the word "feign" when they mean "pretend" when they are conversing with each other. It boggles my mind why so many gifted writers these days succumb to the temptation of a lurid "twist". I get that some writers and editors want to monetize their readers' insatiable thirst for bigger and better twists. But why on earth did the author concoct such a tortured ending, with such a far-fetched reason for the perpetrators needing to hide the truth all those years? Why knowingly leave a psychopath out there to kill again? Make any sense to you? It didn't to me, that's for sure! The final messed up "rescue scene," the reason for leaving blood on the cell phone - all of those clumsy explanations and excuses certainly didn't work for me. I was livid with the author for insulting her readers' intelligence with such a paltry summation. Ultimately, the reasoning behind Zahra's disappearance made NO SENSE AT ALL. The author did too good of a job in painting the characters as sympathetically as she did. The sudden plunge into "evil psychopath" was just a bit too much. This story left me feeling ripped off at the expense of a cheap twist. And that sappy, juvenile ending! The prom debacle! Just too syrupy and contrived! I don't know if I have ever felt so betrayed and angry after spending so many hours patiently reading through a story. I was going to rate this a 2.75 out of 5, but I decided to calm down and try to be fair and I reread the last few chapters. It just enraged me even more and I took away another star! WHAT A RIPOFF!!! I'm so mad!!! Just - baloney!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    Holy I didn’t see that coming, Batman. I thought I was reading one book for the first 80% of I KNOW YOU REMEMBER. I has suspects and theories that made sense to me. Ruthie is a sympathetic narrator, reeling from the accidental death of her mother, now lives in Alaska with her recently sober father, his new wife and her same age stepsister. Ruthie’s best friend Zahra goes missing and Ruthie sets out to solve the mystery and bring Zahra home. Jennifer Donaldson kept me glued to my kindle all Holy I didn’t see that coming, Batman. I thought I was reading one book for the first 80% of I KNOW YOU REMEMBER. I has suspects and theories that made sense to me. Ruthie is a sympathetic narrator, reeling from the accidental death of her mother, now lives in Alaska with her recently sober father, his new wife and her same age stepsister. Ruthie’s best friend Zahra goes missing and Ruthie sets out to solve the mystery and bring Zahra home. Jennifer Donaldson kept me glued to my kindle all afternoon in a way I haven’t been able since falling down steps, suffering a head injury and breaking my clavicle. I wasn’t able to read for a few days and afterwards only for short intervals. I KNEW YOU REMEMBER cured me! Now if Donaldson could publish a new book by the end of the week, when I’m recovering from surgery to fix my collarbone, I’d be grateful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    1) The main reason I read this book is because it takes place in Alaska. 2) The second reason is because I loved Jennifer Donaldson's previous work "Lies You Never Told Me". I'm going to discuss the most important thing to me here-Alaska-before moving on to the actual story. I'm not sure if the author has visited Alaska, but there was a major geographical error when Ruth and Ben decide not to tell anyone that they're ditching town to drive four hours away to search for Zahra at an abandoned 1) The main reason I read this book is because it takes place in Alaska. 2) The second reason is because I loved Jennifer Donaldson's previous work "Lies You Never Told Me". I'm going to discuss the most important thing to me here-Alaska-before moving on to the actual story. I'm not sure if the author has visited Alaska, but there was a major geographical error when Ruth and Ben decide not to tell anyone that they're ditching town to drive four hours away to search for Zahra at an abandoned campground. They never verify where they are going until a few pages later: Girdwood. Ruth says it takes over four hours to get to there from Anchorage. That is false. Depending on your location in Anchorage, it can take 45-55 minutes to arrive in Girdwood. Lake Shosubenich is supposedly located in Girdwood. It's not. It's nowhere near Girdwood. You don't even drive through Girdwood to reach the lake. There isn't a way to reach the lake from Girdwood unless you drive to Anchorage, up through Wasilla, and then east. Lake Shosubenich is about 3.25 hours away from Anchorage. So I guess Ruth and Ben decided to drive to Girdwood just to backtrack and drive to Lake Shosubenich which would verify their over four hour drive, but in reality it's absurd. I knew what happened to Zahra from the beginning and suspected the twist. Nothing happened until 47% except Ruth getting to know Zahra's friends and everyone getting drunk. There wasn't any mystery or suspense. I was very disappointed in this read, and I wish the author had included more details on this beautiful state instead of adding in unnecessary scenes of underage drinking. Thanks Edelweiss for the ARC.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    When she was 14, Ruthie's mother relocated them for a "fresh start". Following her mother's death, three years later, Ruthie was returning to Alaska, and to her best friend, Zahra. However, upon her arrival, she learned that Zahra had disappeared, which prompted Ruthie to initiate her own search for her best friend, and she was not giving up until Zahra was found. Donaldson probed a few interesting ideas in this story, and wrapped them up nicely into a satisfying and suspenseful read. She When she was 14, Ruthie's mother relocated them for a "fresh start". Following her mother's death, three years later, Ruthie was returning to Alaska, and to her best friend, Zahra. However, upon her arrival, she learned that Zahra had disappeared, which prompted Ruthie to initiate her own search for her best friend, and she was not giving up until Zahra was found. Donaldson probed a few interesting ideas in this story, and wrapped them up nicely into a satisfying and suspenseful read. She explored ideas pertaining to Christianity, fading friendships, reuniting with estranged parents, life with an addicted parent, poverty, and neglect, and I thought they were woven well into this tale, none of which, curtailed the tension, that was slowly building from the beginning of the story. Donaldson gently waded us into this story, and she slowly, laid out the pieces of this puzzle. Ruthie's emotions and actions sort of matched that pace. She started by playing along with the investigators, however, as more time passed, she started taking more and more of this search into her own hands, until her emotions and actions were both veering into reckless territory. I thought the pace built nicely, and peaked in such a way that accentuated the first big plot twist. Speaking of twists, I really thought I had this whole thing figured out. I was wearing my super-smug grin, and nodding along, when one detail was divulged, but then the story took a turn I was NOT expecting at all. In hindsight, the clues were there, but I just didn't make that leap. Following that reveal, I started backtracking, and another of my new suspicions was confirmed. This really prompted me to look at things in a different light. I had a love/hate thing going with the ending. The decisions Donaldson made for some of the characters were quite interesting. Some made me really happy, while others left me wanting. If I see the word "epilogue", I just have high expectations, and they were not met. Despite that, I rather enjoyed this thriller, which had some great twists, and even left my jaw dropping. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    Last minute plot twists and unreliable narrators are my least favorite devices.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole (FearYourEx)

    WOW I don't even know what else to say. When trying to decipher this whodunit I didn't even cone close, not even a little bit. HIGHLY recommend if you want a thriller to blindside you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    I Know You Remember is a pretty messed up book. In a good way though. The beginning starts with Ruthie living in Portland. Her mom had just died in a hiking accident in front of her and Ruthie keeps replaying it in her head. The way her mom's eyes looked as she fell. After the funeral, Ruthie has to move back to Alaska to live with her dad, step mom, and step sister. Ruthie's dad was an alcoholic and that's why her parents split up. She has never met her step-mom, also a recovering addict) or her I Know You Remember is a pretty messed up book. In a good way though. The beginning starts with Ruthie living in Portland. Her mom had just died in a hiking accident in front of her and Ruthie keeps replaying it in her head. The way her mom's eyes looked as she fell. After the funeral, Ruthie has to move back to Alaska to live with her dad, step mom, and step sister. Ruthie's dad was an alcoholic and that's why her parents split up. She has never met her step-mom, also a recovering addict) or her step sister, Ingrid. She also hasn't seen her father in the three years they've been gone. The one things that excited Ruthie about moving back is seeing her best friend, Zahra. They only speak by text occasionally and Ruthie expects things to go back to the way they were when they both lived in the trailer park after her mom left her dad. When Ruthie arrives, she goes to Zahra's house, but her parents say she's not there. Ruthie goes to her room and sees a totally different Zahra. Her room is nothing like how it used to be. No books, a bit dull, and there are lots of photos of people she doesn't know. Zahra's parents say that she is likely with her boyfriend, Ben, and didn't come home the whole weekend. Zahra's parents or sort of free spirits and they were really happy to see Ruthie again. After finishing AA, her father and step mom started going to Victory Evangelical (fundamentalist church) in Anchorage on Sundays. Ruthie isn't religious, but she goes with them. This place is scary. The pastor? basically screams about sin and how women need to obey their husbands and they should basically beat the sin out of their children. There was a lot of scripture in the book. I don't go to church and I'm not religious. Reading those passages where extremely weird for me. I respect other people's beliefs, but it was obvious that this wasn't a normal pastor. Ruthie goes to school and meets some of Zahra's friends. Tabitha seems to be her best friend and Ruthie tries to talk to her and fit in. She also tries to figure out who Zahra is now and what's changed since she's been gone. There was a fight Friday night at a party between Zahra and Ben. Neither were seen after that until Ben came back from a weekend of hunting. Zahra wasn't with him. Police are called in and her friends and family pull together to make sure it gets press coverage. They worry that since Zahra's black (her father), she would just be another missing kid that's ignored. Ruthie makes it a priority to follow clues to find her best friend. She starts spending a lot of time with Tabitha who is almost always drunk, trying to block out all thoughts, and with Ben. There was another girl from the trailer park, Bailey, who went missing a few years back and hadn't been found. This makes people torn on what they think. Some think Ben killed Zahra and others worry there is a serial killer kidnapping kids. Tabitha worries that Zahra may have killed herself. She had been suffering with depression and panic attacks that started around the time Ruthie left. Ingrid ended up being a really sweet character that I liked a lot. She did everything she could to be close to Ruthie. They ride to school together with Ruthie driving, but Ingrid is often left behind. Ruthie takes off without telling anyone often. She excuses it as searching for Zahra, but she really should think that others will freak out. Everyone is on edge with Zahra missing. Ruthie flashes back often to things from the summer before she left. She and Zahra were writing a fantasy book together. Zahra was really her only friend. Ruthie didn't connect to others well or show her feelings often. There was this old abandoned playground that they made into their own place. It was interesting going back in time through Ruthie's mind. I can't talk about anything else without giving away some of the mystery/twists. I did go back and forth on what I thought happened and who I thought was involved. I was partially right and partially wrong which made me happy. The book had a good pace and was hard to put down. I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my copy for review. Warnings for addiction (drugs and alcohol), talk of kidnapping and murder, abuse from parents, talk of suicide, talk of past addiction issues which include child neglect, homelessness, and prostitution, teenage drinking, extreme religious views and punishment, cheating and hooking up, and deaths (including a parent). It's a typical mystery/thriller, so all the obvious things that you usually see in books with crimes. Have you read I Know You Remember?  Is it on your TBR?  Is this a type of book that you would normally read?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    Even if it's well written I found hard to be interested as nothing happens for nearly half of the book. Not my cup of tea. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  13. 4 out of 5

    ThatBookGal

    I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this one, I've only recently got into reading YA Thriller's, and so far, most of them have missed the mark a little bit. I Know You Remember was fairly gripping, and I was intrigued to find out what had happened to Zahra from the outset, even during the quieter, teenage drinking moments. Ruth was an interesting character, sent back to Alaska to live with her dad after a tragic accident claimed her mothers life. The less said about Ruth and the mystery of I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this one, I've only recently got into reading YA Thriller's, and so far, most of them have missed the mark a little bit. I Know You Remember was fairly gripping, and I was intrigued to find out what had happened to Zahra from the outset, even during the quieter, teenage drinking moments. Ruth was an interesting character, sent back to Alaska to live with her dad after a tragic accident claimed her mothers life. The less said about Ruth and the mystery of Zahra the better really, as the whole thing is much better going in blind. There are plenty of interesting characters along the way, and you find yourself scrutinising each one, to find what motivates them and what they know about Zahra. Most intriguing is Zahra herself, who seems to have about 300 personalities. I absolutely adored the setting of Alaska, which is a completely alien landscape to me. This is the second book that I've read set there, and both times, I felt the setting was almost the best character in the book. It really worked perfectly as a slightly creepy, isolated backdrop to the mystery, with about a million possibilities. I also loved that race is explored throughout the book. We're often reminded of how different characters may be treated by society, due to differences in their race and heritages. It's done in a gentle, and honest way, and doesn't preach it's message. But it's still able to pack a punch and remind us of the injustice in the world. I thought the ending was pretty great, with a suitable twist that I only partially guessed. It's a clear 4 star read from me, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys the genre. *** Thank you to the publisher for providing an e-arc in exchange for an honest review! ***

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    3.5 stars Decent YA book. Wasn't sure where it was going at first, and then I got irritated with the direction I thought the book was going. Great twist made me happy and elevated this book away from the run-of-the-mill mystery. Ruthie is an intriguing character. It normally bugs me when a character inserts themselves into a police investigation, but this felt natural for the story. I really loved the way things concluded with the book and how everything wrapped up. I'm trying to be circumspect 3.5 stars Decent YA book. Wasn't sure where it was going at first, and then I got irritated with the direction I thought the book was going. Great twist made me happy and elevated this book away from the run-of-the-mill mystery. Ruthie is an intriguing character. It normally bugs me when a character inserts themselves into a police investigation, but this felt natural for the story. I really loved the way things concluded with the book and how everything wrapped up. I'm trying to be circumspect because I don't want to give spoilers. I liked that the author touched on some different issues, such as race, poverty, and addiction without making them central "issues" as sometimes can happen. They seemed very organic to the story and created more understanding without feeling preachy. The religious aspects however...those were what made me rate this book down a bit. I realize that there are churches/pastors out there with beliefs like this book, but I have personally never seen them in my experiences with Christianity. I feel that this book gives a horrible look at one person's fire and brimstone views, and if I had gone to the church during the pastor's rant about beating your children I would have stood up and walked out. I can't believe that everyone just blindly followed him no matter what he spewed. This was the one aspect of this tale that I thought was too over the top and caricatured rather than based on reality. This is a fast-paced read and if you like YA mysteries like One of Us is Lying, you'll definitely want to choose to read this one. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    First off, I wanted to read this because I still remember reading Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson, and the ending had me shook. I remember just sitting there with my mouth agape wondering what in the hell I just read. Sadly, this book just didn’t live up to the author’s first book. I was honestly bored throughout this whole book, not to mention I figured out this big “twist” like 20% into the book. I was hoping I was wrong, because if that was to be the huge shocker it really wasn’t First off, I wanted to read this because I still remember reading Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson, and the ending had me shook. I remember just sitting there with my mouth agape wondering what in the hell I just read. Sadly, this book just didn’t live up to the author’s first book. I was honestly bored throughout this whole book, not to mention I figured out this big “twist” like 20% into the book. I was hoping I was wrong, because if that was to be the huge shocker it really wasn’t a plot twist at all. I found the main character to be so annoying, I caught myself rolling my eyes. She was playing the poor me act in about every chapter, and she has such a good family that it was irritating that she was being so mean and childish to everyone. I felt as if the ending had so many plot holes that left me very unsatisfied. About 70% of this book had no suspense, and I wasn’t dying to know what happened to Zahra since she went missing. The ending just didn’t seem realistic to me at all, and it happened in about .2 seconds and then done. The end. I am just left feeling disappointed more than anything. I was expecting a crazy mind-bending thriller, and I did not get that at all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Carter

    Well this was a wild ride! Jennifer Donaldson has done it again with this young adult thriller that will keep you wondering until the very end. Ruthie has been living away from her hometown, Anchorage, for a few years but moves back after her mother passes away. Finally getting to reunite with her old best friend, Zahra, Ruthie couldn’t be more excited. Except Zahra has been missing a few days before Ruthie’s return. Determined to find her friend, Ruthie begins investigating and soon realizes Well this was a wild ride! Jennifer Donaldson has done it again with this young adult thriller that will keep you wondering until the very end. Ruthie has been living away from her hometown, Anchorage, for a few years but moves back after her mother passes away. Finally getting to reunite with her old best friend, Zahra, Ruthie couldn’t be more excited. Except Zahra has been missing a few days before Ruthie’s return. Determined to find her friend, Ruthie begins investigating and soon realizes that her artistic, whimsical friend is no more and instead has been replaced by a partying athlete. The digger Ruthie deeps, the closer she becomes with Zahra’s friends and begins to realize maybe she never knew Zahra at all.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    This book, man, this book. At times it felt predictable, but then Donaldson took elements and twisted them in ways I did not expect. This is the story of a teenage girl who loses her mother and moves back to live with her father only to find that her best friend has disappeared. As she begins to search the list of suspects grows and the reliability of memory comes into question. The narrative takes place against the backdrop of late-fall Anchorage, Alaska, when the sun begins to leave the sky This book, man, this book. At times it felt predictable, but then Donaldson took elements and twisted them in ways I did not expect. This is the story of a teenage girl who loses her mother and moves back to live with her father only to find that her best friend has disappeared. As she begins to search the list of suspects grows and the reliability of memory comes into question. The narrative takes place against the backdrop of late-fall Anchorage, Alaska, when the sun begins to leave the sky and everyone starts to hunker down for a long, dark, Winter. Donaldson also includes a surprisingly nuanced discussion of Christianity, examining its more conservative and progressive elements and how believers navigate what to the outside world may consider to be its many contradictions. Overall I cannot wait to sell this to anyone looking for a fun, suspenseful, October read!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Arkham Reviews

    I've spent a few days mulling over exactly what to write about this book, because my feelings towards it are quite mixed and it's difficult to talk about it without spoiling everything. But here goes... To begin with the positive, I Know You Remember is a breezy read for older teens. Although the novel does touch on some dark themes - including child abuse, evangelical Christian dogma and murder, the novel is very easy to read. This is, in part, due to Ruthie's narrative. Ruthie is an eloquent I've spent a few days mulling over exactly what to write about this book, because my feelings towards it are quite mixed and it's difficult to talk about it without spoiling everything. But here goes... To begin with the positive, I Know You Remember is a breezy read for older teens. Although the novel does touch on some dark themes - including child abuse, evangelical Christian dogma and murder, the novel is very easy to read. This is, in part, due to Ruthie's narrative. Ruthie is an eloquent and expressive narrator, and you really do get the feel that she is talking directly to the reader. The novel nicely captures the feel of small-town America, with the close-knit family groups and diverse neighbourhoods. Although the novel does not dwell on these, they flavour Ruthie's world and Donaldson delicately touches on the problem of casual racism and mistreatment of the poorer members of society without truly focusing on them. The plot itself is slow-burning, but did keep my attention throughout. Zahra's disappearance is revealed early in the tale, and the mystery as to how this came about gradually forms as Ruthie delves into the reasons why this has happened. However, I did feel that the novel seemed to lack focus at times. There is no clear mystery to follow here. Ruthie's investigation does not seem to have much structure - she occasionally stumbles across clues and her ultimately discovery of the truth virtually falls into her lap at the last. Yet, my main issue with this story is how it advertises itself. Due to the fact that the novel's blurb makes a big deal about how the plot twists and unreliable characters, I had actually figured out how the story would end before I was half-way through. And I wasn't wrong. Perhaps if the blurb hadn't put me on the lookout for a plot twist, the final reveal would have come as more of a surprise. I also felt that this twist is likely to divide readers, but I won't spoil it for you by saying anything more here. In terms of characterisation, I also felt that the novel was a little varied. Ruthie is an excellent protagonist, being sympathetic and engaging throughout. I loved the way that the story slowly gave us glimpses into her past with Zahra, and allowed the reader to feel her pain as she realised how much Zahra had changed. Yet, due to the fact that Ruthie is so focused on Zahra, it was disappointing that we did not get to spend as much time with the rest of the characters. Ruthie is so focused on finding her best friend that she largely dismisses the likes of Ingrid and Tabitha. Although some of the intricacies of these characters are made clear to the reader, they still felt a bit wooden due to the fact that Ruthie is so uninterested in them. Due to this, they are really denied their development. I really can't say more without spoiling things. If you enjoy a mystery, I would certainly recommend giving this book a try. I would be very curious to know what you think.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hilal Kahraman

    the plot was promising but still, it's missed for me

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews

    You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews I Know You Remember was suspenseful YA thriller that revolved around Ruthie and her lost best friend Zahra. It was about obsession, dysfunctional family, abusive parents and their addiction issues, friendship and jealousy. Writing was addictive, it pulled me into story right from the beginning. Setting was fabulous. The story had that sad, heavy darkness hanging over it all the time and Alaska’s cold weather, trails through wilds and You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews I Know You Remember was suspenseful YA thriller that revolved around Ruthie and her lost best friend Zahra. It was about obsession, dysfunctional family, abusive parents and their addiction issues, friendship and jealousy. Writing was addictive, it pulled me into story right from the beginning. Setting was fabulous. The story had that sad, heavy darkness hanging over it all the time and Alaska’s cold weather, trails through wilds and stories of predator attacks heightened those feelings. I loved that dark fantasy characters wrote in the book. That fanfiction story, Starmaiden and Lyr characters and bits of the world was fascinating. Book was first person narrative told from Ruth’s POV. Her voice was believable, it felt real, made me see all characters the way she wanted. It started with Ruth at her mother’s funeral who died in hiking accident. She decide to go back to her hometown, Anchorage, to her dad’s home. She left the town 3 years ago after her parents’ divorce because of her alcoholic father. But now he was sober, married, and only relative left. On arriving back, she tried to contact her best friend Zahra all through weekends but couldn’t even find her at her home. I kind of felt sorry for Ruth and then on Monday, school announced terrible new, Zahra was missing. Things turned dark and uncertain soon and fast. Ruth felt so much change in Zahra’s room at her home and personality. The Zahra people were talking about was not the same she knew. It was scary to see a drastic change in girl going from kind and lively to aloof and caught up in teen drama. I was worried for Zahra. I kept thinking what might have happened to her to cause this change, what happened to her after party, where she went and who might have hurt her. I was worried for Ruth who not just lost her mother but her best friend. Ruth was determined and fierce girl, obsessed to find Zahra. And so she friendship with Zahra’s friends and tried to get to know people she was connected with. Tabitha, Zahra’s now best friend, was never sober. She was this rich and bitch girl who mostly lived alone in big house. Ben, Zahra’s ex-boyfriend, was volatile, popular guy but not everybody liked him. They had big fight the night she disappeared. There was rumor Zahra was cheating and then there was her grandfather, a famous pastor who was misogynist. No single character was reliable and likable except Ingrid. She surprised me. She was brave, smart, caring, and protective step-sister of Ruth. Though I didn’t appreciate her blind belief, she was most likable person in the book. There were many elements in story– PTSD, social anxiety, drug and alcohol addicted parents, their ill-treatments and its effects on kids’ mentality and psychology, exploitation of religion and using it to gain power and control. All the big serious topic that gave so much to discuss over. I blame parents here for the all wrong thing happened in the book. Climax was most interesting. Once I got to know characters, I knew where this story was heading. I had my guesses and when I reached climax, bingo. I thought I would give it 4 star because I could figure it all out at some point, but then came most shocking twist. I read in some reviews saying it felt like author decided to change the end all of sudden but I feel it was a clever. I felt like why I even tried to guess who the real culprit was! I couldn’t have guessed that twist. End was satisfactory but still mind-boggling. Overall, it was gripping, thrilling, page-turner with brilliant twist and amazing setting. I surely recommend this book. *** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson is a riveting young adult mystery. Seventeen year old Ruthie Hayden is thrilled to move back to Anchorage and reunite with her best friend Zahra Gaines. Soon after arriving, she learns that Zahra has been missing since her huge fight with her boyfriend Ben Peavy.When Ruthie does not think the police are taking her friend's disappearance seriously, she insinuates herself into Zahra's group of friends to see if she can figure out if they know more 4.5 stars. I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson is a riveting young adult mystery. Seventeen year old Ruthie Hayden is thrilled to move back to Anchorage and reunite with her best friend Zahra Gaines. Soon after arriving, she learns that Zahra has been missing since her huge fight with her boyfriend Ben Peavy. When Ruthie does not think the police are taking her friend's disappearance seriously, she insinuates herself into Zahra's group of friends to see if she can figure out if they know more than they have admitted.  Fearing the worst, Ruthie throws herself into locating Zahra, but is it already too late to save her? Ruthie and her mom moved to Portland, OR following her parents' divorce.  She was not at all happy to be ripped away from her best friend or Anchorage. They stayed in touch through email and texts but Ruthie fears she and Zahra have grown apart. Now returning to live with her recovering alcoholic father,  her stepmom Brandy and stepsister Ingrid, Ruthie is hoping to recapture her once close friendship with Zahra. Following Ruthie's departure three years earlier, Zahra drastically changed her life. She left her creative side behind and joined the cross country team. She also briefly lived with her evangelical grandparents. Zahra is still outgoing and friendly and she has a wide circle of friends. Her relationship with Ben has been rocky throughout their  time together, but their argument the evening she went missing is definitely their worst blow up. The investigation into Zahra's disappearance is delayed since her parents  initially believe she is off with Ben.  It is not until Monday morning they sound the alarm and suspicion immediately falls on Ben who is Koyukon Athabaskan.  His alibi is hard to prove and he remains the chief suspect. A shocking discovery leaves Ruthie and Ben fearing the worst but they both continue to keep their hopes up Zahra will be found. I Know You Remember is a fast-paced mystery with a clever and well-executed storyline. The cast of characters is diverse and well developed. Ruthie refuses to give up searching for Zahra and she often makes risky decisions in her quest to find her. With a very chilling twist, Jennifer Donaldson brings this mesmerizing mystery to a rather disturbing conclusion. I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this marvelous young adult novel to older teen and adult readers.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Figlet

    I don't read much YA any longer (not for any reason other than there is just not enough time to read everything I want to read), but I made an effort for this one based on a review I read somewhere (sorry, it's been too long for me to remember where the review was). That review was 100% correct. This book is damn good read. I was fooled (not entirely but I think you are supposed to go in with some suspicions, right?) Anyway, I couldn't possibly go into any sort of summary or details because I I don't read much YA any longer (not for any reason other than there is just not enough time to read everything I want to read), but I made an effort for this one based on a review I read somewhere (sorry, it's been too long for me to remember where the review was). That review was 100% correct. This book is damn good read. I was fooled (not entirely but I think you are supposed to go in with some suspicions, right?) Anyway, I couldn't possibly go into any sort of summary or details because I would not to ruin any of the various twists and turns the reader gets to experience. It was a great Friday afternoon read though. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Rated 5 Alaskan Teenagers Who Party Way Too Hard Stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    Hypnotizing. Mind blowing, a book you won't want to stop reading. After a tragic accident, Ruthie goes back to Alaska to live with her father and his new family. When she arrives she finds out her best friend, Zahra is missing, and Ruthie knows she is the only that can find her. This book started out a little slow, with Ruthie getting to know Zahra's friends and how her life has been since she moved three years ago. But the pace quickly changes into a hunt to find her best friend before time Hypnotizing. Mind blowing, a book you won't want to stop reading. After a tragic accident, Ruthie goes back to Alaska to live with her father and his new family. When she arrives she finds out her best friend, Zahra is missing, and Ruthie knows she is the only that can find her. This book started out a little slow, with Ruthie getting to know Zahra's friends and how her life has been since she moved three years ago. But the pace quickly changes into a hunt to find her best friend before time runs out. I loved this book, a thriller that I won't soon be forgetting with a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. The story was well-plotted, written admirably and it pleasantly surprised me with where the story went. Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC for me to read!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julia Stephanie

    Woah, what a chilling read!! I’ll admit, as someone who lives in Alaska, reading all of these familiar sites and names really added an extra layer of excitement. That last paragraph of the book? Absolutely spectacular and spooky! I love how easy it was to get into their skins and feel the same emotions. It was raw and it was something to appreciate!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Jennifer Donaldson again provides a twist that makes me want to throw the book across the room in shock. Her skill in weaving a story that you think you know the answer to, and then at the last second pulling it out from under you, is unparalleled.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Avid Reader and Geek Girl

    4.5 stars REVIEW TO COME

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    WHAT IN THE FRESH HELL... That ending knocked me on my ass.

  28. 5 out of 5

    *Layali*

    Review to come. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    Wow, what a book. A good mystery, a great read-alike for Sadie.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wow! My biggest "complaint" about this book was the strange obsession that Ruthie has with Zahra. Yes, Ruthie has been traumatized. Yes, Zahra is a stable touchstone for her. But when Ruthie seems more concerned with her friend's disappearance than the police or Zahra's family, I thought things got a little weird. *Spoiler* Where Ruthie finds Zahra didn't entirely surprise me; Donaldson laid the groundwork for that nicely. BUT, I did not totally see the twist coming! I had suspected a part of Wow! My biggest "complaint" about this book was the strange obsession that Ruthie has with Zahra. Yes, Ruthie has been traumatized. Yes, Zahra is a stable touchstone for her. But when Ruthie seems more concerned with her friend's disappearance than the police or Zahra's family, I thought things got a little weird. *Spoiler* Where Ruthie finds Zahra didn't entirely surprise me; Donaldson laid the groundwork for that nicely. BUT, I did not totally see the twist coming! I had suspected a part of it, but the details were beyond what I had anticipated! The final few pages pushed this book from a 3-star to a 4-star review for me! I think teens who enjoy a good suspense novel will really like this one!

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