by Natalie D. Richards
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
on October 1, 2013
Summary from Goodreads: Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.
What happened to her? And why can't she remember?
Welcome to the last 2013 installment of I (Finally) Read, in which I feature 2013 releases that I put off reading until the very, very end of the year. If you want to check out the previous posts, I also (finally) read The Program by Suzanne Young and Crash by Lisa Mc Mann.
How long did it take me to decide to read this book? Nearly two months -- not that bad!
Why did I put off reading it? Regular blog readers know that I am getting kind of tired of amnesia books -- this post explains it better. On top of that, I don't think the cover and summary of Six Months Later reflect the book at all. To me, the book's summary (above) reads like one of those magical realism women's fiction novels by Allison Winn Scotch or Liane Moriarty in which the main character bumps her head and wakes up and is not married to her husband but some "what-if" guy from her past. (Not that there's anything wrong with those kind of books -- I enjoyed What Alice Forgot very much.) But my point is that the book's cover and summary give the impression that Six Months Later is some sort of amnesia romance.
What made me pick it up? I saw a review on Goodreads that revealed that this book is not some kind of what-if amnesia romance story. Six Months Later is a thriller, and a pretty good one! As the book opens, Chloe is an average student, checking out a cute guy named Blake and ever loyal to her BFF Maggie. Then she wakes up and everything has changed. Fall has turned to winter, but she can't remember the last six months at all. She's now Blake's girlfriend. Maggie won't speak to her. She's suddenly an amazing student who just earned a near-perfect SAT score. And she has the feeling that something is terribly, horribly wrong.
Although I pieced together the clues that Chloe has and figured out much of the Big Secret pretty easily, that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book. I really enjoyed watching poor Chloe try to figure out what happened to her. She's juggling a lot -- trying not to let on to Blake that she has no memory of their relationship, trying to adjust to her parents suddenly being proud of her, and missing Maggie like crazy. In addition to the suspense, Six Months Later also had a romance that I really enjoyed. Chloe can't believe that she's suddenly the girlfriend of gorgeous, perfect Blake. But she keeps bumping into Adam, a gorgeous guy she knew from detention, and feels drawn to him for reasons she can't remember.
Six Months Later does what a good thriller should do. It takes some things that are real sources of anxiety to teen readers -- stress over college and grades and pleasing their demanding parents -- and magnifies them into something truly terrifying.