Review: Six Months Later by Natalie Richards

October 4, 2013 2 - 2.5 Stars, Memory Loss, Mystery, Natalie Richards, Predictable 5 ★★

Six Months Later by Natalie Richards
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 1, 2013
Genres: Mystery, YA
Pages: 326
Format: eARC
Source: ARC
Goodreads
two-stars
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?
Before you decide to read Six Months Later, you should ask yourself this question: Are you OK reading a mystery that is not mysterious whatsoever?  I’m not particularly adept at guessing endings, but in this case, I figured out the big secret very early on.  As I continued reading , it became increasingly evident that I was correct.  I was still prepared to enjoy myself, but everything here fell apart as the ending neared, and the story grew increasingly sillier.

What makes this so disappointing is that Six Months Later started off very strongly.  Chloe falls asleep at her desk one summer day, and when she wakes up, she’s still at her desk, but there is snow on the ground.  No one else is in the room.  Strangest of all, her fingernails are dirty, and her clothes are different.  What happened???  Sounds like a great start, right?

But after the opening, everything starts to go off the rails.  Chloe soon realizes that six months of her life disappeared, and she’s understandably terrified. But for reasons I still don’t understand, she keeps her memory loss a secret for a long time.  She plays dumb to her parents and those around her, even as she realizes her life completely changed during that period.  She somehow became a genius, she’s dating Blake, the hottest guy in school who barely knew she existed before, and she’s suddenly popular.

Her confusion leads her to overlook what is blindingly obvious to us: There’s something VERY off about Blake.  He sends her strange, menacing texts. He follows her around and pops up in odd places.  And he seems to have some ulterior motives for dating Chloe.

This story wouldn’t be complete without a love triangle, so let’s throw in another hot guy, Adam, who’s clearly into Chloe, unlike Blake, the supposed boyfriend.  He’s supposed to be a “bad boy,” but you’ll laugh when you learn about the crime that got him in trouble.  On the surface, Adam’s crime was robbing a pharmacy, but with the way the story was headed, I knew we’d be given a suitable and sympathetic explanation for the crime.  I did not, however, expect that he’d be painted as some kind of Robin Hood/Boy Scout hybrid.

The author’s attempt to paint Adam as a Prince Charming isn’t entirely successful.  He knows Chloe lost her memory, but he becomes irrationally angry when Chloe is informed of his little pharmacy shenanigans.  He believes that she should have somehow deduced the heroic reason for his crime, even though she barely knows him.  (Keep in mind: Chloe got to know Adam during her “missing” six months, so to the present-day Chloe, he is basically a stranger.)

At Six Months Later nears its end, Chloe is in serious danger, and she hems and haws while other characters insist that she call the cops.  Even I was thinking, “Call the cops, dummy!”  But because it wasn’t convenient to the plot, she doesn’t listen.  Again, more predictability ensues with the unveiling of the Big Bad who nicely delivers the standard explanation for all of the preceding dastardly deeds.

Note – I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review posted at Goodreads.

Stephanie

5 Responses to “Review: Six Months Later by Natalie Richards”

  1. Michelle

    Holy disappointing!!! I hadn’t heard of this one before last week, but when I read the synopsis I was intrigued. However yeah after reading this it sounds like it’s trying too hard, so I might pass on it after all. Thanks for the review 🙂

  2. Stephanie K

    Definitely wasted potential. I love a good memory loss story, and even the big “surprise” in this one has potential to be very interesting. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to read the book, but I think it’s a topic that would make for an interesting read, if it didn’t have all of the silliness of this story.

  3. Chel

    But mysteries that are not mysterious are not mysteries at all! I admit the beginning sounds so very intriguing but it sucks that the answers are very predictable. I think I would’ve read it based on the beginning alone but now, eh not so much. Thanks for the review Stephanie! 🙂

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