Sarah's Stars

Anne Cassidy. Forget Me Not
Scholastic $10.99  ISBN 978-0-545-99741-6  236 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 15

A couple of times, as I was passing, I leaned into Mum's room and looked at the padded envelope in her bag. I considered opening it. Then I backed out. Privacy: it was something Mum and I were keen on. She didn't nose around my stuff and I didn't interfere with hers. I did look at the photo again, particularly the date on the back. I went back into her room and did some mental arithmetic as I picked up the padded envelope and felt its contents. Then I replaced it.

A horrible feeling was settling inside me.

I sat down and turned the television on, waiting for Mum to come in from work. While the programme played on I thought of the initials. EG. The little girl who Mum had been looking after twenty years before. Her surname had been Gilbert and her first name was Lizzie. Elizabeth Gilbert. The date on the photo was from ten years before. The girl was eleven or twelve. Lizzie had been eighteen months old when she went missing.

Was this a picture of that girl? 

When Terri was eighteen she took Lizzie, the girl she babysat, to the woods for a walk. There she ran into the older, married man, Steve, whom she had a crush on and while Lizzie was asleep, they had a brief drunken affair before falling into slumber. When they woke up, Lizzie was gone, vanished into thin air. They couldn't tell the truth, because that would mean people finding out about their hook-up, so Terri lied and made up a tale about a man jumping out of a car and taking Lizzie from her pushchair. Everyone believed Terri did something to her, hurt her or killed her but the mystery was never solved. Twenty years later Terri lives as a single mom with her daughter Stella and when their infant neighbour goes missing, Terri is forced to relive some painful memories and hide some dangerous truths. And all the while Stella gets closer and closer to finding out everything...

The fast-paced story, told from Stella's point of view is a suspenseful mystery. The conundrum isn't what happened to Jade Henderson, it's about Terri's past. I was a bit confused about the direction the book was taking for quite a while and nothing is really clear. Many secrets were uncovered but it didn't seem to really matter. I guess it wasn't really the author's fault. I think it was more the fault of whoever designed the cover, because the back description is very short and misleading. If Id gone into the book not knowing anything at all, then the confusion might be irrelevant and may not happen. For the most part, I thought Forget Me Not was well written and everything flowed smoothly. Some parts stretched the story a little too far for a realistic book, but then again, the story itself has a bit of a surreal, detached feel to it. It wasn't really a masterpiece but it made a nice quick read and it certainly kept me up late at night trying to finish it. I almost missed it, but once I read it over again, I really enjoyed the last minute twist at the end. However, other than the nice writing style and the suspense, Im still wondering what was the point?

I give Anne Cassidy's Forget Me Not three stars.


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