Welcome to Gardnerville

Welcome to Gardnerville

(Don't You) Forget About Me

by Kate Karyus Quinn

Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Fantasy
Published: June 10th, 2014
by HarperTeen




Welcome to Gardnerville. A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except...There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.


The sleepwalkers climbed on top of the bridge railing, balanced, and jumped. You could see the exact moment they woke from the dream. Midair, seconds from the icy water below, their limbs pedaled wildly, seeking something solid.

But this was a fourth year in Gardnerville, and there were no happy endings.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with (Don’t You) Forget About Me, but I am pleasantly surprised with the result. This isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but fans of magical realism and unique and strange novels (think Nova Ren Suma) are going to devour.

We all know the saying “if something sounds too good to be true it probably is“, right? Well that quote applies perfectly to Gardnerville – a small town where nobody ever gets sick. The catch is that every four years, teenagers are inflicted by magic that making them do uncontrollable, and occasionally deadly, things.

I can’t forget you, Piper. But sometimes, I can’t really remember you either.

Four years ago, Piper lead sixteen of her fellow classmates to their deaths, and not a moment later she was locked up in a deadly reformatory to serve four years as punishment. Yet, she leaves behind clues for her younger sister Skylar – clues that can break the vicious fourth year cycle one and for all.

Skylar is a fascinating protagonist. Not only does she have the ability to read peoples’ deepest secrets by simply being near them, but she has a sense of dedication for her sister to rival Katniss Everdeen’s. It’s not a secret that she isn’t the most reliable protagonist because of the memory loss pills she constantly takes, but her unreliablity makes her even more intriguing.

If there’s one thing I feel could have been adjusted just a tad, it would be the ending, which was just a bit too rushed for my liking.

All in all, (Don’t You) Forget About Me is confusing and strange in the best possible ways. If you don’t mind being a bit confused at first, than definitely go for this – you won’t be disappointed. However, if you like everything promptly laid out for you at the beginning of the story before it unfolds, this probably isn’t something for you.


1 thought on “Welcome to Gardnerville

Leave a Reply to Madiha @ Symphony of Words Cancel reply