Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry

Book Blurb:

When Olivia's mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia's father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there's a killer still at large. It's up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Teen, Suspense--

Olivia use to be named Ariel, but that was before. Before her father murdered her mother and abandoned her at a Walmart parking lot at age 3. Olivia bounced between foster homes after her grandmother’s death, until she was finally adopted and her name was changed. That didn’t last, putting her back in the system until she legal emancipated herself, received her GED and lives a simple life. That is, until the police show up at her door and inform her that her father was found, murdered, and just as much a victim as her mother. Olivia makes the choice to go back to her home town, where she keeps her identity a secret and digs into the secrets of those who knew her parents.

I love a good mystery and I found myself enjoying this one. The premise was something new and different, where the main character thought she knew the truth but was so wrong. I enjoyed the twists and turns that the book took and the entire community was at one point a suspect. This review will be shorter than usual and vague because spoilers can ruin a mystery. The one problem I had with the story was that the actual killer was someone I never suspected because there was not really any motivation. Yes sure, the motivation was explained but it was flimsy at best so I never suspected said person. I was expecting something much more twisted and complicated based on all the buildup the story took and the way the opening of the book started. I enjoyed the references to something so real as America’s Most Wanted TV show and the YouTube clips that were used to help quickly fill in gaps in the back-story.

Olivia was a very damaged character who faced so many harsh realities in life. The worst part in the book was just when I thought she would catch a break emotionally, something else devastating happened to her in the story. She was only 17 but had been on her own for so long that she was mature and level headed, which I appreciated. I thought she was a smart interesting character with many layers and I rooted for her. This girl did not crack, despite it completely being justified.

This is my first book by this author and I would love to get my hands on more to see what else she has. I liked her writing style and her characterizations so I want to read more. I am always on the lookout for fast paced mysteries I can get lost in, and this fit the bill.

I received this title from the publisher in return for my honest review.

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