Book #38 of 2016: The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry

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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?

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest opinion. Everything following is an opinion and yours may be different than mine. I wasn’t compensated aside from the enjoyment reading gives me.

Okay, I am on the fence with this book. It is a YA mystery that makes me think of a cozy. In that a cozy mystery is set in a small town (usually) and you meet all of the people important to the story early on.

The main character is Olivia who used to be known as the three year old survivor Ariel Benson. She is an emancipated teen who lives on her own and has kept surviving since the day of her parents’ death. Though I could understand some of her motives and actions, I felt Olivia wasn’t very lifelike. She seemed like a tool to solving the mystery more so than a character. She did change slightly, but that change was more about her comfort around the others and not her personality traits.

Olivia did pose interesting questions. She asked all of the questions people do about murders. There are answers given, but in a way it felt more like a way to get the reader to believe the story presented. I’m not saying the answers weren’t important, they were, but a lot of the book was an internal monologue of Olivia trying to figure things out and if the book was longer I could see that being an issue.

The book is written in the first person and it is a quick read. Like I said, if it was longer, there may have been a bit of a struggle. I didn’t see the murderer coming, but it also felt like a cop out. It was totally left field and I didn’t get a handle of this character before the revelation or even after. It made his motives shaky. There was a bit of action in the end and it was a seat of your pants kind.

In all, it wasn’t a bad book, but not my favorite. It was my first April Henry book and though I’m not sold to her writing, I am not completely against it either. I wouldn’t mind reading more of her in the future.

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