Monday, January 7, 2019

Review - The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry @aprilhenrybooks

The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Date Read: January 4, 2019
Length: 240 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
Fourteen years ago, a three-year-old girl was the only survivor at a horrific murder scene. Now she’s determined to search for the truth—and the killer is even more determined to stop her.

When Olivia’s mother was murdered and her father disappeared, everyone suspected her father had done it. 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. Can Olivia uncover the truth before the killer tracks her down?
My Review

I thought that this was really good.  I have had this book for years but it somehow got lost in my pile at some point.  I am glad that I decided to dust it off and give it a try because it turned out to be quite an enjoyable read.  This was my first experience with April Henry's writing and I am rather impressed.  This was a really fast read and I loved the fact that the mystery kept me guessing until the very end.  I found this to be an overall enjoyable read. 

Olivia is a seventeen-year-old living on her own as an emancipated minor.  She has spent years in the foster care system before going out on her own.  Her life wasn't always like this.  She had a family until her mother was killed when she was only three years old.  She then lived with her grandmother until her death a few years later.  Everyone always assumed that her father killed her mother since he hasn't been seen since that fateful day so many years ago.  Oh, and her name was Ariel back then but that was really a lifetime ago.  When new evidence that proves her father could not have been the killer, everything Olivia thought she knew is called into question.

I was really curious about what really happened to Olivia's parents.  Olivia/Ariel was there that day but she was so young that she just doesn't remember.  It was really interesting to watch her try to piece everything back together and figure out what really happened.  There were so many possibilities and I never knew which way things would end up going.  I have to admit that I didn't figure it out until everything was revealed which is just how I like it to go.  There was a lot of excitement towards the end of the book and things were rather intense for a while but I was pretty satisfied with how everything was resolved. 

I liked Olivia/Ariel.  Considering everything that she has been through, she really has a lot to be proud of.  She is a hard worker and is completely self-reliant.  She was very focused on her task in this story and wouldn't let herself be distracted by romance, even though there is a touch of that in this story.  I really liked how she was with Nora, the older woman that used to live next door to her grandmother. 

I would recommend this book to others.  I found it to be a fast-paced mystery that kept me guessing.  This was the kind of book that can really hard to put down.  I look forward to reading more of April Henry's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group via NetGalley.
About the Author

April Henry is the New York Times-bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels Girl, Stolen; The Night She Disappeared; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die; and Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, Books 1 and 2 in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

27 comments:

  1. I remember this book. I even think it's on my TBR. I was interested in reading something by Henry. Glad you finally got to this one and enjoyed it.

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  2. Glad you found a gem. Love these type of stories.

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  3. Sounds like a good read and I've seen it around some, although it's been some time. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

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  4. Isn't it fun when you find a book you forgot you had and haven't read yet? This one sounds intriguing!

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    1. I can't say that I forgot about this book. I just never seemed to find the time to read it. I am glad that I finally picked it up.

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  5. It looks good and I think I could have a good time with this one as well

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  6. I love everything about the book. Does have a super cover!
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  7. Sounds like she had a really hard life. This one sounds interesting.

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  8. I do want to know what happened now!

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  9. I can see why it hooked you in with her being a likeable character and the twist with the dad turning up murdered as well. Yay for pulling out a dusty one and getting a winner. :)

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    1. I hope all of my dusty ones are as good as this was :)

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  10. I'm definitely intrigued by just the blurb and since you enjoyed it so much I really want to read this! Adding to my TBR!

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    1. I hope you like it if you get the chance to read it, Katherine!

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  11. This does sound very interesting, the kind of thing I enjoy. I'm so happy you finished off an older ARC and it was a great one. Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. It feels great to mark a past due book off of my list.

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  12. I am curious about why you ended up using Olivia/Ariel. And yay for a book character with my name! It sounds like the mystery of this one is very intriguing... I am now hooked on it and I want to know about to know everything too! I guess I will have to read it :)

    My recent post: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2019/01/december-wrap-up-2018/

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    1. She was Ariel when she was young but changed her name to Olivia when she was older. I hope you get the chance to read this one!

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  13. This sounds really well done. I do love a mystery that keeps you wondering until all is revealed.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  14. I adore April Henry, she writes such amazing mysteries. I have read her Body in the Woods and loved it. I have to get this one too. So glad you enjoyed this one!

    Mary

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