The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

By April Henry
Published on June 11th 2013
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Source: ARC from publisher
She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.

And that she must run.

In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.

I loved the opening chapters of this book, as we meet Cady, who has no memory of who she is or why she's being held captive by men who want to kill her.  The scenes are quick and short as she slowly comes to and gets an understanding of her surroundings, and tries to figure out how to get herself out.  Watching Cady try to understand the situation only to have her escape be undermined by the people who are after her makes for some very tense ready, especially as she has to try to convince people that she's not crazy.

Despite the trauma Cady has endured, she is very smart and quick on her feet to help get her out of the situation and to safety.  She winds up being helped out by Ty, who is an interesting character in his own right, and I wish we'd seen more of him.  Despite getting a pretty thorough backstory, he sometimes feels a little flat, and I would have liked to see him get more fleshed out.  Regardless, he's a huge help to Cady and while there's some flirtation between them, the bulk of the story is really focused on Cady's situation and getting her out of danger, so it's not distracting to the overall storyline.

For me, however, the story started to go downhill as Cady got closer to unraveling the mystery of her identity and why people were after her.   Other than one red herring early in the story, the bad guys are all super obvious and not really believable at all, once their identities are revealed.  The writing gets less tight and a little clunkier as the book finishes up, and, well, I guess this is a spoiler, but things go right into Happily Ever After land, which felt way, way too easy given all of the terrible things that happened.

As an aside, not to related to my enjoyment of the book or anything, but I definitely do not love this cover.  Aside from the man's hand looking like it was poorly Photoshopped there, I think the image is menacing in a way that's very unappealing.  The ARC cover is just text with a mottled blue/green/grey background -- while simple, it felt eerie and moody, like the opening chapters of the book.  I would have preferred something a little more abstract than faceless-girl-with-hand-over-face.

Despite some scenes of violence, I would say this book is appropriate for readers on the younger age of the YA spectrum and up.  It's written in a very simple, quick-paced way and more advanced readers will probably fly through it.

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