Wednesday, May 4, 2016

ARC Review: The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry

The Girl I Used to Be
Author: April Henry
Publication: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (May 3, 2016)

Description: 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 Thoughts: This was a fast-paced murder mystery. The story is told by Olivia, who used to be Ariel. She was three-years-old when her parents were killed. It was originally assumed that her father killed her mother and then dropped Ariel off at a Walmart three hours from the scene of the crime.  When she was recognized, she was raised by her mother's mother until her grandmother suffered a heart attack and died when Ariel was seven.

Ariel spent years in foster care with one side trip when she was adopted, renamed Olivia, but then returned to foster care when her adoptive mother couldn't deal with Olivia's behavior. Now seventeen, Olivia is an emancipated minor working in the deli at a chain grocery store. When the news breaks that her father's jaw has been found, her world shifts. Her father was not a murderer who fled but another victim. It is now apparent that her mother and father were killed at the same time. It must have been their murderer who dropped her off at Walmart.

Olivia heads back to Medford, the place where she and her parents lived when they were killed, to attend her father's funeral. She meets the next door neighbor who was her grandmother's best friend and the cast of characters who were friends of her parents and who are now suspects in their deaths.

Olivia tries to keep her identity a secret so that she can investigate without drawing the attention of the possible murderer who might try to rectify the mistake he made by leaving her alive. She is recognized by the neighbor and by a boy who was a childhood friend. She also gets to know the many suspects. All of them seem guilty and all of them could have a motive for killing her parents.

I enjoyed this story and didn't figure out who the murderer was until Olivia did. Fans of mysteries will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
All my life, I've known what I am. The daughter of a victim and a killer. When I looked in the mirror, I thought I could see them both—the cowering and the rage.
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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