Author: April Henry
Genre: YA contemporary, mystery, thriller
Publication Date: June 11, 2013 (Macmillan – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC
Summary: “Take her out back and finish her off.”
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.
☆: 3/5 stars – a solid YA thriller!
Review: This book is really short, and great if you want to take your mind off of something stressful, or you just want a good, short thriller book for the YA set, “The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die” is definitely a great pick. While I did have a few issues with it, it was a great way to relax for an afternoon and devour this story in one sitting. Definitely great for a rainy day or a beach read, “The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die” definitely a good pick for either.
This book is short, as I’ve mentioned before, and because it is, it’s obvious that it’s plot-driven (as opposed to being either character-driven or being balanced). My largest problem with this book is because it’s so plot-driven, the character development suffers greatly. Not that I don’t enjoy plot-driven thriller stories – quite the opposite. But at the same time, the characters to a certain degree could have been developed a little more. Cady felt a little too simple as a main character with such a complex backstory, and Ty, well, at times, he felt like he was just propping Cady up on her quest to not only find out her own identity, but why she ended up in that cabin.
What Henry does best: the world. The world is very dense and thick with paranoia and the need to remember, even for the audience. The clock is ticking down, and the net is tightening around Cady, Ty, and the audience. The air is electric, I will definitely give Henry that, and her worldbuilding, especially with dispensing backstory and interspacing her infodumps (which were small, most of the time – only once or twice did I feel that the infodumps in certain areas needed to be spread out a little more), is really good. It’s the best part of the book, to be honest.
The romance: didn’t really feel believable. If you could call it a romance? I couldn’t tell if Henry was really tying to go all in on it, or insta-love it, or just wanted them to be really pushed close together due to their circumstances. It was pretty cloudy, and just didn’t feel very authentic. I recognize that she didn’t have much space to work with, but Henry needed to have a firmer hold on what she wanted between Ty and Cady, or at least know what she wanted to do with them.
Otherwise? This one is definitely good for entertainment on a rainy day or a good beach read for the summer. I enjoyed it, and I think I just might go check out some of Henry’s other books. “The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die” is out from Macmillan Children’s June 11, 2013 in North America, so definitely check it out then!