Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Plot Summary:
She wakes up battered and bruised; her fingernails are missing and she doesn't remember who she is. The next thing she remembers is being dragged out into the woods, awaiting death. However, something in her screams to fight back and when the opportunity presents itself, she takes it. Alone, and on the run, she has to find help because she has no idea who she is and why someone would want to kill her. Luckily, for her, she is not completely helpless because no only does she have the will to run, but she has the skills to survive. After taking her kidnapper's car, she finds her way to Newberry Ranch where she tries to get help from the security officer on duty. Although he isn't a real police officer, he does everything he can to help her. When she thought this nightmare was over, it was only the beginning to a series of events that she never thought possible. When the security guard got off the phone, he informed her that she wasn't kidnapped, but a runaway from a local mental hospital. There is no way this could be true because why would staff members from a psychiatric hospital drag her away to secluded cabin, rip out her fingernails, and carry guns? Furthermore, why would they threaten to kill her? After hearing this new information, she takes matters into her own hands and is back on the road not knowing where to go and who to trust.When she stopped at a local McDonald's for food, she meets a guy named Ty who not only helps her get away from the men who are chasing her, but promises to help her recover her memories. Little do they know, the journey they are to embark is not only risky, but could can turn deadly in an instant if she cannot find her parents. The clock has started ticking and they are running out of time.

Critical Evaluation:
Wow. This was incredibly suspenseful. Not only will readers enjoy the pace of this story, they will want to finish this book in one sitting. For a small book, there is a lot going on. For example, we don't know our main character's name because she suffers from amnesia. Secondly, we don't know if she is going to be the type of heroine we are going to admire. Once readers get passed the first few chapters, they will learn that our girl is not only brave, but incredibly quick on her feet. Henry captures the point of view of a kidnapping victim extremely well because not only do we see the flight or flight decision making, we see how determined she is to find out who she is and her desire to live. Although she is scared out of her mind, she refuses to give up because she is convinced that someone is trying to frame her or worse...kill her. What's confusing about her amnesia is that it seems to be temporary; she is can remember things from her past, but not the names of her family. Furthermore, when she and Ty make progress in their journey, we learn that she hasn't lost the ability to certain things such as: drive, unlock a car seat, and use her marital skills when necessary. Although she is more than capable of handling this on her own, Ty is the one person she needs the most to keep her calm and focused. Ty, who also has a hidden past, is the perfect protector since he is the only one who believes that she isn't a crazy serial killer, but is being framed for something that she didn't do. Honestly, Ty is the type of guy that any girl would be proud to have as their boyfriend because he is genuine. The more these two teens get to know each other, it's only natural they would fall for each other. However, this is not a love story, but a story about survival where the fates of thousands of people depend on her. 

Information about the Author:
According to her website:
April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. There was one detour on April's path to destruction:  when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children's author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children's magazine. By the time she was in her 30s, April had started writing about hit men, kidnappers, and drug dealers. She has published more than a dozen mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults, with five more under contract

Teen Suspense, Teen Mysteries, Teen Adventure

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die:
Awards & Recognition:

"Suggest this one to fans of Stefan Petrucha’s Split (Walker, 2010) and Matt Whyman’s Icecore (2007) and Goldstrike (2010, both S & S) for a good adrenaline rush with the tiniest hint of romance." -- School Library Journal

"April Henry has it down with her taut mysteries, and The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die is as good as her other works. Suspense and tension build from the first page—in which men are taking Cady out to kill her—to the last, as she uncovers the secrets in this eco-thriller."
- School Library Journal

"Older Jack and Jill readers will find themselves unable to put down this book until they reach the stunning conclusion."
- Jack and Mill Magazine

"Henry is a dependable best-selling force in both adult and YA worlds, and this book is tailor-made to please her fan base." -- Booklist

"Henry (The Night She Disappeared) delivers another speedy, suspenseful mystery, this one reminiscent of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne books."--Publishers Weekly

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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