The Girl I Used to Be
by April Henry (Goodreads Author)
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?
I received a copy of The Girl I Used to BE by April Henry via Goodreads. Love that site by the way. I thought the premise of the book was very interesting and this was the first book that I have read by her, so I didn’t have any experience reading her previous work. The story centers on the murder of the parents of Olivia/Ariel, Naomi and Terry. New evidence makes Olivia rethink everything she knows about her mother’s murder because it turns out her father who was the prime suspect was also killed the same day. They did not find his body or any evidence of his whereabouts until fourteen years later when they find a jawbone matching his DNA in the same woods. At age three, Ariel Benson was the only witness to her mother’s stabbing, a crime everyone believed Ariel’s father committed, before he disappeared. She was left in a Wal-Mart hundreds of miles from the crime scene, Ariel bounced around the foster care system and, thanks to a failed adoption, became Olivia Reinhart, and an emancipated minor by 17. After she finds out that her father had nothing to do with the murders, she decides to attend his funeral/wake back in her old hometown where pretty much everyone who knew her family back then still lives there. Olivia launches her own unofficial investigation and heads in the small Oregon town of Medford, where she has access to every old acquaintance of her parents that could be the killer or know something. Predictably, there’s a cute and helpful boy, a slow unpacking of dormant memories, and a shoal of red herrings, but dry narration and underdeveloped characters do little to elevate this whodunit.
I thought the beginning was good because it added a level of mystery and suspense as to who actually killed her mother and now her father. So the only logical thing to do is to go back to the scene of the crime or the town where everything started. I have to say that I wanted more out of the story. I thought that there was more to the story and some areas fell flat. People should have been more suspicious about Olivia from the start but people were open to telling her everything she wanted to know without any second thought. Towards the end, I thought everything happened way to quickly. You spend 80% of the book trying to figure out who the killer might be and then all of a sudden their he is, so I thought that could have been developed more. Olivia should have spend more time around Carly her aunt or even Lauren her cousin, someone her age other then Duncan that she could of confided in to help her get close. But that’s just my pickiness and me. Overall, it kept me interested to find out who actually killed her parents when everyone seemed to be a suspect. So if your interested in a good mystery story that keeps you guessing, then pick up a copy. Happy Reading :)