Title: The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die
Author: April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Pub Date: 06/11/13
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: Even as an amnesia thriller, this book was a disappointment. After enjoying April Henry’s last book Girl, Stolen I picked this up expecting another exciting story with an original perspective, solid plot situation and skillful descriptions. Instead, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die poorly executes a very formulaic thriller format, complete with amnesia, an unsuspecting sidekick-turned unlikely romance, plot advancement via convenient radio broadcasts, and corporate conspiracy.
The first-person present tense prose felt stilted and awkward most of the time, and the plot became increasingly difficult to pull together and believe as it went. The biggest thing that bothered me about the book was that the characters’ motivations were consistently unconvincing. A random boy working at McDonald’s decides to devote himself to helping a girl on the run. CEOs of microbiology research corporations torture minors for some extra cash. It just wasn’t believable.Memorable or Forgettable: This book is forgettable because of its tangled and unbelievable plot. The characters offered no relief. I skimmed the book to the end to see if the plot redeemed itself. The one thing I enjoyed about the book was that it mentioned viruses and biological warfare, but it was an underdeveloped plot point and just seemed random by that point in the book.
Cover: This cover is also fairly forgettable, with what might be some puddles on a parking lot. The font and changing letter size did give it a thriller feel, though.
Age Range: 12 through 15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 2P Only for special interest
tags: suspense / thriller / biological warfare / identity theft / ya lit