book blog · book review

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette

35958849Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.
The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof.
The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

*Synopsis and photo from Goodreads

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*Thank you to the publisher, Bold Strokes Books, and NetGalley for the copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Prom night. The night someone tried to kill Jenny and almost succeeded. But for the life of her, she can’t remember anything leading up to her “death”. The killer drugged her and left her to drown in the river. But she managed to get out alive and luckily was found by a classmate, Ally. The next day, before Jenny can go home, news of her disappearance was on the TV and when her prom dress was found on the riverbank, she was presumed dead. Without nowhere else to go, she stayed with Ally and just let people believed she’s really dead. Months later, Jenny is ready to face the people she thinks have the motive to kill her. Marissa, her best friend. Gabe, her ex-boyfriend. Kyla, her girlfriend. Liam, the guy who’s in love with Kyla. She decided to meet with them together with Ally to find out the truth so she can get on with her life. Is Jenny really ready to face that the people she trusted can kill her?

I’ve read some negative reviews about The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead and so I was not expecting anything great at all. The disappointment didn’t come as a surprise anymore because, in a way, I already know what I’m getting myself into. Still, it is such a huge letdown for a promising mystery story. What could possibly go wrong, you ask. Well, it was told in 6 POVs. Jenny, the 4 suspects, and Ally. Not only that none of those characters are likeable, not one of them is engaging as well. Reading through 6 people’s perspective is a feat already, but if you can’t seem to connect to at least one of those 6, it will surely drive you nuts. It doesn’t help that they keep telling the same stories and same dialogues, just different narrator, over and over. So, no chance for any character development whatsoever.

The mystery surrounding the plot is so predictable, too. You can immediately spot who’s the killer even if you are not an avid mystery reader. All clues are pointing to that person and the author didn’t even bother to cast doubts on reader’s mind. I was hoping there’ll be at least a surprising twist coming, but nope, nothing. Even the ending is frustrating. I feel like it’s a poor attempt to give a happy ending but it just didn’t work.

So, yeah, despite the diversity of having LGBT characters and interesting premise, it didn’t make up for all the fat-shaming and bullying and insulting each other scenarios. In the end, it left me exasperated. It may appeal to some readers, or maybe not. Oh well, at least it was a quick read.

RATING: 2/5

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