The Girl I Used To Be

272p. ebook available. Holt. Jun. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781627793322.
Gr 8 Up—Olivia Reinhart (born Ariel Benson) always believed her father murdered her mother, stabbing her 19 times before driving Olivia to a Walmart and vanishing. Fourteen years later, the cops come knocking, and it isn't the news she expects. Olivia's father hasn't been on the run; his body has been found only about a mile from where her mother's body had previously been discovered. They were both murdered that day, which leaves Olivia as the only survivor—the only witness to her parents' horrific ending. Olivia returns to the scene of the crime, the town she left long ago, to attend her father's funeral. Nobody recognizes the three-year-old girl all grown up, and Olivia uses this to her advantage. She sticks around Medford to see if she can finally understand what happened to her parents, and she uncovers more than she can fathom. With the help of some key players, Olivia is stunningly close to figuring out who killed her parents, but as the flash-forward that starts the novel suggests, it isn't likely she'll survive the truth. A fast-paced and engaging read, this is a strong choice for readers of mysteries and thrillers. The conclusion is reminiscent of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, as both protagonists learn chilling truths about themselves and those close to them.
VERDICT A must-have for YA mystery-thriller collections.

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