The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette
Expected Publication: September 12th 2017 by Bold Strokes Books, Inc
Prom 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.
Note: I received an ARC copy of this via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.
I first discovered this book on Netgalley, and after reading the blurb, I absolutely had to request it! It instantly drew me and I knew I had to read it and find out what happened. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book as much as I wanted to and had to force myself to finish it toward the end.
This book centres around what happened to Jenny on the night of prom and trying to figure out who nearly killed her. She sends texts to characters who she believes may or may not have had something to do with it and gets them to meet her in a secluded cabin. The book is told from various POVs as each character recounts their version of what happened that night and where they were etc.
I think the biggest issue I had with this book was the fact that, for me, the multiple POVs all blended together. I didn’t feel like any one of the characters really had a voice that stood out on their own and I had to double check from who’s perspective I was reading before I carried on. I don’t feel like any new or explosive information was added by each of the characters every time the night was repeated, so the book felt extremely repetitive to me, to the point where I just wanted to put it down and do something else.
Another issue I had with this book was that it didn’t feel realistic enough for me. I understand Jenny being scared, but if someone had tried to kill me, I would not be meeting them in a secluded cabin four years after the fact – but rather would have gone to the police on the same evening! Jenny was too friendly with people she suspected to have had something to do with her attempted murder and even let a couple off the hook far too easily based seemingly on the history they have together. After certain events (no spoilers), I felt like the characters didn’t really care about it and it almost felt like it was thrown under the rug despite the seriousness of it.
Another issue with this book I had was that I had already figured out who it was based on their behaviour. It was easy to see who had done it because they were acting guilty – so the supposed plot twist that happened wasn’t really that much of a surprise to me. I don’t feel like the explanation that was given was really sufficient for the character to have done something that crazy and, again, I feel like it was thrown under the rug after the events were over.
What I did like about this book was the pacing of things after the ‘plot twist’ arrived. Whilst it was relatively slow through the first 70% and the last 10%, things started heating up and it made it interesting to read after the issues the rest of the boo faced. The events in the cabin in this 20% made me want to continue reading again – until about 90% where it slowed down and I didn’t really feel that the characters cared all that much.
All in all, I was relatively disappointed with this book and was expecting a lot more. It was repetitive and unrealistic, and the characters also felt 2D. I gave this book 2/5 stars.
5 thoughts on “The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette”
Great review for this book Lauren, it’s just a shame it didn’t live up to your hopes. I’ve had problems with books with multiple POVs all blending together, it makes it hard to keep track of who your reading and can spoil a book a little for you.
Hopefully the next book you pick up will be one you enjoy more. 🙂
Thank you 😊 yeah, is a shame because the premise of this book sounded so good and t was just a flop! The book I read after was absolutely amazing! 🙂
That’s all right. 🙂 Yeah I’ve had a few books like that, always a shame but the next one is always better and it seems that was the case for you as well. 😀
Ugh that does sounds super disappointing! I just read a really disappointing thriller myself recently to I heeeear you. I hate being able to guess the villain to soon and I get so frustrated with characters making dumb decisions?! Like yeah sure meet up with a potential murderer. WHAT COULD GO WRONG. *sighs* Sadness that this one was a fail for you! 😭😭
I hate it when they’re just not that great because then the mystery isn’t there… which kind of defeats the point! I’m sorry to hear that you read a disappointing one as well! 😒