Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

Published: 2009
Pages: 241
Genre: Fiction
Melody can never live a normal life. At six years old, she witnessed a violent crime along with her mother and father, and her family becomes a target due to what they saw. Twenty years later, she's an orphan, constantly changing names, constantly moving, and constantly re-inventing her life. As part of the Witness Protection Program, her safety is never guaranteed. But when a man appears and promises her safety and truth, how can she not trust him?
Gorgeous book. Gorgeous, gorgeous book. And what a great library find! Truthfully, I enjoyed almost every moment of The Girl She Used to Be. Despite the scattered cheesy moments, it offers such a unique, interesting twist on those classic "self-discovery" books. It has action, it has adventure, it has intrigue, mystery, romance, substance, and honesty.

The fact that Melody literally doesn't know who she's supposed to be scares me so much. I mean, imagine not being able to stay in a certain town long enough to get an education, get a steady job, meet someone, and live your life? It's an utter mess. And it's depressing. It's weird. Strange. But Melody has to live this lie all the time, and it was so easy to empathize with her. I've never read a book where someone was so deeply lost in life - her anguish was contagious. And then, much to my happiness, we were presented with an adventure of sorts! I don't want to say much, but it felt oh so risky and a tad rebellious. Fun!

One thing that really made this book was Cristofano's writing. It was like velvet. Not necessarily in the beautiful-and-elegant-description-on-every-page kind of way, but in the way that makes you say "yes, this feels right". I loved the sarcasm, I loved the spunk, and it was great being inside Melody's intelligent yet wild head! Of course, there were the classic movie romance scenes. But even these were relatively sparse and it didn't feel like they ruined the story in a noticeable way. I could do without them, though.

The characters were, all in all, good. Melody was the most realistic, and the secondary character could have used a bit more personality in my opinion. I did find it a bit odd how they fell for each other so quickly, though! Don't worry - this isn't a spoiler at all. I'm pretty sure every person will be able to see it coming. Still, it's so sudden! I literally turned the page and there they were, gazing into each other's eyes. I thought they were enemies? I thought they had a history?

I'm being really picky here, but that's only because I liked this book so much. I feel the need to be critical! The Girl She Used to Be was a wild ride, and it was so much fun. Short and sweet. The way it should be.


Melissa said...

Brilliant review! It definitely sounds well-written, and I must get my hands on this one now :)

Jenny said...

This one sounds great! And anything with sarcasm and spunk is right up my alley. Really thorough and helpful review:)

Marce said...

I have this one, need to get to it. Your review made me remember why I bought it so thanks for getting me excited again.

Darlyn said...

I love the book even only read the review. It sounds like a promising book that I would love to read. And knowing that she's changing her identity to live is really something unthinkable when i thought it only happened on TV.

Emidy said...

Melissa - Aw, thank you! Read it. Right now.

Jenny - Thanks so much! You'd love this book, then.

Marce - That's awesome! You should read this book soon. I think you'd like it!

Darlyn - I know, it's so dramatic! But it's a really good book.

Juju at Tales of said...

Velvet spunk? Awesome review. Seriously. I love the way you write.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, LOVE your review style! I'll have to look for this book the next time I'm at the library.

Alison said...

Sounds good. I don't think I've ever read anything about the Witness Protection Program.
Alison Can Read

Nymeth said...

Sounds like a great book, even if the romance is a bit rushed.

AlleluiaLu said...

This sounds like something I would like. I've added it to my TBR pile -that's funny, oh well. I'm supposed to be hopping, but I want to stay here and read more of your reviews!