NOT IF I SAVE YOU FIRST, by Ally Carter, Scholastic Press, March 27, 2018, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Not If I Save You First, by Ally Carter, unfolds like an action movie that you just want to settle in with a bowl of popcorn.
At the center of Not If I Save You First are Maddie and Logan. One is the president’s son; the other is the daughter of a Secret Service agent. The two are inseparable. But when Maddie’s dad is injured saving Logan and the First Lady, everything changes.
Suddenly, Maddie is living in the a cabin (if you can even call it that) in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. Maddie and her father are completely off the grid — no phone, no Internet, no neighbors, no friends, no Logan. In fact, no matter how often Maddie writes to Logan, she never hears back.
As much as Maddie wants to believe she doesn’t mind the isolation, doesn’t mind hearing for her best friend, it’s not true. She’s the only girl for 20 miles in any direction. Instead of building a life of culture in D.C., she’s busy cutting wood and bedazzling weapons.
When Logan suddenly shows up on her doorstep six years later, Maddie understandably wants to kill him. Before she can do that, though, an unknown assailant swoops in, knocks Maddie off a cliff and drags Logan off into the wild.
Maddie has a choice to make and has to move quickly — turn back and get help or follow. The weather is turning, and Maddie knows Logan isn’t prepared for the terrain or animals. Maddie’s choice is clear — she’s got to save Logan so that she can kill him herself.
This is another one of those novels that took me by surprise. The plot is totally unbelievable, and yet totally believable how Ally Carter writes it. Not if I Save You First is a fast-paced adventure from beginning to end. It opens with a wallop and they just continue throughout. Maddie is a much more interesting character, but Logan grows on you as the story progresses.
Not if I Save You First isn’t going to win any awards, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a fun read for a rainy day.
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