Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter. March 27, 2018. Scholastic Press, 297 p. ISBN: 9781338134148. Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA.
Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.
And not a single word from Logan.
Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full.
Until Logan shows up six years later . . .
And Maddie wants to kill him.
But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly.
Maddie still really wants to kill Logan.
But she has to save him first.
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Guns, Violence, Mild sexual themes
Booklist starred (February 15, 2018 (Vol. 114, No. 12))
Grades 9-12. Maddie Manchester has spent the last six years isolated in the Alaskan wilderness. Apart from her father, who brought her to Alaska after a near-fatal incident as a secret service agent, Maddie interacts with no one, forcing her to become physically tough and mentally acute. Her old life—including her best friend and presidential son, Logan—has become a distant memory. That is, until Logan shows up at her door after one too many acts of rebellion for his parents’ tastes. He’s taller and hotter—and then, suddenly, missing. Maddie is immediately thrust into a desperate hunt to save Logan from his kidnappers, armed with only her wits and know-how (and more than one strategically hidden knife). It is no surprise that the author of the Heist Society and Gallagher Girls series has delivered another fun thriller with equal parts action and angst. Maddie falls right in line with Carter’s other protagonists as a canny and capable heroine. While the premise of the book is just as high concept as Carter’s previous offerings, the delivery is grittier and more visceral, while still indulging in some teen romance to lighten the complex tale of revenge and loss. Gripping and smart, this book will appeal to readers looking for a thrill ride with some darker twists.
Kirkus Reviews (February 1, 2018)
Estranged best friends must come together to survive man-made threats in the harsh Alaskan wilderness.Maddie and Logan, both white, were best friends at age 10. Maddie’s father’s job was to keep the president safe, and as the president’s son, that meant Logan too. But when Russians attempt an attack on Logan and the first lady, everything changes. Maddie’s father decides they must move somewhere with no phones, no internet, no access. Soon Maddie and Logan are thousands of miles apart, she in rural Alaska and he in the White House. For six years there’s no contact; Maddie spends two years writing to him with no response. She becomes skilled in the ways of the wilderness, her anger at Logan building. His perspective highlights a privileged, reckless life, leading the president to administer a unique punishment: staying with Maddie and her father in Alaska. But Logan brings dangerous baggage with him, and with her father away for the night, it’s up to Maddie to keep them both safe. Maddie’s grit, humor, and cleverness make her an engaging action hero. Logan’s less dynamic, hyperfocused on ensuring Maddie’s safety when she’s not the one who needs saving. Fans of survivalist fiction will be impressed by the well-researched, immersive Alaskan landscape and all its beauty and brutality. A tightly plotted thriller helmed by a firecracker that never loses her spark. (Thriller. 14-17)
About the Author
Ally Carter writes books about teen spies, thieves, and diplomats.
She is the New York Times bestselling author of three YA series about the world’s best teenage art thieves (Heist Society), the world’s coolest spy school (Gallagher Girls, including I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You), and the granddaughter of a diplomat who has to find her mother’s killer on Embassy Row.
Her novels have sold well over two-million copies and have been published in more than twenty countries. She lives in Oklahoma, where her life is either very ordinary or the best deep-cover legend ever. She’d tell you more, but…well…you know…
Her website is AllyCarter.com
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