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Review: The Girl She Used to Be

March 22, 2009


When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her family witnessed a brutal mob murder by a member of the Bovaro family.  When her parents agree to testify against the murderer, the whole family is secreted away in the Witness Protection Program.  When Melody was a teen-ager, her parents were murdered by a member of the Bovaro crime family and Melody finds herself in the Witness Protection Program by herself.  Melody feels like she can’t get close to anyone, so she leads a lonely existence.

Whenever she gets bored with her current situation, she “cries wolf,” and gets a new identity in a new city.  She has done just that and is in the hands of the U. S. Marshals when John Bovaro, the son of the Bovaro family crime boss visits her and convinces her to leave with him.  The next thing you know, she’s been rescued by the U. S. Marshals.  Now, Melody has to make a decision – should she stay with the Marshals and a world she knows, or should she risk everything and go with John Bovaro?

It’s hard to believe The Girl She Used to Be is David Cristofano‘s first novel.  This book is exciting and loaded with suspense – it kept my interest from beginning to end.  It’s a short book and reads quickly, because you really want to know what’s going to happen next.  I didn’t want to put it down and found myself reading while I was walking around the house.  The book didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but the ending was certainly satisfying.  I hope the author is working on another novel, because I really want to read more of his work.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books.

48 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2009 7:55 am

    This sounds really good! Looks like I’ll have to add it to my wish list 🙂

    Thanks for the review!!

  2. March 22, 2009 7:57 am

    I definitely think you are more compassionate than I am! 😉

  3. March 22, 2009 7:57 am

    Sounds like a book I’d enjoy. I’ll be looking for this one. Great review!

  4. March 22, 2009 8:10 am

    I really liked this book. I agree with your thoughts on the ending. I’d love to read a sequel – perhaps more about a certain chef in the hinterlands???

  5. March 22, 2009 8:18 am

    I’m looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. March 22, 2009 8:22 am

    Nice review! The premise sounds promising.

  7. March 22, 2009 8:29 am

    I keep seeing the ad for this one in Shelf Awareness, so I’ve been curious to hear more about it. Sounds like one for the wish list. Thanks for the review! =D

  8. March 22, 2009 8:46 am

    i liked your review–succint without giving too much away! i have to work on my reviews as they tend to ramble. 🙂

    this book sounds compelling…i’m always up for a suspense-filled read. thanks!

    nat @ book, line, and sinker

  9. March 22, 2009 9:10 am

    This sounds like another good summer read for me 🙂

  10. stacybuckeye permalink
    March 22, 2009 10:16 am

    I’ve added it to my list. I read a few books on the Witness Protection last year and it was fascinating.

  11. March 22, 2009 10:26 am

    I’ve seen quite a few reviews of this one and they’ve all been good. Glad you liked it.

  12. March 22, 2009 10:53 am

    That sounds like a real attention grabber. If you are reading it while walking around the house, that is a sure sign of a good book. Glad you enjoyed it.

  13. March 22, 2009 11:19 am

    sounds great. i like it when a book isn’t what you expect but is satisfying nonetheless.

  14. March 22, 2009 12:14 pm

    I wondered if this would be a good one – I’m glad you liked it!

  15. March 22, 2009 12:47 pm

    Hmm, there are days I wish I could re-invent myself as someone new in a new place 🙂 I’ll have to check this out to see what Melody ended up doing …

  16. March 22, 2009 1:34 pm

    Another book that is on my review list. Great review..made me bump this one up on my list to read and review!

  17. March 22, 2009 1:42 pm

    Sounds good, Kathy! I’ve only read the first few chapters.

  18. March 22, 2009 2:03 pm

    This sounds like a very intriguing book!

  19. March 22, 2009 2:53 pm

    Sounds like a great story! I haven’t heard anything bad about it yet. So I have to put it on my list!

  20. March 22, 2009 3:50 pm

    I also liked the book. At first I thought I wouldn’t but the different twists make it more interesting.

  21. March 22, 2009 5:03 pm

    sounds like a brilliant book. thanks for the recommendation.

  22. March 22, 2009 6:06 pm

    great review! I keep hearing good things about this book and can’t wait to read it.

  23. March 22, 2009 7:23 pm

    This sounds really good, thanks for an awesome review!

  24. March 22, 2009 7:40 pm

    This sounds like an exciting novel. I am glad you enjoyed it, Kathy.

  25. March 22, 2009 8:16 pm

    This sounds very interesting Kathy..another one I need to add to my wishlist!

  26. March 22, 2009 8:45 pm

    Nice to see you liked this one…I have it on my shelf to read as well.

  27. March 22, 2009 8:56 pm

    What a fun premise. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be in the Witness Protection Program. Sounds like a good read!

  28. March 23, 2009 12:26 am

    I thought it was quite good also. I had noticed that many reviews mentioned how well the author writes in the female perspective. I thought to myself that it was an odd thing to mention, but they’re right, he does a superb job of writing from Melody’s point of view.

  29. March 23, 2009 1:33 am

    This one sounds really different. And I love the cover too. Living like Melody sounds really scary though.

  30. March 23, 2009 2:39 am

    I keep seeing ads for this book. It sounds good! I have an award for you here.

  31. March 23, 2009 8:50 am

    How fun! I love a great debut novel.

  32. March 23, 2009 10:36 am

    Really looking forward to this one now!! Moving up to the top of my library loot pile… 🙂

  33. March 23, 2009 11:06 am

    I’m really intrigued by the reviews of this one!

  34. March 23, 2009 2:09 pm

    Glad that I have this one in my pile awaiting me.

  35. March 23, 2009 2:41 pm

    Ooh, witness protection and the mob–sounds awesome! I gotta read!

  36. March 23, 2009 3:28 pm

    I’ve been wondering about this book – I’ve been seeing it in a few mailboxes over the past week or so. 🙂 Great review Kathy!!

    ~ Wendi

  37. March 23, 2009 6:02 pm

    I’ve read mixed reviews, but I’m definitely interested in this one. Getting a copy soon!

  38. March 23, 2009 7:34 pm

    Good review. Good plot. Sounds like it could be a good movie.

  39. March 23, 2009 8:16 pm

    Oh this one sounds really good. I kind of like it when it doesn’t end like I want or think it should – keeps me on my reading toes!

  40. March 23, 2009 8:41 pm

    This sounds really cool — and quite movie ready! I’m adding it to my “wish list.”

  41. March 24, 2009 12:00 am

    Wow, great review! I’m definitely going to read this one.

  42. March 24, 2009 10:40 am

    I saw this on Shelf Awareness and requested an ARC.. I should be getting this one soon. Am looking forward to reading it.

  43. March 25, 2009 8:36 pm

    I just read this book and I loved, loved, loved it! Hard to believe it’s Cristofano’s first novel!!

  44. March 27, 2009 10:47 am

    Very interesting premise – I’ll have to look for this one.

  45. March 27, 2009 2:00 pm

    This one sounds really interesting. It’s going on my wish list. Thanks for the great review.


  46. March 27, 2009 5:54 pm

    Dang… this review makes me want to leave work and read this book tonight. I was interested in this book the moment I heard about . . . can’t wait to read.

  47. March 27, 2009 8:52 pm

    Great review! I’m about halfway through this one and really enjoying it, I agree that it’s hard to believe this is the first book by the author.

  48. Sue permalink
    July 15, 2009 4:30 pm

    I LOVED this book!!! I was almost late for work because I had to finish it before I left today. I was so excited to hear someone had bought the movie rights as I had been thinking it would make a good movie. I WISH (wish, wish,wish) there could be a sequel to this book.

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