Friday, December 4, 2009

The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano

This is one of those books that I checked out from the library on a whim because the premise sounded interesting then it turned out to be a book that I couldn't put down. I had to know what happened next. I really enjoy it when this happens.
One normal family trip out to eat. One curious decision to find out why the restaurant isn't open when it should be. A back door. A murder. A family's life is changed forever.
"Call me whatever name you want; it's just a name, after all."
Sandra, Karen, May or Melody was only six when this happened to her and now for the last twenty years of her life she's been constantly moving through the Witness Protection Program (WITSEC) to keep from being killed herself. Her life isn't turning out at all like she'd imagined it should and there is no way to change it either. So, she does the only thing she can when she needs a change and pretends to being found by the "bad guys" in order to move and get a whole new life.
So, what happens when they find her anyway? Or at least one of them does? Enters Jonathan. Suddenly, it seems as if she had never been in hiding all those years like it hadn't counted. What?!? This is her life after all, isn't it? Is this her chance to live the life she always wanted as her true self? Of course, that could be too good to be true also.
Plus, there is this simple issue of who do you trust with your life? Oh, Melody, what's a girl to do?
Cristofano mysteriously weaves a story of second chances where you'll feel for the "bad guys" as much as the good. I enjoyed his writing which is another plus to the whole experience of this book.
A nice whimsical choice. I'm glad I discovered it.

A couple of excerpts from the book:

"Are you okay?" I ask.
He nods but looks back down, but something in my touch, or the interaction with another caring human. brings his tears to a pour and he wipes vigorously, as though it is sand, not water, filling his eyes. I wait and finally he returns the card to its holder, glances at me, and slowly lumbers from the store as he dries his eyes and nose with his sleeve.

"On my fifth day in class, the teacher asked each of us in turn to spell our name for the other students... It sure would've been easier to spell May Adams, but wouldn't you know, without even giving it a second thought, there I was, unveiling myself to my teacher, her aide, and seventeen other first graders."

M-E-L-O-D-Y-G-R-A-C-E-M-C-C-A-R-T-N-E-Y


256 pages, March 2009, 3.5 stars

5 comments:

Amanda said...

Sounds like a good one! I think I've seen that cover before, but didn't really know what the book was about.

Aarti said...

Wow, interesting! Such a fitting title, too. I love when you "get" titles after reading a book, if that makes sense.

Lula O said...

Interesting! Whenever I pick up a book from the library I've never heard of it's almost always crap. I need to be braver!
Great review!

Julie said...

Amanda - I was pleasantly surprised with this book although I understand that it may not be for everyone. At the time I read it, it was what I was hoping it would be.

Aarti - I agree. I love when you "get" titles after reading the book too. Sometimes you then see how the title almost gives away the book.

Lula - It's good to be back online and catching up on all of your book reviews. I love how you write them. Most of the time my on a whim library books are crap too and it goes unfinished, so this was a nice change. Be brave! :)

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