The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

As of this afternoon, I’ve now read four of April Henry’s books. In addition to The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, I’ve read The Night She Disappeared, The Body in the Woods, and Torched. All of these books have convinced me that April Henry is one of my go-to authors for YA suspense. These books are fast-paced, thrilling reads that captured my attention and wouldn’t let go…and they’re all perfect when it’s gloomy and grim outside and you want a book to match that feeling.

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, which has been out for a couple of years now, is probably the quickest read of all of the April Henry books I’ve read. The chapters are short, but they pack quite a punch…as does the book’s protagonist.

She comes to in a cabin. She doesn’t know where she is, what’s happened to her, or how she got here. She can’t even remember who she is. All she knows is that two men are standing over her, and it’s crystal clear that they intend to kill her. Why? What exactly do they think she knows?

When opportunity strikes, so does she. She does what she must to get free of one of her attackers, and she’s amazed at the defensive skills she displays. Where did she learn these skills…and why would she need them in the first place?

She’s now on the run, and she doesn’t know who to trust. She simply knows she must find some way to access her memories, no matter how painful they may be. With killers closing in and the possibility of being framed for heinous crimes, this girl needs to find help…fast.

Help comes in the form of Ty, a young man working the late shift at McDonald’s. He recognizes something in this girl that he’s experienced himself: desperation. Even though it could cost him his very life, he offers assistance and works to help her uncover the truth…about herself and the terrible circumstances that have led to this horrific, unimaginable situation.

As the truth comes to light, this girl–whose name is Cady–finally understands what’s going on around her: why she’s a target, what’s happened to her family, and why those hunting her must be stopped. It’s not just her life on the line. The fate of the entire world could be at risk.

Can one teenage girl and her unexpected companion possibly stop someone who’s willing to put the entire world in danger in the name of greed? Just what will become of this girl who was supposed to die?

_______________

I feel like I’ve given way too much away here, and I apologize for that. I didn’t mention several of the major points in the book, so there are still a few surprises in store for those who choose to pick up this thriller. I would recommend the book to any middle grade, YA, or adult reader who is in the mood for a good mystery or suspense novel.

All that being said, I did have one issue with The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. In my humble opinion, the ending was a little too abrupt. It seemed like there was a ton of build-up, and–BOOM–it’s over. Maybe I’m the only one who feels that way. Read the book for yourself, and let me know what you think.

If you’d like more information on this book and other mysteries by April Henry, check out the author’s website. You can also connect with the author on Twitter and Facebook.

The Maze Runner

After a week away from Knight Reader, I’m rested and ready to get back to my favorite thing in the world–reading and telling people about young adult literature.  My latest read has been on my shelf for a while, and I finally got to it.  At first, I didn’t think I was going to like this book.  I don’t really know why.  Boy, am I glad I kept reading!  The pace picked up fast, and I was soon dreaming about the book each night.  This book is The Maze Runner by James Dashner, the first book in an edgy new dystopian trilogy.

The only thing Thomas can remember is his first name.  He has no idea where he came from, who his parents are, or even what year it is.  He simply knows his name and that he’s waking up in a lift with a bunch of people staring at him.  All of these people are boys around his age.  None of them seem to remember anything other than their first names either.  They just know that they now live in the Glade and that they’re trying to find a way out of the maze beyond the Glade’s walls.

Each week, food and supplies mysteriously arrive from the lift.  Once a month, a new boy arrives in the lift.  No one ever leaves.  They’ve tried to find a way out, but the only escape is death.  Each day, the boys do the jobs best suited to them.  Some boys are farmers, some care for the animals, some cook, some do the jobs no one else wants to do.  Thomas tries a lot of these jobs to figure out where he fits, but there’s one job he knows he was born to do.  He wants to be a maze runner.  These young men spend their days in the maze, mapping out the changes from day to day, and trying to find a way out.  Thomas doesn’t know why, but he is sure he was sent to the Glade to solve the maze…and he may just get his chance.

When a new person arrives in the lift just the day after Thomas, life in the Glade takes a turn for the unexpected.  First, there have never been two people arriving in the same month, much less just a day apart.  Second, the new arrival is a girl…and unlike all of the boys, she seems to remember parts of her life before appearing in the Glade.  Most of all, she remembers Thomas.  How are these two connected?  Why were they sent to the Glade?  Who sent them?

Things are changing in the Glade.  Thomas knows he must find a way to escape.  He knows that he is the key, but what will he have to do to get out?  How can Thomas access the memories that will help him to discover the truth?  Is there a way out, or are the Gladers doomed to die in this prison?  Why are they here?  Who sent them?  What is the purpose of putting all of these young people together in this environment?  The answers are just out of reach, but Thomas knows he must discover what’s going on…no matter what.

I have not even touched on half of the weird stuff that goes on in The Maze Runner.  You’ll have to discover the weirdness for yourself.  This book is really cool, but I was horrified at the same time, especially after reading the creepy epilogue.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book, The Scorch Trials.

For more information on James Dashner and The Maze Runner, visit http://www.jamesdashner.com/.