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Not if I Save You First

Review

Not if I Save You First

It is hard to forget Ally Carter’s debut series Gallagher Girls, which is about an elite and classified spy school for teenage girls. With the perfect mix of action, feminism, intrigue and romance, this series was all too easy to fall in love with. So when I heard that Ally Carter was releasing a new book, I was ecstatic and had to get my hands on it.

And I was not disappointed.

Ten-year-old best friends Maddie and Logan don’t think there is anything that can separate them. After all, he is the son of the President of the United States, and she is the daughter of the secret service agent who protects the president. The biggest things she has to worry about are wrinkling her fanciest dress and eating too much White House chocolate. Until one day, when Russians infiltrate the White House and threaten all of their lives, and Maddie’s father whisks them away from the life of Secret Service and the White House --- and away from Logan. Six years later, Maddie and her father are living a secluded life in the middle of Alaska, where Maddie is the only teen around for miles and miles, and her days consist of chopping wood, expelling boredom and staying alive.

"Combining an intriguing plot with a fresh setting, lovable characters and the funny, fast-paced tone, Carter manages to write a book worth waiting for."

Her challenge to stay alive gets harder as one day, Logan shows up at their door after six years of ignoring Maddie’s letters. An enraged Maddie is tempted to demonstrate her new hatchet throwing skills on Logan, but before she can, Logan is captured by a Russian and taken to the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

Maddie goes after them, armed with knife and her knowledge about Alaska and the intention of saving the First Son from imminent danger. She knows it is dangerous, this is Alaska after all, but she just got her best friend back and can’t bear to lose him again…before she is able to beat him up for not answering her letters.

Basically, this book was perfection. From page one of this book I was enamored and never stopped. I have never read a story set in the Alaskan wilderness and it was a new and exciting setting that presented unusual challenges and dangers to the characters of this book. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time as twists, turns and surprises were thrown into the story in every chapter.

But this book was more than just an exciting plot. Maddie, the main character, made the story even more intriguing and valuable as she proved that women are just as --- if not more --- capable than men. Maddie fights her way to freedom from the Russian capturer, proving her resourcefulness, intelligence, and mental and physical strength. However, she was not an unrealistic, brutal, cold-hearted character. Throughout the whole story, Maddie shows that it is okay to be feminine (I mean she bedazzles her favorite hatchet, after all), and admit weakness. Equal parts glam and kick-butt, Maddie is a character who girls can look up to and admire for her strength and commitment to herself and her friends and family.

Other characters throughout the book added to the diverse nature of the story. Banter between Maddie, Logan and the Russian assailant added an element of humor to the otherwise serious tone of the book. And to top it all off, a steamy romance subplot is tied in, making this book a well-rounded story with something for everyone.

Once again, Ally Carter did not disappoint in her newest novel NOT IF I SAVE YOU FIRST. Combining an intriguing plot with a fresh setting, lovable characters and the funny, fast-paced tone, Carter manages to write a book worth waiting for. This book is perfect obviously for anyone who read and fell in love with The Gallagher Girls. Also, anyone who enjoyed THE NATURALS by Jennifer Lynn Barnes would enjoy this book. Honestly, I cannot recommend Ally Carter books enough. You will not be disappointed if you pick up her newest hit, NOT IF I SAVE YOU FIRST.

Reviewed by Ellie T., Teen Board Member on March 28, 2018

Not if I Save You First
by Ally Carter