The Girl I used to be – April Henry

I was surfing through Goodreads and stumbled upon this book. The cover image was extremely attractive, and I loved the title next. The blurb was super interesting – The novel is about a girl named “Ariel” – her mom was killed and her father is the suspect, but after 14 years they find the jawbone of her father near the same place where her mom was killed and the murder case is re-opened. So if it was not her father, who else? Is the story!
The book was not within my usual budget, so I moved on surfing through a few other books. For 2-3 days the blurb, the cover, and the title kept running in my mind and then, I decided to give it a try.
This book kills you slowly, the pace is slow-medium without a change until you reach 80% of the novel. The story is beautiful – this is just an understatement. The novel deals with quite a lot of details.


What I loved about the book?
Remorse – The deep regret and extreme guilt of Ariel and the folks around when they learn that her father is not the real murderer is just amazing. The pain is dealt so beautifully! For people who thoroughly hated someone for a reason so wrong, when they learn and wriggle around for taking such a bad decision was indeed knit right.
Olivia – The small girl “Ariel” the protagonist who is actually “Olivia” goes to a foster home post her parent’s death. We all travel along with her from her POV. A deep, strong and unshakeable character indeed!
Scenes – The scene where Olivia recollects how her mom fell down when she was killed, the scene where she walks into her home after fourteen years and recollects the window where she’d hide herself behind the curtains, her foster home memories, and many more were so touching and killed me slowly.
Diction – Fantastic!
A few lines from the novel:
“The air is filled with the trills and chirps of birds, punctuated with the occasional caw of a blue jay.”
The scene where Olivia recollects and explains her mom getting killed by someone – “Her arms slice through the air, windmilling as they do when we put on music and dance in the living room.” … “Then I know it’s raining blood, pock-marking the snow”
Why would I recommend this book?
  • Because the book is something more than what I first thought it would be
  • I love the diction, vocabulary, microscopic details, and sentence structures
  • This novel helps to understand how to knit a slow mystery novel that’s enticing
April Henry is in the list of my favorite authors now, and I bought 2 of her novels now. Would read and review soon!