Fans of survival and adventure stories will love Not If I Save You First. Throw in humor and a little first-love-romance and this book hits a home run for me!
Chapter book, fiction
Interest level: middle grade and up
5 out of 5 stars
I am a huge fan of Ally Carter’s books! She always has strong female main characters, male characters that respect strong women, original plots, humor, adventure, and romance. Her latest work, Not If I Save You First
includes all of these features and, as an additional bonus, it is set in the Alaskan wilderness. This is a stand-alone novel.
Madeleine Rose Manchester, aka Mad Dog, is the spunky and very capable main character. The book opens six years earlier, when Maddie was a talkative 10-year-old and her father was the head of the Secret Service. Maddie’s best friend is Logan, the son of the president of the United States, and they are inseparable. When Maddie’s father is seriously injured in the line of duty, he resigns his position and moves Maddie to the wilderness of Alaska where there is no internet or phones and a small one-room cabin becomes their home.
Six years later, Maddie is a young woman who knows how to throw a hatchet, start a fire, and survive in Alaska on her own. She is also completely aware of the importance of lip balm, painted nails, and hair ties. Maddie is a wonderful mix of abilities and doesn’t fit into any stereotypical image of girls. She is a woman of the 21st century who is fully capable of doing whatever she wants.
Logan is sent to Alaska because he has been sneaking away from his security detail and acting up in DC. His parents believe roughing it in Alaska will help him learn to shoulder responsibility. For the past six years, Maddie has been writing letters to Logan that he never answered. She is both hurt and angry and is less than thrilled by his arrival.
After Maddie’s father is called away to deliver supplies before a big storm hits, a terrorist shows up and abducts Logan. It is up to Maddie to save him. The rest of the story is full of the excitement and adventure as Maddie and Logan struggle to stay alive in the Alaskan wilderness, escape the assailant, and work through the hurt feelings that developed after six years apart.
Carter injects humor and romance into a plot filled with adventure and survival. The relationship between characters is well developed. The story is unique and full of surprises. Fans of Carter’s other books will definitely enjoy Not If I Save You First. There is a mention of the Blackthorn Academy and obviously, Maddie would make an excellent Gallagher Girl!