Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Summary: Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.
And not a single word from Logan.
Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full.
Until Logan shows up six years later . . .
And Maddie wants to kill him.
But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly.
Maddie still really wants to kill Logan.
But she has to save him first.
My Thoughts: Carter’s latest novel, Not If I Save You First, is filled with intrigue, politics, and mystery! This page turner is mystery, thriller, and character-driven story all in one!
As a long time fan of Ally Carter’s books, I always look forward to reading what she comes up with next!
She integrates politics and mystery so seamlessly into everyone of her novels and that’s just one of the many reasons I really love her books!
Not If I Save You First follows Madeleine“Maddie” Rose Manchester, daughter of a Secret Service Agent and Logan, the president’s son.
An attack within the White House when they were 10, leads Maddie + her father to stay off the grid for 6 years in Alaska.
In that time, Maddie has been writing letters to Logan, but we quickly learn she hasn’t gotten responses. This leads her to believe, that maybe she’s lost her only friend.
Then when there’s news that Logan will be staying with them, the story takes off from there!
Now, when Maddie’s tasked with watching over him, it turns out they aren’t completely off the grid as they thought.
When its revealed someone is after Logan (and is later kidnapped), its up to Maddie to save him and when she does, they have to find answers.
Over the course of the story, they work together and unravel the mystery all while trying to stay alive in the Alaskan wilderness.
As they uncover more about what caused their friendship to end so abruptly, they also team up, help each other and maybe attempt to revive, what they felt was a long-gone connection!
I loved seeing the unique dynamic between Logan + Maddie. It was interesting to see their friendship during their younger years in the beginning + seeing how it drastically shifts in the present.
The characters and their development, especially Logan and Maddie is another aspect of the novel that I really enjoyed!
Carter does such an amazing job at keeping her characters and their development consistent throughout her books and it shows throughout the entirety of Logan and Maddie’s interactions.
The mystery as to who was after Logan and why, kept me turning the page! There’s so much mystery and things left unsaid that made it fun figuring out who was behind all this!
As for the plot and considering its a standalone, the story easily wraps up and any loose strings are pretty much resolved.
*I also loved the Gallagher Girls reference to the Blackthorne Institute!! ❤ ❤ Being a long-time fan of Carter’s books, it was fun seeing that little easter egg!!
However I will admit, the story itself was pretty slow towards the middle (when Logan + Maddie spend a lot of time trying to lose their tracks of Stefan, who’s chasing them). It did lead to a bit of repetitiveness of the setting and with that, not much happening plot wise when Logan+Maddie are trying to escape Stefan.
Additionally, the big reveal as to who was behind it did feel pretty rushed, as did the ending itself.
I will admit, the build-up itself was so incredibly done and kept raising the stakes with each moment.
When we finally reach the end, there was just a lot happening at once and overall felt a bit too fast-paced when it was revealed.
Overall though, I’m interested to read what Ally releases next! I always look forward to reading her novels and always have so much fun reading them!
Character development and mystery are at the heart of this story! Not If I Save You First is a uniquely plotted YA mystery/thriller and page-turning read! Though the pacing and ending suffer a bit, its an entertaining read perfect if your looking for a YA Contemporary/Thriller-Mystery standalone!