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The Girl I Used to Be

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,713 ratings  ·  769 reviews
Fourteen years ago, a three-year-old girl was the only survivor at a horrific murder scene. Now she’s determined to search for the truth—and the killer is even more determined to stop her.

When Olivia’s mother was murdered and her father disappeared, everyone suspected her father had done it. Fast-forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia’s father was actually
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Popular Answered Questions
Olivia Park Yes! I agree with Holly, it's very suspenseful and in the last few chapters it all comes together! I REALLY recommend it!
Alyssa Pinto Yes it was totally worth reading even though it did give me nightmares.

Community Reviews

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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,713 ratings  ·  769 reviews


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Erin
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is my first April Henry book and I'm fairly certain that it will not be my last. In the beginning it was the eye-catching cover and title that drew me in. Once I began reading, it only took a few pages for me to get hooked on this suspenseful mystery.

The story opens with 17 year-old Olivia Reinhart( once known as Ariel Benson), receiving a surprise visit from two police detectives. Olivia assumes that they've come to tell her,that her father, long suspected of killing her mother, has finall
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Krystin Rachel
My book ish: Blog | Insta

I’ve yet to read a YA mystery-thriller that really works for me. I’m looking for logic. And if there can’t be logic, I’m looking for it to not take itself so seriously.

I picked up this book because April Henry is one of my youngest stepkid’s favourite authors. I have been asked, for what seems like years, to read her books. Which is super sweet that the kid wants to share that with me, but at the same time, I’m really bad at pretending to care about something.



But I’m goi
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Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was really good. I have had this book for years but it somehow got lost in my pile at some point. I am glad that I decided to dust it off and give it a try because it turned out to be quite an enjoyable read. This was my first experience with April Henry's writing and I am rather impressed. This was a really fast read and I loved the fact that the mystery kept me guessing until the very end. I found this to be an
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Crystal
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I'm thinking I need to part ways with Ms. Henry. This is my third book by her and while I loved the first one I read these past two have really left me feeling meh. I'm used to "it's not you it's me", but in this case I really kinda think it was the book.

The first chapter was amazing, full of suspense, girl on the run from the killer, and terror. I liked it and after reading it I was ready for this story, but it all fell apart rather quickly. It all just felt very convenient. From Olivia decidin
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Stacee
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've read some April's other books and I really liked the premise of this one, so I was eager to read it.

I liked Olivia. Her situation is sort of unique and I was immediately intrigued. She was an interesting character and I enjoyed being in her head. There are a couple of other secondary characters, but to me, it felt like they weren't fleshed out. It was an effective way to show how Olivia felt ostracized.

The plot was fast paced, but it didn't seem like it. It was more like all of a sudden, th
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Kathy Martin
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a fast-paced murder mystery. The story is told by Olivia, who used to be Ariel. She was three-years-old when her parents were killed. It was originally assumed that her father killed her mother and then dropped Ariel off at a Walmart three hours from the scene of the crime. When she was recognized, she was raised by her mother's mother until her grandmother suffered a heart attack and died when Ariel was seven.

Ariel spent years in foster care with one side trip when she was adopted, re
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Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
This was one of those books that started off so fast and so attention-getting that it reminded me so much of the Mystery/Thrillers I grew up reading (and loving) as a Middle Grader in the 90's. Right away we learn that Olivia/Ariel's father's bones were found, meaning he didn't kill her mother, meaning there's a totally different killer out there. We also learn that Olivia was THERE when her parents were killed, but because she was so young she can't remember much at all. She decides to go back ...more
Poulami
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on Daydreaming Books.

*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for this book tour in exchange for an honest review.*

I definitely liked reading The Girl I Used to Be. I hadn't read the mystery/thriller genre for some time now and I'm glad I read this book because I enjoyed the ride!

Olivia had lost her mother as a kid. According to the police, her father had killed her mother and ran away. But after fourteen years, new evidence point to the fact that her f
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LeeAnne
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was a very quick read for me and had me hooked at the beginning. I quickly found myself getting bored, however, as the author wrote so many questions in the middle chapters as the main character, Ariel, talked to herself and questioned everyone around her. The constant inner dialogue was just too much.

The murder of Ariel's mother sent her into the foster care system for many years, and many suspected her father for the murder since he went missing at the same time. During the course of the
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T.J. Burns
Exciting! The Girl I Used to Be pulled me right into the action and that’s what I like. I couldn't wait to start digging for answers. The sentences are short and crisp, moving the action along quickly. The chapters are also short, keeping the plot suspenseful.

The Girl I Used To Be was very well written, the plot moved along at a rapid pace, and the characters were interesting. I was given enough information as to figure out some of the mystery, but I kept second-guessing my suspicions, redirecti
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PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
3.5 STARS

At age three, Ariel witnesses her mother’s murder, allegedly at the hands of her father. Fourteen years later an emancipated minor, her name now Olivia, her father’s bones are discovered at the murder site. The police now realize he was murdered that same snowy day. Though she has no memories of the day, Olivia returns to her home town to figure out who murdered her parents.

April Henry’s books are fun to read, though not especially memorable. I’m always happy when Kindle has them availa
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Colleen Houck
This one was a great who-done-it. I really liked the heroine and found I could relate to her a lot, especially since I worked the exact same job at her age. Loved the old lady next door and the boyfriend and the setting! Feels like my own back yard.
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
Promising and suspenseful first half dives into boredom and a lackluster revelation.
Anne
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very solid mystery.
It's told in 1st person from Olivia's point of view.

When she was 3, her mother was murdered, and her father -- who immediately disappeared -- was always thought to be the murderer.

Olivia is now 17 and emancipated from a child services system that she hated.
She grew up believing she was the daughter of a murderer, but her father's remains have just been found. Rather than being a murderer, he was a victim -- murdered at the same time as Olivia's mother.

But if her fat
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Megan Holtzapple
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-for-bit
The Girl I Used To Be is a chilling mystery filled with ups and downs, yet engaging with every page. When I first picked up April Henry’s novel, I did not take a break from reading until I was finished. The story of Olivia and her mysterious family will delight any mystery and thriller fan. Henry’s writing is absolutely exceptional. This novel will leave you filled with emotions such as heartbreak, sadness, and the wonderful feeling of being mesmerized by a beautiful story. The Girl I Used To Be ...more
{ U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }
I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you very much. =)

I really enjoyed this book until the end. The ending unraveled the whole thing and not in a good way.

More thoughts at a later time....
Amber
Honestly, this is all on me. One of my first 2 star reads, back when I rarely 2 starred, was an April Henry book. The premise had me interested, but unfortunately, this brings nothing new to the mystery/thriller table.
Sarai
Jun 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was very disappointed in this book. For one thing, it was shallowly written. There was no depth to the characters, no growth, no interest.

SPOILERS throughout the rest of the text.

For another thing, I swear this is not the first April Henry book I have read where a grandmotherly figure gets murdered. Maybe I'm wrong, but I swear I read one not too long ago. Could have been a different author. The point is, why did she have to die? She didn't. It did not further the plot. The inference was that
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Amy
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
*sigh*
This book seemed so promising when I found it at the library. Short and intense. I was hopeful.
And for the first half, it was good. I like the pace the story takes and I like Olivia's character. She's driven but not immobilized by what happened to her parents. While I found it hard to believe that all these people who had known her since she was 7 didn't recognize her a few years later, I was even willing to suspend disbelief and embrace the small-town-horror-vibe.
Except that really isn't
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Abbey
THE GIRL I USED TO BE, April Henry, 2016. Stand-alone YA mystery/thriller; entertaining, fast-paced, predictable but very smoothly written and well-plotted, with no loose ends, an enjoyable read: 3.0/5.0

When she was three years old Ariel Benson saw her mother killed, and her missing father assumed to have done the deed and run away. Entering the fostering system, by age 17 she is on her own, capable and looking for the truth of what happened that frightening day so long ago, since she remembers
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De'Siree Fairley
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.75/5 stars

This was much better than expected. Advice for reading this book: go in with low expectations and you'll probably end up loving it.It was slow in the beginning but picked up about 60 pages in. The writing style was very minimalist, straight forward, and easy to read. I didn't misunderstand anything that was happening while I read the story. The characters were all quite standard but given just enough fleshing out and quirks that you know who they are and what type of person they are.
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Ashley


I liked this little YA Thriller. It was a lot of fun, it was fast, and it kept me turning the pages. For the thriller purists out there, this one would probably be a little ho-hum, but for teens just getting into the thriller genre, this would be a lot of fun to read.
I was really interested in the premise of the story, a girl whose parents were murdered before she ever really knew them. A girl who has always grown up with the knowledge that her dad killed her mom, but then that all changes. It w
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Melanie
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: where, august
The Girl I Used to Be was a quick YA suspense. I liked the story and how it wasn't a slow read. I was able to guess who the killer was pretty easily, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. I felt bad for the MC and how she lost both of her parents.
Alexis
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The main characters, character strength is curiosity because Olivia is curios about her parents murder with the new evidence 14 years later. She is curios about all her parents old friends, she wants to learn more about everyone. She wants to know more about what happened that day, so she is trying to get her memory back.
McCaid Paul
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounded up.
This book had everything I look for in a crime novel:
-A thrilling climax
-An interesting plot
-Several character deaths (one that I didn't see coming)
-End of chapter cliffhangers

But NO twists!!! At least, not one that I noticed anyway.
I'm just saying, what's a crime novel without a good twist or two?
The story also dragged at times, especially in the beginning. The characters were dull, the dialogue was flat, and there was even a little unbelievability to it: would you
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Claudia
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, ya, contemporary, mystery

I am disappointed in this one. I came to this book without any expectations at all, it was just a short book in the genre I was looking for. In its favor I can say that I read it quite fast so I think it got me out of the reading slump I was finding myself into, but that's it.


The plot was actually very slow at the beginning and it doesn't really pick up later. I wouldn't say I was bored -that would be too harsh- but I wasn't really entertained either. I think what's needed here are more events,

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Evelyn
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry is a very intense story with a plot-changing climax! Olivia's parents were murdered and no one knows who murdered Naomi and Terry. Many family members are suspected for different reasons, but Olivia is determined to find out who murdered them, no matter what it takes. I really enjoyed this book because the author gives a lot of hints throughout the story to find out the true suspect. This is one of my favorite mysteries. I really liked the idea of the whole s ...more
Shelley
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Mystery
*Rating* 3.5

*MY Thoughts*

The Girl I Used to Be, by author April Henry, is standalone mystery that will keep readers entertained from the first page, until the last. 17-year old Ariel Benson's mother Naomi Benson was killed 14 years ago. At the time, Medford Police thought that her father Terry Weeks was responsible. Especially since he disappeared off the face of the planet after supposedly leaving 3 year old Ariel at Walmart 3 hours away. After her
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Jessica Rickert
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I read the whole book one day at work! Very entertaining and heartwarming tale about a girl searching for answers and family. I am a fan of April Henry from this point on. I won this book in the Goodreads givaway.
Nevaeh S
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
the best book in the world every one has to read it is so scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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EDU 599 Teaching ...: The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry 1 1 May 27, 2019 11:07PM  

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I write mysteries and thrillers. I live in Portland, Oregon with my family.

If you've read one of my books, I would love to hear from you. Hearing from readers makes me eager to keep writing.

When I was 12, I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an
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