Book Review: The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

Genre : Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
Format : eBook
Rating : 5/5 stars

This is one of the books that I couldn’t peel my eyes away even though it’s 4am into the night and I really needed to sleep.

Here’s the excerpt from Goodreads:

When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody’s name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She’s been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others–everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she’s stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it’s a dangerous thrill that Melody can’t resist. He’s insistent that she’s just a pawn in the government’s war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?

I’m impressed by the originality of this book. It’s a unique story about a mafia family that veers away from the usual contemporary romance settings of college, office, small town romance… most intriguing. Reading about a girl who grew up constantly living in fear and running away all her life is something different from my usual picks.

I liked the fact that a male author writes from the POV of a female character. He fleshed out her character so well that at some points through the book I wept for her. I feel for her, the fragility of her fake identities, never being able to be herself, missing out on all the little things in life, events that we all took for granted yet unreachable for her and all the things she could never have.

I am tired of living, but what keeps me from dragging a blade across my wrist or diving off one of the crippled bridges that cross the polluted rivers my motel rooms predictably border is the idea of life — that somehow, someday, I will figure a way to experience what it is like to live in unfettered happiness, to bask in the freedom of security, and finally to understand the person I am supposed to be.

There’s just so much I loved about this book, the brilliant use of words, the tragic description of Melody’s life, the black sheep character of Jonathan and <SPOILTER ALERT> the bitter sweet ending of the book.

I hope I could get my hands on the next book which has the same story but written in the POV of the male character — Jonathan. I would definitely recommend this book to romance readers who wants an short venture away from the usual contemporary stories.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

      • Hi. I didn’t expect a reply so I didn’t check back immediately. Have you tried a vitamin a day to maintain energy level? Or maybe you really have many activities to engage in. I think I may continue my drawings and begin a new blog. I’ll have to prepare before starting. As they say, when one door closes, a new window opens. Thank you for caring.


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