Review: Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Title: Not if I Save You First
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Page Length: 304
Genre: Suspense | Thriller
Age Range: YA
Rating: 3.5⭐

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Bestselling author Ally Carter returns with an exciting stand-alone novel, about a girl stranded in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness with the boy who wronged her . . . as an assassin moves in.

Maddie and Logan were torn apart by a kidnapping attempt when they were young. They were only kids — Logan’s dad was POTUS and Maddie’s father was the Secret Service agent meant to guard him. The kidnappers were stopped — but Maddie was whisked off to Alaska with her father, for satety. Maddie and Logan had been inseparable . . . but then she never heard from him again.

Now it’s a few years later. Maggie’s a teenager, used to living a solitary life with her father. It’s quiet — until Logan is sent to join them. After all this time without word, Maddie has nothing to say to him — until their outpost is attacked, and Logan is taken. They won’t be out of the woods until they’re . . . out of the woods, and Maddie’s managed to thwart the foes and reconcile with Logan.


I’ve been really into winter thrillers and this one was no exception. Set in Alaska with no modern conveniences – yes that includes no running water, internet, cell phones – complete isolation. After the intense opening of a kidnapping, rescue and shootout, I wasn’t sure what to expect once we went to Alaska. There were still a couple of moments later on in the book that match that intensity and those were placed a fair way in. I found this to be fast-paced and I thought Maddie was fairly bad-a$$ in her own right. Logan felt more like the typical damsel in distress – we don’t see many of his skills until much later – being the one kidnapped and in unfamiliar territory.

I loved the inclusion of duel perspectives. It really helped us get to know Maddie and Logan. However, this takes away from the survival portion of the book because we don’t spend much time with Maddie alone. I wouldn’t have minded a little more time alone with Maddie before the characters meet up again. I wanted a little more of how I felt when reading Be Not Far From Me, but I get it – this is a rescue book more than a survive the wilderness book.

I read this in one sitting and I really enjoyed the ride, but I know in the long run I likely wont remember this book. I found that there wasn’t much depth in the book overall, which is perfectly fine and what I was hoping for. This suspense is definitely for the younger teens – they may even find it more thrilling than I did when reading. Pick this up if you want a “one-sitting binge” book, a book set in Alaska, or just want to follow a bada$$ female character.

One thought on “Review: Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

  1. Is this book age-appropriate for 14-year-olds? Do I need to read it first and be prepared to answer and/or explain situations? Thank you!


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