Not If I Save You First Review

Hey All,

How has your week been going so far? Mine has been pretty productive. I’ve been decluttering and moving furniture and it’s made me pretty motivated. I’ve also gotten super lucky with a couple great reads this week so I’ve been in a good mood. Hopefully my reading luck continues into next week. Also please excuse my poor attempt at recreating the cover for the banner! I swear I tried but damn it was a tough one! But anyway, enough about me – let’s talk about Not If I Save You First.

Title: Not If I Save You First
Author: Ally Carter
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Adventure
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Pages: 320 pages
When I Read It: April 11th 2020
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Dear Logan,
Someday I’m going to write a book: How Not to Die in Alaska – A Girl’s Guide to Fashionable Survival.
I bet you don’t know that a hair pin can make an excellent fishing hook. You may think you can use just any kind of mud for mud masks, but trust me, you CAN’T! In a pinch, nothing starts a fire like nail polish remover. Alaska is tough. You might know this, if you ever replied to my letters.

After Maddie’s Secret Service dad takes a bullet for the president, he takes Maddie somewhere he thinks they’ll be safe – far away from the White House and the president’s son, Logan.
But when Logan comes to Alaska, so does the danger.
If there’s one thing Alaska has taught Maddie, it’s how to survive. And now her best friend’s life depends on it … 

My Goodreads Review:
April 11, 2020 – page 189  59.06% “I have been in a reading slump for weeks and within the first few pages of picking this up I knew it was cured. It has me crying in the first few chapters, laughing in the next and on the edge of my seat constantly and for me that’s the marker of an incredible read.”
April 11, 2020 – Finished 100% “I adored this book. I’ve been in a reading slump for so long and this finally cured me. I was hooked from the first chapter. Literally the first chapter and it’s all thanks to Maddie as a character. She was amazing! While I related a lot to her, I also didn’t because she is badass and I wish I was that badass 😂
I don’t know if I’m just hormonal (tmi I know) or if this was so incredibly written, because it had me in tears on multiple occasional, fits of laughter frequently and constantly on the edge of my seat. I can not recommend this enough. I will have a full review up on my blog on Thursday.”

My Favourite Quotes:

  1. “It didn’t matter that my Dad saved your Mom that day. It didn’t matter that the bullet only grazed you and… It didn’t matter. My friend died that day. He died just the same.”
    “I never got any letters, Maddie.”
    “Nice try, Logan. You might try that on someone a lot more gullible than I am now.”
    “No. Seriously. I mean it. I never got any letters!”
    “Don’t lie to me, Logan. Abandon me. Ignore me – fine. But don’t ever lie to me.”
  2. Now it looked like he needed to shave, which was more than a little scary because (A) Logan shaved! And (B) it turned out, when pretty tall, pretty handsome boys needed to shave they became less ‘pretty’ and more … handsome. Which was its own particular brand of terrifying.
  3. “Whoa there.”
    “I’m not a horse,” Maddie managed to mutter, but her heart wasn’t in it. Even she could hear the words slur.
    “Yeah. True. So maybe I need to give you a ride.”
    She wasn’t exactly sure what that meant.
  4. Page 210…I don’t want to put any spoilers here but hot damn! If you’ve read it you’ll know!!
  5. “I. Have. The. Gun,” he reminded her. Maddie smiled and pulled away.
    “And I have Taylor Swift’s signature scent. Doesn’t make me a pop star. It just makes me smell like Taylor Swift, which isn’t as great as it sounds because, to a bear, Taylor Swift smells delicious.”
  6. page 255… yet another spoiler quote that I thought was hilarious! Definitely a laugh out loud moment for me.

Characters: I adored Maddie. She was so badass, and independent. I felt inspired to be more self-sufficient when I read her lines. She was amazing, cause she was all these great things but she was still uber feminine, sassy, girly, an overthinker, untrusting until it’s deserved and fearless. She is everything you dream a heroine to be. The early chapters when she’s young reminds me of what people said I was like as a child and I loved that because it made me connect to her on such a deeper level. If you take anything away from this review, it should be how incredible Maddie is!
Logan too was a great character…not as great as Maddie but that would be tough. I loved his devotion and loyalty. I also loved how humble he was, and yet he was also reckless and stupid. But that’s what made him endearing, and why I loved his character arc so much because you really see that development.
Stefan was a beautifully written character too, just like all of the side characters. I really think Ally Carter’s characterisation is the gem of this entire novel.
Characters = 10/10

Humour: As you can tell from some of the above quotes, Maddie definitely had some funny lines. I did actively LOL throughout. For me, I don’t tend to enjoy books that don’t make me giggle at least once – this one made me squeal so… you can probably guess how much I adored this!
Humour = 8/10

Atmosphere: I’ve never read a book set in Alaska, but I loved the isolated feel it had. I know very very little about it as a place but it made me intrigued. It really emerced you into the idea that Maddie had basically spent the last 6 years alone…and the fact she is a functional human is impeccable – just makes me appreciate her even more!
Atmosphere = 7/10

Writing Style: Having read the Gallagher Girls series when I was younger I knew going into this that I was going to love Ally Carter’s writing style. It was even better than my memory. Like I mentioned above, the way she wrote characters – not just their dialogue but their thoughts and feelings were so incredible, it evoked so much emotion in me. I cried, I laughed, I sat mouth agape in complete shock. I don’t know if I can truly get across how much I adored this book!
Writing Style = 10/10

Plot: I loved the plot! That was something I was constantly aware of whilst reading, that it was just so well paced and gripping. There was never a moment when you were like okay we’ve been here too long time to move on. Also the plot twists throughout were just superb! As I mentioned above I loved how the setting was so integral to the plot and how well it interlinked with the motivations of the characters. Everything about this book just ties together so well. I also love that the blurb doesn’t give away much, it barely gives away anything and I love that because it gives away enough to intrigue but definitely doesn’t spoil the plot.
Plot = 10/10

Intrigue: I kind of said this above but I was constantly guessing what was going to happen next. I never saw any of the plot twists coming! I read it in one sitting because I was so gripped I just had to keep reading. And I think that’s really the best text of how great the plot/intrigue of a book is because if it’s a can’t put it down situation (even to eat mac-n-cheese!) then you know it’s amazing.
Intrigue = 10/10

Logic: As I briefly mentioned, I know nothing about Alaska…so the logic/believably of that I just had to trust. But reading it, I was enamored. It didn’t read as fake or over dramatized. Maddie and Logan’s actions seemed rational and logical throughout. And their motivations were always considered and reasoned, not just whim thoughts that burst out of nowhere with no backing. I’m going to mark it down here cause I can’t authenticate Alaska…but also if everything was 10/10 it would be boring hahah.
Logic = 9/10

Enjoyment: This is going to be a short section because if you’ve read any of the paragraphs above you can probably tell that I adored this book. It’s definitely going to be in my top 5 of the year I think. I can’t recommend it enough.
Enjoyment = 10/10

Relationships: I loved Logan and Maddie. The development from their friendship was so brilliant. Starting as best friends, then developing into hate, despite this hate they both risk their lives for the other on multiple occasions…both of them coming to the realization that they like each other but are like no way! And then finally when they forgive and forget and hate turns to love (my favourite romance trope) just amazing!!! Also…I don’t feel like that’s a spoiler because from reading the blurb you can tell they are going to be a thing.
Relationships = 10/10

Overall Score = 84/90 or 9.3/10
Star Rating = ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

That’s the end of the review, no spoilers below because while there are definitely some I could write, I’ve been liking doing my spoiler free reviews recently. If you give it a try or have read this incredible book, tell me your opinions below or tell me on twitter cause I want to know what you think. I hope you enjoyed! I’ve not had a good ol’ ramble about a book favourite like this in a while! Anyway, see you tomorrow!