books, Reviews

The Reviewing Reel: Not If I Save You First

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter


I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was actually a very pleasant surprise! I was a massive fan of the Gallagher Girls series when I was younger, but I really didn’t enjoy Ally Carter’s Heist Society series (which I think was more down to the fact that we didn’t have Cammie and Bex and Zach and all of the rest of the GG cast in that series more than anything). This book reminded me of just how much I love Ally Carter’s writing, and how much I really, really need to go back and read Gallagher Girls.

Not If I Save You First follows the story of Logan, the son of the American president (who I think is technically called the First Son, but I’m not sure), and Maddie, the son of said president’s main SAS agent kind of person. Can you tell that I don’t know how American politics works?

After an attack on the president’s life, at the White House, Maddie and her father relocate to Alaska to get away from the life they have in Washington DC, tearing apart Logan and Maddie’s friendship in the process.

Ally Carter says so herself in her acknowledgements, but this book was phenomenally researched. I honestly can’t imagine the amount of time it must have taken to her to plan everything out so it was as realistic as possible, and the result was a world you could get into in an instant. Alaska is such an interesting place, and somewhere I know nothing about, so I had been really excited for that part of the story, and I wasn’t disappointed.

However. The relationship between Maddie and Logan, and its development, however cute, happened way, way too quickly. We got very little insight into how they moved from being really close friends at a younger age to not speaking, to going back to close friends, and then on from there. It just wasn’t realistic at all, it felt like only a few pages went by between each stage of the relationship’s growth. I think this might have just been ‘classic YA relationship syndrome’, but it did spoil parts of the story for me.

I really enjoyed this, though, overall. Ally Carter was always one of my favourite authors as a younger teen, and returning to her was long overdue. I’m even thinking about going back and reading Heist Society, to see if my opinion on it has changed now I’m a wiser, more mature reader (well… partially).

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