Book Review: Not If I Save You First

by Ally Carter

Maddie and Logan were best friends. Logan’s dad was the president and Maddie’s dad was the head of his Secret Service. Of course they were best friends.

Or they were, until Maddie’s dad resigned after the first lady was nearly kidnapped and Logan was harmed in the crossfire. Next thing Maddie knew, she was being uprooted to the wilderness of Alaska.

Now, six years later, Logan is coming to Alaska to stay with Maddie and her dad until the next presidential election is over and his dad is out of office. And Maddie is furious with Logan. For two years, she wrote him letters. She never got one back. But whether or not she likes it, Logan is in Alaska.

But before Maddie can decide whether or not she wants to kill Logan, both of them discover that someone else wants Logan dead. An Alaskan storm in on the way, and Logan, the first son, has been kidnapped. If Maddie wants her chance to kill Logan, she’ll have to save him first.


Right from the start, Carter jumps into the action of the story with kidnapping and almost dying. From there on, it’s pretty easy to guess that nothing is going to be easy for Maddie and Logan. Weather, bears, and kidnappers all seem out to get them.

One of the things I liked in the story was how Maddie and Logan needed each other to be able to survive. While Maddie is the one who has lived in Alaska for six years and knows how to survive, she does reach a point where she can’t do it alone.

I also liked how Carter had Maddie be a tough character, due to the Alaskan frontier, but also allowed her to be a girl who worries about her hair during while chasing down a kidnapper.

One thing that I struggled with a little bit was how it didn’t take Maddie that long to start trusting Logan, especially after (mild spoiler) he breaks her trust during the novel. If Maddie was really furious with Logan, I feel like it should have taken her longer to get to the point of really trusting Logan. Then again, abnormal circumstances can change things, so maybe it is totally possible for her to trust Logan that quickly when dealing with a life-or-death situation.

Cautions: mild-moderate romance; four kisses; mild-moderate, non-graphic violence; two instances of “coarser” language

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