The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead: A Review

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette

My Rating: 1 very sad and lonely star

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Publish Date: September 12th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review


Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof.

The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

Opening Sentence: “One moment Jenny was gazing at the stars.”


I’ve never read a book that I honestly hated, but I stuck it out with this book because I kept hoping that it would get better and that if the end was ok I could at least give this 2 stars and call it a day, but this book never got any better and I am here to tell you why.

Different POV’s but same exact story:

There was so many pov’s in this story and they all recalled the exact same night and most of the time in the exact same way with a lot of the exact same word for word conversations. By the time you get to the end you want to scream enough already because you’ve heard the same thing too many times to count just from a slightly different perspective.

Every character is toxic:

There is not one good character in this novel and no one had any redeeming qualities and while it’s ok to have all characters be imperfect there has to be something there to make the reader care about who they are reading about and in this book there was nothing good about anyone.

The narrative itself and the way characters see certain things is toxic:

The whole time I was reading it there were so many instances where I was dumbfounded by how weird/backwards the logic was. Some of the things characters say and think in this book just made me cringe and I truly believe that this is a bad representation of not just lesbians, but people in general.

The diversity in this book was severally negatively represented:

At one point one of the characters says that they could frame one of the other characters who is African American because they would be “Just another Black who went crazy and shot people.” Then the way they kept talking about lesbians being butch and the way the lesbian relationship was portrayed was awful. There were so many red flags in this department and it just made me feel completely uncomfortable.

The outlook on cheating:

The characters cheated in this book an cheated proudly. It was actually shocking how much everyone was always using each other with no repercussions for anyone at any point. All of the going behind each other’s backs was left to be a’okay in the end and I was not ok with that.

The biggest red flag of them all:

*trigger for sexual assault*

At one point there was a girl was drunk and asleep in the bathroom and part of her dress was down and one of the characters molests her and takes pictures all while she is sleeping. While the characters at the end do say this was not ok, the fact that there was no repercussions for that either in the end made me so angry. The characters all stay friends and are all forgiving about everything when something like that should have been handled very differently.

Overall this was an interesting premise with a really bad execution and this book is definitely one I would not recommend in the future. This book is extremely problematic and I am sad that a book I had such high hopes for ended up being as bad as it was.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

-Till next time!