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The Girl She Used to Be Paperback – March 10, 2010
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--New York Times Book Review
"Intense...the emotions of a woman caught in Melody's unlikely scenario ring deliciously, scarily true."
"David Cristofano's debut novel is alternately thought-provoking, poignant, and darkly funny. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE hooked me from the very first page."
--Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of WHISTLING IN THE DARK and LAND OF A HUNDRED WONDERS
"Intense, romantic debut...Cristofano's mad love scenario sizzles like garlic in hot olive oil."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This is a compulsively readable, skillfully constructed first novel with well-drawn characters and a plot that twists and turns to what seems the best possible conclusion, marking Cristofano as a writer to watch!"
"THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is everything I want a book to be. A humorous, poignant, and compelling page-turner that kept me guessing all the way to the end. I marveled at how utterly I was drawn into Melody's world and what a vivid picture David Cristofano created."
--Patricia Wood, New York Times bestselling author of LOTTERY
"I absolutely fell in love with David Cristofano's writing, and couldn't wait to see Melody's mystery unfold. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is that rare novel...it's the one you've been looking for when you wander the bookstore aisles, hoping to find something that will grab hold of you and not let go. Eloquent, haunting, and totally enthralling--I was swept in from page one."
--Johanna Edwards, nationally bestselling author of HOW TO BE COOL
"David Cristofano artfully explores the meaning of identity and home, heroes and villains, in this story of a woman who loses herself, then finds herself again in the most unlikely place. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is a roller-coaster ride, both thriller and riveting psychological drama, and Cristofano is definitely a writer to watch for."
--Elizabeth Arnold, bestselling author of PROMISE THE MOON
"There's no hiding the fact that THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is a brilliant debut by a magnificent new novelist."
Top Customer Reviews
There are few authors who can keep me reading all night until I finish a book. David Cristofano just may be one of them. I did have to put this book down because I had things that I HAD to do that were work related, but boy was it hard!!!! The very act of his writing in Melody's point of view was incredibly believable. It was nice hearing a woman's voice that sounded so true. I don't know how he did it so well. The man really had a touch on the pulse of this character. I have often groaned at how perfect a female is played or how sappy. It was great reading about a character who is lovely in description without being described as the typical full lipped, bright eyed exotic beauty with the typical too full hips and breasts. It gets a little dull picturing blond, brunette and read headed Angelina Jolies all the timme. David Cristofano created a character in Melody that was simply beautifully real. I could relate to Melody. She was quick witted and quirky.
Pros...romantic but not wishy washy in your face with butterflies and birds chirping on every page. Romantic tension built up and played out superbly.
Pros...characters you wanted to see succeed. I became immediately invested in both Melody and Jonathan.
Pros...realistic. In the long run the ending totally makes sense and is true to life.
Cons...the book ended. I loved it and wanted more!
I will definitely be keeping my eye open for more books by David Cristofano. This was an absolutely splendid piece of work. Cristofano is definitely an author to watch.
First, a disclaimer, I don't usually like Mob books or movies. I know, it's a wildly popular genre, but I've just never been all that interested. That said, I really liked The Girl She Used to Be. I've read many reviews that commented how difficult it was to believe that the author was male, and I've thought, "Hm, that's an odd thing to mention". But now that I've read the book, I understand what they mean. Cristofano's dialogue and thoughts are spot on, and the voice of Melody is authentic. And the other reviewers are right, when I stopped to think about it, it did seem surprising.
The Girl She Used to Be works on many levels. Superficially, it's an interesting story, about a young woman finally discovering whom she could be when allowed to choose for herself. But it's also a story about new beginnings, about each of us.Read more ›
Melody McCartney has spent the last twenty years of her life being someone else. Several someone elses in fact. It wasn't that she wasn't content with herself. She was stripped of the choice when, at six years old, she and her parents witnessed a murder carried out by a mafia boss. Due to her childish inability to remember her new identity, her third identity was doled out pretty quickly also. Now, at 26, Melody is alone, her parents long ago having been found and taken care of.
Now she gets the itch every now and then, the resentment of not knowing who she is, who she could have been, and tells the Feds she's been found. In the midst of one more life change, she is found. By none other than the boss's son, Jonathan Bovaro. His tactics are strange to her, and her analytical, mathematically inclined mind never lets go of the knowledge of he is and what he's after, but she trusts him and goes willingly. The journey they set out on is a dangerous one, and you hope for the best possible outcome.
I've been doing really well at not reading the back of the book first, but I almost couldn't help peeking at the end of the story. I am so glad I didn't! There was nothing predictable about this story at all. There were a couple of points I almost cried and while I'm disappointed in the ending of the book, I am in no way disappointed at the writing of the book from start to finish.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got drawn into this book immediately and it did not disappoint. Many unexpected plot turns, and interesting characters. Read morePublished 1 month ago by sheryl
I really didn't feel the connection between the two characters. It was an interesting plot but could have been much better.Published 4 months ago by abbey
I really enjoyed this book. It's definitely a page-turner. The general story line is very interesting - a young woman who basically grew up in the Witness Protection Program,... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kelly Schuknecht
This book has no joy. It is tedious and some of characters are unreal. The girl is harsh and loud and the plot is unbelievable. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Eliz Bryant
I really liked this book from the beginning to the second to last chapter, I felt like the last chapter was not needed. I love the twists & turns, the unexpected and expected. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Trudy
I could not put this book down. I read at lightning pace and was sorry when it was over. I wanted more.Published 13 months ago by Lisa Burchard