The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano
When Melody was young, she and her parents stumbled unawares onto a heinous mob killing and were put in the Witness Protection Program (WITSEC). Being in the program, though, was not enough to save Melody’s parents, who were killed for agreeing to testify against Tony Bovaro. Melody is quite unhappy with her life in WITSEC. As a child she had a hard time getting the hang of not sharing too much information about herself and got her family moved frequently. As an adult, she has a tendency to report false threats against her life to get moved and relieve the boredom of her annonymous life.
It is during just one of these boredom-induced moves that something not at all boring happens to Melody: she is contacted by Tony Bovaro’s son Johnathan, who breaks into her hotel room before inviting her to leave WITSEC and come with him. Enticed by the idea of freedom, Melody agrees and even begins to fall in love with the handsome young mobster.
“The Girl She Used To Be” was an incredibly engaging, incredibly fast read. Melody’s character was drawn perfectly, her thoughts, motivations, and conflicted emotions were incredibly realistic. One thing that was a bit odd was that all of the chapter headings were math equations. Melody does talk about her love for math, since it is the one thing – the only thing in her life – that doesn’t lie, but it doesn’t seem important enough throughout the novel to include this reference in all of the chapter headings. Plus, my math majorteacher husband SWEARS that the equation for the last chapter doesn’t actually mean anything, but even if he’s right I don’t think that’s an error that would bother that many people. Other than the chapter headings, fantastic book!