Not If I Save You First

304p. Scholastic. Mar. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338134148. POP
Gr 7–10—Logan is the only child of the First Family. Maddie is his best friend and daughter of the man at the head of the president's security. Right before a dinner for some dignitaries from Russia, the teens meet up in a secret hallway and find two men hurriedly walking through speaking Russian. The men end up pushing a food cart covered in a table cloth that's hiding the First Lady, who has been kidnapped. Logan activates his secret security button, and the hallway is immediately filled with people, shouting and gunfire. The remainder of the book is the result of this event, six years later. Writing from a remote cabin in Alaska, Maddie hopes to hear back from Logan. Meanwhile, Logan is still in Washington, D.C., trying to get out from the shadow of his family name. That is hard to do when your dad is currently still in office. Things with Russia haven't improved, so Logan's shenanigans could put him in a dangerous situation. He's transported to Alaska so that Maddie's dad can keep an eye on him. City boy Logan doesn't know how to respond to survivalist Maddie and they quickly discover that even remote Alaska is not far enough to run away from the Russian threat. The chemistry and relationship buildup between these two friends is real and believable. Maddie's skills in the wilderness are unmatched. Through trying to survive and escape, Maddie and Logan are able to reconnect and heal some old wounds while outsmarting all the other adults. The quick pace and witty dialogue will keep teens engaged.
VERDICT Recommended where survival and mystery stories are popular and where Carter has a following.

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