Book Review / Megan Lally / Reviews with Spoilers

Megan Lally | That’s Not My Name

The Book: 

That’s Not My Name by Megan Lally
Published December 26, 2023 by Sourcebooks Fire
Date read: January 10, 2024

The Characters: 

“Mary”, the amnesiac girl
Drew

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

She thought she had her life back. She was wrong. It was a mistake to trust him.

Shivering and bruised, a teen wakes up on the side of a dirt road with no memory of how she got there―or who she is. A passing officer takes her to the police station, and not long after, a frantic man arrives. He’s been searching for her for hours. He has her school ID, her birth certificate, and even family photos. He is her father. Her name is Mary. Or so he says.

When Lola slammed the car door and stormed off into the night, Drew thought they just needed some time to cool off. Except Lola disappeared, and the sheriff, his friends, and the whole town are convinced Drew murdered his girlfriend. Forget proving his innocence, he needs to find her before it’s too late. The longer Lola is missing, the fewer leads there are to follow…and the more danger they both are in.

How did That’s Not My Name end?

Click here for book spoilers for That's Not My Name
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read That’s Not My Name, I suggest you turn back now.

The reader kind of knows what’s going on the whole time: “Mary” was kidnapped to replace Boone’s real daughter, and he conveniently leaned into this when she lost her memory. In a separate POV, Drew is searching for his kidnapped girlfriend despite the police believing he’s to blame.

The Reveal:

The twist was that “Mary” wasn’t Lola as the reader is led to believe. Lola is already dead, and the “Mary” whose POV we’re listening to is Boone’s next victim.

Drew and his friends stole the tip line recordings and followed up on a lead from the woman who saw Mary and Boone at the diner. They then speak to the lady who sold Mary her new clothes, who had overheard Mary say the name of the town in which they were staying. Drew brought his proof to the police in that town, where he talked to Officer Bowman. Bowman said Lola looked like Mary, but it wasn’t her.

Drew went to the cabin, rescued “Mary”, and together they killed Boone.

“Mary”‘s real name was Madison. The book started just after she jumped out of the back of Boone’s van after being kidnapped.

The Ending:

In the epilogue, Madison came to check on Drew on Lola’s birthday. She’s able to help him let go of some of the weight he carried by pointing out that Boone had stalked Lola for weeks–even if he couldn’t kidnap her the night Drew broke up with her, he would have in the next few days.

The Review: 

That’s Not My Name REALLY delivered on the tension! I was absolutely pleasantly surprised, going into it knowing nothing about it. The reader quickly figures out the gist, and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what would happen to our main character.

The story alternates between the POV of “Mary”, the main character, and Drew. I wasn’t as invested in Drew’s chapters, but I appreciated the contrast to the tense anticipation of Mary’s chapters.

The epilogue packed an unexpected emotional touch that really brought this read home. I don’t always love YA thrillers but this one was a great debut! I’m looking forward to more by this author.

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