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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Jane McGarry's novel, Not Every Girl, features Olivia Davenport pursuing her dreams. Unlike most of the young women in Adelina, Olivia was not looking for someone to marry. Instead, she trained with the boys to be a squire. When King William is set to make a trip to meet King John, her father convinces William to allow the squires to go as well. Olivia has her heart crushed when her father tells her she is not going. She drugs Puck, cuts her hair, and uses his uniform to go on the mission. When her plan is foiled, Prince Liam and his guard escort her back to Adelina. They are attacked and lose two of their horses. Olivia learns Prince Liam isn’t as arrogant as she originally thought. The guard is on his way to Adelina, but Liam and Olivia have other plans.
Olivia was determined to prove to her father that, despite being a girl, she was a competent squire. I felt sorry for Puck because he had come to regard her as someone he could trust. That type of betrayal would feel devastating. The scenery is described in wonderful detail, and I found the waterfall area to be particularly appealing. The character of Prince Liam develops through the novel alongside Olivia. With each decision they made, it was easy to recognize how drastically their individual lives were transforming. When an infamous outlaw, Athos, emerges in the story, it takes an unexpected turn. I never expected a criminal to be more empathetic toward anyone. The unpredictable plot was full of action, and there wasn’t a dull moment. The action increases before an anxious ending. For young adults who like romantic fantasy novels with strong female protagonists, I recommend reading Not Every Girl by Jane McGarry.