Monday, March 26, 2018

Review: If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin


Title: If I Die Tonight
Author: Alison Gaylin
Published: March 2018, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher


Summary:
Late one night in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Havenkill, a distraught woman stumbles into the police station—and lives are changed forever.

Aimee En, once a darling of the ’80s pop music scene, claims that a teenage boy stole her car, then ran over another young man who’d rushed to help.

As Liam Miller’s life hangs in the balance, the events of that fateful night begin to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?

The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn’t, why won’t he talk?

Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints—Wade’s mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past, If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets—and the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves.



My thoughts: This is my first read by Alison Gaylin and I can tell you it definitely won't be my last. I really enjoyed this book - it kept me guessing as to what was going on and drew me in right from the beginning.

I'm a total sucker for a unique, creative beginning to a book and this one absolutely has one hands down! The first line alone had me so intrigued I just couldn't stop reading: "By the time you read this, I'll be dead." What?!? How could you not want to keep reading to find out just what the heck is going on. That prologue hooked me and the rest of the book was equally engaging and captivating and kept me glued to the pages.

This book is so tightly woven and cleverly plotted. It's told from multiple points of view, allowing you to get different perspectives about what is going on. And it also gives us a deeper look into some of these characters. And wow...let's just talk about these characters for a moment. They are complex, complicated people, yet they are for the most part, all relatable. They all have secrets that they are trying to keep hidden, but at what cost? 

This book touches on a lot of themes and gets a bit heavy at times - it runs the gamut from not only cyber-bulling but actual physical bullying, as well as social media and it's impacts. But every once in a while there are little touches of humor thrown in to lighten the mood. 

This book packs an emotional punch for sure. It's scary to think this could happen in our world, it's heartbreaking and it's full of suspense. This engrossing family drama is sure to be a good pick for bookclubs that like taking on current issues - social media and all the impacts - on top of everything else this book delves into, and the mystery will keep any suspense-loving reader on their toes until the very end. Alison Gaylin is certainly an author I will be keeping on my radar, for sure!

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