Book Review: If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

Friday, 5 January 2018

Title: If I Die Before I Wake

Author: Emily Koch
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Published: 11/1/18
Star Rating: ⭐ 


How Do You Solve Your Own Murder?

Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen.

But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger.

As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go.

Spoiler-Free Review:

This was one thriller of 2018 which I knew I HAD to read, the synopsis drew me in immediately, and it was a great read. 

However, although the plot sounds thrilling, it's not exactly unique, in that similar book plots exist in The Lovely Bones etc. However, the fact that the narrator here is 1. Male - I find less narrators, in general, these days are male, especially if written by a female author. 2. In a coma - I feel as though most books with these Victim observing the world they have left behind plots are set from the beyond, but this book has the victim in a coma when the book opens.

Now, although this plot has the original viewpoint of Alex narrating the story from a coma, this does hurt the pacing of the story, overall. Because events of the story have to be related to Alex's hospital bedside, in order to have him observe and narrate. This is the problematic part of the book, as the pacing is, possibly, the most crucial part of a thriller and really effects the readers experience. I honestly think this could have been solved completely with alternating chapters, with a different point-of-view.  This could have allowed us to experience more of the characters and to avoid stretching out the plot too much.

In terms of writing, I found this particularly well done, especially for a debut novel. The way that Koch was able to convey Alex's pain led the reader on an emotional journey, this book was the definition of intense, and if it wasn't for the drawn out plot then this read would have been a 5-star for sure. I'll definitely be looking out for Koch's next book!

If you're looking for a great read in 2018 from a new author, I'd recommend you pick this one up!


*This book is released on January, 11th 2018 in the UK*

I received this E-Arc in exchange for an honest review and would like to say thank-you to RandomHouse for providing me with an advanced-readers-copy of this book. 

*Affiliate link - I make a small profit off of this link

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