William Morrow | March 2018 | 384 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

If I Die Tonight is a character driven story set in a small town of Havenkill revolving a carjacking/hit-and-run incident turns deceptions and conspiracies in this psychological suspense.  

Thirteen-year-old Connor Reed finds his elder brother, Wade, in his room late one night with his clothes soaked by rain. It is a rainy night and Connor has no idea why Wade was out so late (or early since it's around 3 a.m.) in the first place. Thinking he must be dreaming, he cast the thought aside until the news of Liam Miller was involved in a hit-and-run accident rouse his suspicion. The timeline of the accident was around the time when he thought he saw a drenched Wade in his room. Could it be a coincidence or what?

On the other end, Aimee En reports about a carjacking incident and how a teenage boy was run over when he tried to help. Liam Miller is believed to have responded to her cries when a guy dressed in black hoodie tried to steal her car. Once a celebrity in the music industry during the 80s, Aimee's fame has gone downhill as the years go and she is trying her best to earn back her name and fame through performances thrown in her way. The carjacking incident has made her a victim and a hero of Liam, and both of them got sympathies from the community. Wade, on the other hand, is not so lucky. Classified as a loner and an outcast in school, Wade quickly becomes the suspect after Aimee claimed Wade fits the build of the perpetrator, even though that night was rainy and everything happened in a blur. Social media has also snowballed into a finger-pointing frenzy yet all this while Wade keep quiet instead of defending himself. Is he really the perpetrator?

Told from a few viewpoints, this novel is more than a psychological suspense in my opinion. As I mentioned before this is very much a character driven story, it also cover issues such as single parenting, past trauma, teenage angst as well as secrets and perceptions. There is also a little backstory about a female police officer which I found interesting. I think she would make an intriguing character should the author decides to feature her in her upcoming books (I could only hope). Suspense aside, I also found this story to be a little heartbreaking, what with the challenges a single mother has to face as well as the malicious comments on social media platforms could do to a person. All in all this was one thought-provoking read and I'll be sure to check out Ms. Gaylin's future releases. 

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12 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    Social media has changed our lives forever. Regardless of the benefits, and there are many, I'm not sure the benefits outweigh the damage. I'm interested in most stories that deal in some way with the power of this relatively recent technology that influences everything from personal lives to national politics. Pretty scary in real live...almost easier to handle in fiction.

  2. Lark Says:

    Another author I need to check out! :)

  3. Jenny Says:

    Sounds very fun!

  4. Kay Says:

    I like the sound of this one and, like Jenclair, I'm interested in stories that reveal the effects that social media have on life, scandal, and crime. I'll see if I can find this one soon. Thanks for featuring it!

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I've the same thoughts, Jenclair. Social media can be both useful and destructive at the same time. Comments are a form of communication, but they could be scary if one leaves a negative remark and then it turns into something nasty. Worse still is the others follow blindly or add fuel to the remark. :(

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - I hope you'll enjoy her books when you do get them. :)

  7. Melody Says:

    Jenny - It was a gripping read and throughout my reading journey I was curious (and anxious) to find out the perpetrator.

  8. Melody Says:

    Kay - Yes, I'm a sucker for these kind of books too. Hope you're able to find this book soon.

  9. The Bookworm Says:

    It sounds suspenseful and thought provoking!

  10. Gaylin is one of those authors I really need to check out. I think I would like her books. This one sounds really good. Like you and others, the impact of social media interests me too. It's so different today than it was when I was growing up. As a result, our children are growing up in an entirely different culture in some respects.

  11. Melody Says:

    Naida - Indeed it is.

  12. Melody Says:

    Wendy - This book was both suspenseful and thought-provoking. I agree the culture of social media has changed and at times I wonder if it's good or bad.

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