If I Die Tonight

If I Die Tonight

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 t...

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Title:If I Die Tonight
Author:Alison Gaylin
Rating:
Edition Language:English

If I Die Tonight Reviews

  • Reading.Between.Wines

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 rounded up.

    First of all, many thanks to William Morrow and Company for providing me with an advance review copy of this book via Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.

    This book has been on my list for AGES, and I had actually just preordered it from Amazon when I found out that I had been lucky enough to get approved for an ARC on Edelweiss. So glad I was! This book lived up to the hype for me, which I am very thankful for in a time where books don't always do that.

    by

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded up.

    First of all, many thanks to William Morrow and Company for providing me with an advance review copy of this book via Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.

    This book has been on my list for AGES, and I had actually just preordered it from Amazon when I found out that I had been lucky enough to get approved for an ARC on Edelweiss. So glad I was! This book lived up to the hype for me, which I am very thankful for in a time where books don't always do that.

    by

    is set in a small fictional town named Havenkill in the Hudson Valley, and focuses on what happens after a high school senior is put in the hospital after being run over during a car theft. Or was it a car theft?

    The viewpoints hop around a bit, but the majority of the book is told from the perspectives of Pearl a local police officer with a complicated past, and Jackie the mother of 2 boys - Connor and Wade - Wade being a high school senior along with Liam the boy who gets run over and put into intensive care.

    was a bit of a police procedural at times, but I would say only about 25% of the total novel was like this (if not less, math isn't my strong suit!). The book also played with some different formats, like chapters that are comments and posts taken from Facebook and Instagram. It added something extra to the story and I really enjoyed the deviation from the norm. I've actually been seeing this more in recent books and I love it!

    I did think it could be a little slow at times, especially in the beginning - middle, but not to the point where I was ready to abandon it. There is a lot going on in this book and definitely some heavy subject matters. It touches on cyber bullying, bullying in general, and how in a small town where everyone knows everyone rumors and speculations can have a huge effect on how people treat you. The use of social media is also a very prominent theme in this novel. Luckily, Gaylin added some humor into the book which ended up being a nice respite from some of the heavier parts.

    Now the characters; I wouldn't say that I really connected to any of them, but I definitely felt for Connor, Wade and Jackie. And also Pearl as we get to know her story. All of the characters in this book felt very real and human to me.

    Final Thought: The ending gave me chills, and I had no idea what was going to happen overall. There were a few revelations that I definitely wasn't expecting, and one thing I kinda saw coming. I cannot BELIEVE this was my first novel by Gaylin, and now I want to read her backlog ASAP to see what else I have been missing. She definitely has an instant fan in me!

    in 3 words: Engrossing, Touching, and Surprising

    *This title is expected to be published on 06 Mar 2018*

  • DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes:

    Nobody’s perfect… What gets us in trouble is when we try and pretend we are.

    I dated a guy once who wanted to know how far drive it was from Miami to Florida… He also thought Rosetta Stone was a civil rights leader. Thank God he was cute.

    Mason Marx was short and squat, with mean little pig eyes and the personality of bad cheese.

    … Jackie could not stand that mustache. Her eyes were drawn to it whenever Wacksman spoke, so thick and luxuriant she couldn’t help but imagine him groomin

    Favorite Quotes:

    Nobody’s perfect… What gets us in trouble is when we try and pretend we are.

    I dated a guy once who wanted to know how far drive it was from Miami to Florida… He also thought Rosetta Stone was a civil rights leader. Thank God he was cute.

    Mason Marx was short and squat, with mean little pig eyes and the personality of bad cheese.

    … Jackie could not stand that mustache. Her eyes were drawn to it whenever Wacksman spoke, so thick and luxuriant she couldn’t help but imagine him grooming it, using a tiny tortoiseshell comb and a rack of imported oils as though it were a pet.

    I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me… Such a strange expression – as though the heart were a messy closet you dug around in, forgiveness stashed in some long forgotten shoe box.

    My Review:

    If I Die Tonight initially appeared to be a slowly developing tale of family drama with a divorced single mother raising two teenage boys, one of which appeared deeply troubled and even more so when a tragic fatality struck the small town and it seemed a foregone conclusion that the troubled youth was involved. The characters were not immediately likable or admirable so it wasn’t a tale I was instantly sucked into, yet it held my attention and continued to draw me in. Notice I said initially, it wasn’t until the plot exploded with a confluence of twist after twist that I appreciated the subtlety and care the author had taken in crafting and planting the various elements of several mysteries that compounded and converged. The buildup was incremental and deftly devised, like a spider weaving a web. It was ingenious. I was so wrong in my hypothesis and would never have suspected the end result, and I was more than thrilled with the satisfying conclusion and reading experience. The stealthy and clever wordsmith Alison Gaylin has a new fangirl.

  • Kristy

    Havenkill is a pretty quiet town--mostly focused on its football team. So when a washed up 80s rockstar named Aimee En stumbles into the police station in the middle of the night, claiming someone carjacked her Jaguar and then ran over a teenage boy who was trying to help, it receives a lot of police and media attention. The young teen's name was Liam--a star on the football team--and he's quickly portrayed as a hero for trying to save Aimee and her vehicle. Suspicion turns fairly soon to anothe

    Havenkill is a pretty quiet town--mostly focused on its football team. So when a washed up 80s rockstar named Aimee En stumbles into the police station in the middle of the night, claiming someone carjacked her Jaguar and then ran over a teenage boy who was trying to help, it receives a lot of police and media attention. The young teen's name was Liam--a star on the football team--and he's quickly portrayed as a hero for trying to save Aimee and her vehicle. Suspicion turns fairly soon to another local teen, Wade Reed, a social outcast, who is vilified by his peers and the local media. His younger brother, Connor, struggles as his own friends distance themselves in the wake of Wade's alleged actions. And Pearl Maze, a member of the Havenkill police force, who was there when Aimee arrived, isn't sure how real Aimee's story actually is.

    The novel's story is told via short snippets of narrative from a varied cast of characters, including Pearl, Aimee, Connor, and Connor and Wade's mom, Jackie. It's effective--and effectively frustrating, as you find yourself wanting to know more about what happened the night Liam died.

    These characters are complex, as are the relationships between everyone in the novel. Nothing is as it seems, and everyone is hiding more beneath their surface (and the past).

    I felt such allegiances to particular characters and such distaste for others. Pearl, Jackie, even Wade and Connor--they were magnificently written and the book was just so well-done.

    Pearl, for instance, was such a complicated character, with such a nuanced backstory. She was an excellent cop, and I found myself immediately rooting for her. She was so smart.

    As the novel wears on, you're not exactly sure who to trust--or exactly what happened the night Liam died--and

    . Even though the novel is very character-focused, it's suspenseful too and focused on the Liam mystery.

    I love requesting an ARC of an author I've never read before and discovering such a great story.

    I'm looking forward to reading more of Gaylin's work. 4.5 stars.

    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss in return for an unbiased review (thank you!); it is available everywhere as of 03/06/2018.

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  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    I have wanted to read Alison Gaylin’s novels for quite some time but just hadn’t had the opportunity. After reading the description for

    I was really intrigued, and couldn’t wait to get started.

    The book opens with a Facebook post on Jacqueline (Jackie) Reed’s account. But the message isn’t written by her…it’s written by her teenage son, Wade.

    Five days earlier….

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    I have wanted to read Alison Gaylin’s novels for quite some time but just hadn’t had the opportunity. After reading the description for

    I was really intrigued, and couldn’t wait to get started.

    The book opens with a Facebook post on Jacqueline (Jackie) Reed’s account. But the message isn’t written by her…it’s written by her teenage son, Wade.

    Five days earlier….

    Jackie Reed thinks she’s losing touch with her boys. They are turning into men right before her eyes. 13-year-old, Connor his voice cracking in the midst of puberty and 17-year-old, Wade with his newly dyed black hair and unreadable face. She feels like they shut her out of their lives. Then Jackie accidentally sees a text on Wade’s phone that worries her. She wants to talk to him but it’s already late and he’s probably asleep.

    The next morning she can’t find Wade. She asks her son, Connor where Wade is, but Connor is vague with his answers. She convinces herself that everything is okay.

    And then the doorbell rings…it’s the police

    Connor Reed tries to convince himself that he didn’t lie to his mother. Leaving out stuff isn’t the same as lying. Connor thinks about last night. His brother in his room in the middle of the night…

    Police officer, Pearl Maze had been working the night shift when a woman burst into the station, crying hysterically.

    A local teenager, Liam Miller was rushed to the hospital after being run over by a car that was carjacked by another teenager. The woman who owns the car tells police that Liam helped her and then tried to stop the other person from taking her car. She says Liam is a hero. But who was driving the car that hit him?

    Word travels fast in a small town and soon everyone is talking about what happened. Things like this don't happen in Havenkill. Many are positive they know who committed this crime.

    But are they right?

    Social media explodes with theories and threats. This accident will change the lives of many of the residents of Havenkill.

    So many secrets so many lies!

    I really enjoyed this interesting and thought-provoking novel. It drew me in from the first page. I thought the characters were well-developed and relatable. I really liked how the author used social media in addition to the multiple viewpoints of the characters. Facebook and Instagram comments and posts added to the story, increasing the tension and suspense.

    I thought I had things all figured out. I may have been right about a few things but there were some things I NEVER saw coming. So many great characters…heroes and villains, each with their own interesting story-lines. The last few chapters are emotional and filled with tension until the truth is finally revealed. Although I wish there was a little more detail in regards to a couple of characters, overall I was more than satisfied how everything came together in the end.

    ” was an exciting and well-paced psychological thriller driven by fascinating characters and a fantastic plot. I am really looking forward to reading more from Alison Gaylin.

    I'd like to thank William Morrow for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Kaceey

    This was my first read from Alison Gaylin (though I own 3 of her others). What an unexpected surprise. Why haven’t I picked up one of her other books till now!?

    Jackie is doing her best to raise two teenage sons on her own. And lately she feels like she knows them less and less. But come on…what teens aren’t distant and mysterious to their parents?

    So when tragedy pays a visit to the small town they live in, her world is rocked as all eyes turn to one of her boys. Surely it’s a huge misunderstandi

    This was my first read from Alison Gaylin (though I own 3 of her others). What an unexpected surprise. Why haven’t I picked up one of her other books till now!?

    Jackie is doing her best to raise two teenage sons on her own. And lately she feels like she knows them less and less. But come on…what teens aren’t distant and mysterious to their parents?

    So when tragedy pays a visit to the small town they live in, her world is rocked as all eyes turn to one of her boys. Surely it’s a huge misunderstanding. Could he really be guilty of the crimes everyone is accusing him of? Can she save him?

    This book started out with a bang and I was quickly pulled in. At one point, (half-way) I felt that it started to drag a bit. But no worries - that quickly turned around. I found myself racing to the end to see how this was all going to play out.

    I was drawn to all the characters from Jackie to her sons, even the local police. Each had a strong voice and enough depth to separate one character from another. (Love that!)

    The final third of this book had me riding a rollercoaster of emotion. I was sad, frightened, shocked...and happy. Yes, all thriller fans, there are some fabulous moments in this one to keep you on your toes. Highly recommend!!

    I will definitely be reaching into my bookshelf to read more from this author!

    A Traveling Sister read with Brenda and Susanne!

    Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for an ARC to review

    For this review and our Full Traveling Sister review please visit Norma and Brenda’s fabulous book blog:

  • Brenda - Traveling Sister

    I was lost in the deep slopes of the craggy coulee with two of my Traveling Sisters reading I Die Tonight and we settled in amongst the rocky edges with each of our reading pillows that soon had us on our toes guessing and discussing the path of this clever and engaging mystery. I Die Tonight is stand-alone by Alison Gaylin and was our first book that we have read by her and won’t be our last.

    I Die Tonight is a tightly plotted multi-layered character-driven mystery that explores secrets, family

    I was lost in the deep slopes of the craggy coulee with two of my Traveling Sisters reading I Die Tonight and we settled in amongst the rocky edges with each of our reading pillows that soon had us on our toes guessing and discussing the path of this clever and engaging mystery. I Die Tonight is stand-alone by Alison Gaylin and was our first book that we have read by her and won’t be our last.

    I Die Tonight is a tightly plotted multi-layered character-driven mystery that explores secrets, family ties and the length we go to protect ourselves and the ones we love. The story started off a little slow for us in the beginning as we get to know these well-developed characters and start to piece together the layers of this mystery that had us guessing and discussing right to the end.

    Alison Gaylin does a good job creating flawed characters with something to hide or secrets that they want to keep hidden. We grew to love complicated Pearl with her personal demons and secrets she would like to keep buried and protective mother Jackie who fights to protect her son from the gossip around a tragic event that has exploded into small-town gossip and the damage of social media. Jackie’s strength and faith in her son is tested and along with her, we started to question her loyalty to her son. Both characters are very strong and different female characters connected to that tragic night and seeking the truth to this layered and well-plotted story.

    I found the social media part of the story to be fascinating and really like how Alison Gaylin showed us a realistic look at how quickly gossip can become the truth in a small town that left me feeling chilled and a little unsettled.

    I now have What Remains of Me on my radar for a future Sister Read and look forward to more from Alison Gaylin. I highly recommend for readers who like a well-written character driven mystery.

    Thank you Edelweiss, William Morrow and Alison Gaylin for a copy of this title to read and review.

    All of our Traveling Sisters Review can be found on our sister blog:

  • Ellen Gail

    Do you ever get really excited when you're reading a mystery and you realize it's genuinely good? Like the characters have layers on layers, the plot is twisty but not frustrating, and gosh darn it you're just having a good time reading it?

    is unpretentiously exciting and Ellen Gail certified good.

    And did I mention t

    Do you ever get really excited when you're reading a mystery and you realize it's genuinely good? Like the characters have layers on layers, the plot is twisty but not frustrating, and gosh darn it you're just having a good time reading it?

    is unpretentiously exciting and Ellen Gail certified good.

    And did I mention the layers!?

    So from the blurb:

    . I've yet to read anything by Lippman or Coben, but as a fan of Big Little Lies and Stranger Things, the blurb got me on this one. And my two cents? I can kind of see the BLL connection, with the family drama. But

    ?

    The Stranger Things connection is lost on me. However, I will say that both Joyce Byers (and if you don't know who I'm talking about go watch Stranger Things right now please) and Jackie Reed are

    moms.

    starts with a suicide note; catastrophe, emotional and physical, pinwheels from there. The plot is smooth and exciting; a carjacking gone wrong, a washed up 80s pop star, and a town brewing with suspicion and secrets. I managed to figure out some elements of it, but plenty of surprises were waiting for me.

    A big plus is the characters. Especially Jackie Reed, who is my faaaaave. Like when one of her sons is having a rough time (to put it lightly), she makes him his favorite meal with a note that says "I believe in you." She literally fucking

    at reporters when they don't back the hell off. She admits her own flaws and shortsightedness.

    I honestly can't say anything bad about Wade and Conner, or Officer Pearl Maze either. (Like I would 100% read a sequel starring Officer Maze and Paul the hunk, solving cases and being sexy.) Even the characters who weren't so likeable still felt like people. These were complex believable people.

    This is definitely an above average mystery and one that makes me excited to read more by

    .

    I'm ready for another great mystery. Bring it!

  • Laura

    left an impression on me with

    , so I was thrilled to get my hands on

    . This one was a bit more of a family drama, which isn't a bad thing. Just different from the type of story I fell in love with in the first novel I read of hers (murder mystery with a Hollywood feel).

    Beginning with a Facebook post written by Jackie's son Wade that works as a suicide note, we know things must get pretty tough for Wade immediately wondering why. The story goes b

    left an impression on me with

    , so I was thrilled to get my hands on

    . This one was a bit more of a family drama, which isn't a bad thing. Just different from the type of story I fell in love with in the first novel I read of hers (murder mystery with a Hollywood feel).

    Beginning with a Facebook post written by Jackie's son Wade that works as a suicide note, we know things must get pretty tough for Wade immediately wondering why. The story goes back five days earlier where Jackie discusses how hard it is being a modern day parent with the addition of all these screens. It's just a fact of the matter - kids shut you out now more than ever. This feels like a theme throughout, as Jackie can't quite find out the truth surrounding her sons.

    One night, there is a hit & run leaving one of Wade's classmates in critical condition. Wade finds himself a suspect. It doesn't help matters that he has a hard time fitting in. He can't say where he was that night. And Jackie doesn't know whether to trust her son or not.

    Add in another layer...the POV of Wade's younger brother Connor. Connor cares about Wade, only wanting to protect him. But at what cost? Connor's life and relationships are deeply affected by how other's view Wade. This may have been my favorite aspect of the novel. Gaylin captures the voice of a 13 year old boy and his emotions very well. It was unexpected, but truly excellent.

    To allow us into the investigation, we get the perspective of police officer Pearl Maze. And there is also the owner of the car involved in the accident, Aimee En.

    Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It is insightful, emotional and well-written.

  • Susanne Strong

    3.5 Stars* (rounded down)

    Aimee En knows she isn’t a reliable witness. She is a has been, washed up musician who just came from a late night gig but swears she is telling the truth. A boy in a black hoodie hijacked her car and then boom - he hit another teenage boy with it. And Aimee En witnessed the whole thing. The problem? The police think she may have done it herself.

    Wade is a teenager that no one likes. In fact, he is pretty much despised by everyone in school. He bullies everyone around hi

    3.5 Stars* (rounded down)

    Aimee En knows she isn’t a reliable witness. She is a has been, washed up musician who just came from a late night gig but swears she is telling the truth. A boy in a black hoodie hijacked her car and then boom - he hit another teenage boy with it. And Aimee En witnessed the whole thing. The problem? The police think she may have done it herself.

    Wade is a teenager that no one likes. In fact, he is pretty much despised by everyone in school. He bullies everyone around him via social media, including Liam, the teenager who got hit by the car, putting Wade into the spotlight. Even his younger brother Connor starts to look at Wade in a different way, suspecting him of wrongdoing. Wade is clearly keeping secrets and soon Connor starts keeping them too. Soon everyone in the town of Havenkill suspects Wade, except for his mother.

    “If I Die Tonight” is a slow burning mystery that is more of a character driven novel. All of the characters are well written. There are several side stories which were successfully integrated into the main storyline. The novel itself holds your interest and keeps it.

    This was a Traveling Sister Read with Brenda and Kaceey. We had a great time reading it together. Thanks sisters!

    Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins, William Morrow and Alison Gaylin for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Edelweiss and Goodreads on 12.28.17.

    *Will be published on Amazon on 3.6.18.

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