Sunday, March 20, 2016

My take on: If I Run

Casey Cox is on the run. Her best friend, Brent, has been murdered. Should she call the police? Or should she run? It's not so simple. To the casual observer, it looks like Casey did it. But as a reader, you know right away she's not a murderer. She's being framed. Who could be behind it? Casey's not sure of that. But she's sure no one will listen. There's nothing else she can do but run.

The action starts right away in If I Run by Terri Blackstock.

I was intrigued. As a character, Casey is extremely likeable. You want to get in her corner. You don't want her to get caught. Brent's parents have hired a family friend, Dylan, to track down Casey. But it's difficult. She's been one step ahead of him the entire time. She's very smart.

Casey is doing all the things a fugitive would do. She's paying cash for everything. She changes her appearance. She moves from city to city, so much so that it's difficult for Dylan to track her movements. For people who don't even know each other, Dylan and Casey are very much alike -- in more ways than one. Both are out to prove something. Casey is out to prove her innocence. Dylan is out to prove that he's not damaged. Dylan is a war veteran, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. As he gets to know the type of person Casey is, he believes she also has PTSD. Casey has never gotten over the death of her father. At 12 years old, she discovered his lifeless body. The local police immediately said it was a suicide, but Casey is not convinced. She has never stopped searching for the truth. Did that search for the truth lead to Brent's death?

This is a Christian fiction book. I don't normally read faith-based books. Mainly because I worry the author is pushing an agenda. That's definitely not the case here. Religion is actually a very small piece of this book. The characters are at the heart of the story. I was fully invested in Casey and Dylan's story.

I started out really really liking this book. I found Casey to be extremely intelligent in the first half of the book, but my opinion changed in the second half. She wants to prove her innocence. When she gets evidence that could point to her innocence and someone else's guilt, Casey doesn't do enough with that evidence. In my opinion she could have done more. We're in a social media age. Blast that stuff on social media and let the conversation start. Let people start to truly believe in your innocence. While I was reading this book, in my mind I was screaming for her to do more.

Casey needed to do more to help her own situation. Instead, she tries to solve someone else's problem. She befriends a family and gets embroiled in their life. Making friends is a borderline bad decision. Trying to solve their problems when she has her own was just wrong. By trying to be a hero, she's risking her own safety and freedom. It's great to have a sense of altruism, but not when your own life is in turmoil.

The ending felt a little abrupt to me. There wasn't a definite conclusion to her story. According to Goodreads, this is just book #1. Whaaaattttttt! While this first entry in Casey's story is not my favorite, I'm curious to see how the rest of her journey unfolds.

Rating: Give it a try

Note: I received a copy of the book from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.