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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Book Review: If I Die - Rachel Vincent

Published September 27 2011 by Harlequin

Goodreads Description
The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.


Um, wow. Where do I begin? There's so much that I have to say about this book that I'm pretty overwhelmed at the responsibility of doing the book justice. But what I do know for sure is that: THIS BOOK FALLS UNDER THE CATEGORY OF DROP-EVERYTHING-ELSE-AND-READ-IT-ALREADY-BECAUSE-IT-IS-BLOODY-FANTASTIC!!!!! (see the five exclamation marks there? Just in case my point hasn't been received). It's been a really long time since I've read anything that was this good lately, so be prepared for a lengthy book review that goes over why this book deserves such a praise (and probably a lot of fangirling too).

Like the book's description, Kaylee and her friends don't get a break in their abnormal lives when their classmate, Danica, suddenly falls over, bleeding massively on the ground. It turns out that Danica had a miscarriage, one month into her pregnancy. But the question is, who was the father if it wasn't her boyfriend? Danica refuses to say, but Kaylee knows that something's wrong because Danica wasn't someone who would do something like that when she loved her boyfriend. Not to mention that Danica's insides were so messed up from the miscarriage that she wouldn't ever be able to have kids in the future. Something was definitely wrong here. To make matters worse, they find out that their new gorgeous math teacher isn't human; Mr. Beck is an incubus, a netherworld creature who feeds on desires and lust. Was it just a coincidence that he also happened to be Danica's teacher and was tutoring her when she had problems in math? After learning so much about the world that Kaylee lives in, she knows that there are no such things as coincidences.

But before Kaylee gets time to even digest the information that her teacher is an incubus, another bomb gets dropped on her. This time, it was the news of her upcoming death. That's right; Kaylee was going to die in six days. Her extended time was already up.

Instead of constantly grieving about her lost time, Kaylee decides to put everything right. And it's no small list. Not only did she have to find a way to prevent her dad from trying to exchange his life for hers, but she also had to keep her enamored best friend, Emma, away from this teacher, who is looking less and less innocent by the second.

Turns out that Mr. Beck, the incubus, is doing all he can to get himself a son, an heir incubus, because he's also running out of time. However, if the fetus does turn out to be male, they generally end up in a miscarriage or they kill the mother carrying them before they are born because of a human's inability to give birth to one. So, that means more than one poor girl out there is carrying a potential monster baby. And not all of them will make it. Some will die, while others will be so messed up from the miscarriage that they won't be able to ever have kids again, like Danica. So Kaylee has taken it upon herself to end Mr. Beck's extracurricular activities before her time ends.

I was really impressed with Kaylee's character in this book. Although she knew that she was going to die, Kaylee didn't fall into a state of denial. Instead, she accepted it calmly, because there was no way that she would be able to get a second extension. Despite her calm exterior, there was the occasional overwhelming feelings of panic and fear, but it was only expected of someone who only had a matter of days left to live. Kaylee also decided to do everything she could to make the her passing away safer and easier for everyone. And that included her boyfriend, Nash. She knew that there was one person out there who would be able to be there for him after she was six feet under and Kaylee accepted that fact.

Instead of leaving others to deal with the problem with the incubus, Kaylee was determined to end it before her death, so she could go peacefully, knowing that those she loved were safe. And so, she spent the last of her days plotting and researching anything that had to do with Mr. Beck.

Her relationship with her father tugged at my heart. I really felt the pain that they went through at the news of Kaylee's death. Aiden Cavanaugh finally had his daughter back after thirteen years of absence, only to lose her not six months from their reunion. He had already lost her once and couldn't bear the thought of losing her again. And so, Kaylee's father does all that he could, even begging the reapers to take his life instead of his daughter's.

Another character that shone in this book was of course, everyone's favorite not-so-dead reaper, Tod Hudson. Although they were not supposed to deliver news of one's impending death to the receiver, he did so because Kaylee was someone that he cared deeply for. And it hurt him that there wasn't anything that he could do. There were no second extensions.

Tod has been wrestling with his humanity throughout the series because after being death for more than two years, it was starting to slip away from him, leaving him numb and unfeeling. Normally, it was difficult for Kaylee to read Tod's emotions because he refuses to let anyone see them, but in this book, Tod feels so much that even he isn't able to control them. And some of his feelings start to show themselves to Kaylee.

But what really captured my heart was the fact that he was always there for Kaylee when she needed him. He knew that despite Kaylee's cool and calm exterior, she was terrified about dying. And he would support her in whatever she did, no matter how crazy or dangerous it seemed. There was a major part in the book where Tod did something so unbelievably heroic that it blew my mind away. He knew the risks that he was taking, but he took them anyway, for the sake of the girl that he loved. And for that, Kaylee was finally able to really see him.

The book was really fast paced and despite it being a re-read for me, I couldn't put it down at all. Each page had me craving for more. It was just that unbelievably amazing. Not to mention loving everything that happened in book that had to do something with the goodness that is Tod. It was about time that he got the spotlight and I was ecstatic with the result because he deserved every second of it.

Rachel Vincent did an OUTSTANDING job with this one and I loved reading every word. I am so so happy that I got a chance to read this really amazing series because I would have totally been missing out if I didn't. Now, I'm waiting anxiously for the next one, Before I Wake, because not only am I positive that it will be mind-blowing-fantastic, but also because I love her characters enough to want to know what will happen to them.

Some of my favorite quotes:
-"You just say the word, and I'll make the rest of the world go away. I'll take you someplace safe, where no one else can reach us." (page 140)

-"There's a good kind of crazy..... It's the kind that makes you think about things that make your head hurt, because not thinking about them is the coward's way out. The kind that makes you touch people who bruise your soul, just because they need to be touched. This is the kind of crazy that lets you stare out into the darkness and rage at eternity, while it stares back at you, ready to swallow you whole." (page 244)

-"... I would do anything for the girl who granted my dying wish." (page 280)

Source: Owned
My rating:  5 Coffee cups (Loved it and couldn't put it down... if I gave off the scale ratings, I definitely would for this one!)


  1. Totally agree on this one! My review is not up yet (it should be on... Tuesday? I can't remember when I scheduled, but it's this coming week) but for me it was an amazing book. Even if I didn't like the characters (which I did) and hadn't been in love with their relationships (which I totally am) I'd still applaud Ms. Vincent for the risks she has taken about Nash and Tod, and for executing it so well that I went along all the way.

    I actually had been going along since book 3, but anyway.

    Great review! Thanks for sharing it :)

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my review!It was definitely an amazing book; I can't stress that enough. I agree! The risk that she took was a really dangerous one, considering the sides that her readers have taken. There is bound to be someone who hates how If I Die ended, but I'm really happy that she did make it happen. The book totally had me glued to each page and I loved every moment of it.

      Can't wait to see what you thought of it! :D

  2. Tod.Tod.Tod. I can't get enough of him.

    1. He is perfection. And totally crush-worthy!! ^_^