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If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

If I Die Before I Wake

If I Die Before I Wake

If  Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch


If I Die Before I Wake was the first 2018 release I picked up and I really hope that this is not indicative of the rest of the year… Although highly anticipated, I included a couple of misgivings on the possible duplication of plot and cover of another January 2018 book in my  Adding to TBR January 2018 post. I can’t comment on this yet as I haven’t read the other book but as it turns out this story was disappointing enough all on its own.

As I drifted into awareness I heard voices, mid-conversation.

In a nutshell, the book is extremely slow and pretty boring. Narrated in the first person by the victim whose unusual unreliable point of view could have heightened the suspense but in reality, just didn’t work. I think the addition of a second narrator may have made a difference to the pacing and increased suspense.

The damp sheets started to cool and my skin itched.

Spoiler Alert!



Not only is the narrator in a coma, he slips in and out of sleep for the majority of the story and he relies only on his patchy memory and the murky overheard conversations of his hospital visitors.


They came in later that day, or maybe the day after, I can’t be sure.

I felt the narrator’s personality patronising and unlikable and his never-ending circular path of introspection doesn’t add anything positive to the story. I just wished he would shut up! To top it off the ending is a damp fizzle.

The last thing I remembered before I lost consciousness…

But, and here is the thing, I finished it. So there’s that. Which is why I’ve given it a second star.

2 Star

In the middle of the night, I woke up as I often did, disoriented and sweating. Where am I?




Title: If I Die Before I Wake

Author: Emily Koch

Publication Date: 11 January 2018

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Source: Review copy



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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. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.


  1. Veronika Éles

    Ooh, glad to see someone else feeling the same way about this one! I expected this to be a pretty cool and unique book- with the added fear-factor of the narrator not being able to protect himself, or communicate his thoughts to others – but it was awful. I like unreliable narrators, but it was pretty tough to have a narrator whose memory is full of holes and shares information slowly and inconsistently.

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

  2. Kimberly Sabatini

    Ugh! I recently finished FAR FROM THE TREE and it was so good I had to read a non-fiction book to get over the loss. *sigh* Hope your 2018 list turns around fast. <3

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