Review From User :
If I Die Tonight is a smartly-written, complex and thoroughly engaging story by award-winning author Alison Gaylin. The dark secrets and many plot twists kept me riveted!
A father-absent household...this book demonstrates the detrimental effects father hunger has on children (teenaged boys in this particular story.)
Wade Reed, the oldest son, is troubled and suffers from difficulties with social adjustment.
Connor Reed, the youngest son, is loving to his mother and loyal to his brother, although Connor is suffering from increasing ostracism at school due to his brother's reputation.
Jackie, the devoted divorced mother of Wade and Connor, is stretched too thin as a rule and is now overwhelmed with worry and fear, and growing despair over the turn of events, and the sons she thought she knew.
Small town politics are explored. Liam Miller's good looks, athletic ability, and wealthy family make him the most popular boy in school. Naturally, Liam's death is mourned by his friends, family, and the community. The majority want to portray the once heroic football star as if he died a heroic death. But did he really
Wade Reed is troubled and poor, socially inept, and finds himself easily blamed by the community for Liam's death.
Social media explodes over the death of Liam and the ensuing investigation. Teens as well as parents are tuned into social media.
Acts of violence, cruelty, and threatening posts on social media are aimed at Wade and Connor.
The complexities of parenting teenagers in an age of social media, a timely issue convincingly portrayed. The secret lives of teens, which has always been present, is now compounded by social media usage.
In longtime friends and coworkers, the surprising human weakness that is sometimes displayed in various forms, of differing motivations...and the dark secrets that may lie hidden in those we least expect...
I was especially impressed with Alison Gaylin's keen observations on the generational changes which have affected the parenting of adolescents.
Loud, blaring rock music was once part and parcel of teenage rebellion and growing up. Its absence has gone nearly unnoticed, but the book refers to the forgotten days of teens turning the music up loud in order to annoy their parents.
Teens of today are less "knowable," a theme that feels true and is wisely explored by the author. Not only can we not hear the music they are plugged into on their devices, we also don't know what their peers have texted or posted on their various social media accounts. With their eyes glued to their phones, parents have less interaction with them.
As a result, if teens are struggling, or suffering, parents are less likely to know. It is heartbreaking to think we may not know if or when our teens may need help. An important wake up call. I loved this book, and I hope many others will read and enjoy it also!
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 to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?
The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn’t, why won’t he talk?
Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints – Wade’s mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past, If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets – and the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves.