Melinda Gale

Fitness & Lifestyle

Summer Reading: If I Run Series

When picking the perfect Summer read, you want something that is going to keep you hooked until the very end. That's exactly what Terri Blackstock's If I Run series did for me! 


The first book in the series is *spoiler alert*, If I Run

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

While it took me a bit to get into the book, a chapter or so in, I was hooked. Immediately, I was struck by the writing style and the main character. While you never want to be in a situation where you are wanted for murder, the book really makes you think of what you would do. You can tell the the author really spent time thinking of all of the possible scenarios that Casey Cox might encounter. Throughout the series, I was extremely impressed. 


Towards the end of If I Run, I got my hopes up. Casey's drama might almost be over!!! Then I remembered there were two other books in the series and I knew I was in for a wild ride. If I'm Found was a lot easier for me to get into than the first book because I was so invested. I just wanted Casey to have a normal life!! The entire read, I was impressed, again, by the thought, detail, and research that went into this book. I found myself wishing the situation was real so I could go and help, in whatever way a complete stranger helps a person who's on the run from a corrupt police force. 


After very quickly flying through If I'm Found, I was excited to pick up If I LiveI was so ready for Casey's situation to be over. I was ready for Dylan to finally have a normal job and a normal life. I wanted everyone to be one big happy family again. Does that ever really happen? Not without a few insane bumps in the road. Again, I flew through this book in about two days. Blackstock spared no expense with the suspense in this book. Literally, it blew my mind but I was pleased at how it all came together.

A few things you may notice in the series is that there is an underlying Christian theme to the books. At first, I rolled my eyes a bit because being raised conservative Christian, I read all the teen Christian novels of the late 90's. However, I feel like the theme isn't completely in your face and wouldn't be too uncomfortable for those non-believers. As I continued reading, I came to appreciate it, honestly. Here was a book where the suspensful story was the shining star, not a ton of gross, unneeded sex scenes. There's a bit of romance but nothing that would take away from the story. 

All in all, I really enjoyed the entire series and look forward to reading a few more of Terri Blackstock's books! That is, after I get through my massive "To Read" pile under my coffee table. When I finished this series, I picked up Sisters First by the Bush twins (which I adored) and Still Me, the third installment of the Me Before You series by JoJo Moyers. 

What are you currently reading?