I just finished book two in Terri Blackstock’s most recent If I Run series. I reread the first book titled If I Run, so I’d be up to speed for If I’m Found.
I’ve read several other series by Terri Blackstock and have felt my time was well spent on each one. I like her clear, get to the point and get right into the action style. She’s a master at tension, even when you know who the culprit is, and she has great plot twists. Her books are clean and they carry a message.
And she keeps getting better.
That is a problem for me. You see, I read before bed every night. My goal is to read until I’m ready to fall asleep. Unfortunately, I find many books that oblige that scenario. But if a story grabs me, I’ll push through the head nods and read until morning. Then I’ll find excuses to stop work and continue into the next day. It usually exhausts me but is such a treat.
Late night reading isn’t the best time for the story that puts you on the edge of your seat, or causes your pulse to increase, or one that produces tension, but that’s Terri Blackstock. As I moved into the last third of If I’m Found I stressed over Casey’s worsening situation and actually got annoyed at Terri Blackstock for making things so hard for the heroine. For Pete’s sake, I just wanted the poor girl to have some happiness. She got so close and then it was ripped from her, time and again. ARGH!!!
When I Finished
When I finished I was totally annoyed that I couldn’t grab the next book, If I live, and start reading. I’d put a hold on it at the library and when I checked I was number 17 on the waiting list. Geesh! I considered purchasing the Kindle Edition for speed but I’d really like a hard copy, so it’s going to take a couple days to arrive. And then I have to decide whether I want to read through beginning to end, or whether I want to read slowly and savor the writing and the story. (I’m a binge reader at heart). So you see? The third book isn’t even here, and it’s already causing stress!
Would I like to create this kind of anxiety for my readers? Do I want them annoyed at me while they’re so hooked they can’t stop reading?
But then I wonder, could I live with a mind that created that much trouble and so many twists, and tortured her heroes and heroines along with her readers?
Yup, I think I could learn to deal with it!
So now it’s your turn. Who do you read that grabs you so hard you can’t put the book down even though it causes stress? I’d love to know.
Barbara Ellin Fox