If I Run by Terri Blackstock
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This had so much potential. It started great and seemed as if it was going to be a fast paced mystery/suspense story.
Unfortunately, it then became super preachy and really started to drag. In fact, there's not even a full plot here. The main plot arc of the story never reaches the climax or resolution. You basically only get 3/5ths of a book here. They do resolve the secondary plot, but since we all showed up for the primary plot and got a big fat nothing, who really cares? There is literally no effective ending, conclusion, or resolution for this book. It just finally stops preaching and comes to a random halt. Combine that with the pacing issues, and what you get is structurally disappointing.
As for the preachiness, that would be totally fine with me if it was true to the characters. Unfortunately, characters would just randomly and suddenly behave out of character and start spouting out these poorly written monologues about the value of God, religion, Christianity and being saved. . . characters who had previously not shown or expressed any instance or moment of being religious, or even Christian. No. Just no.
I will read any well-written book with religious characters, but this is not that. It's not well-written, which is the heart of the problem. The initial concept is great, and with all the blood and excitement at the start, it's hard to look away. Then you realize that the dialogue sounds unnatural, the characters motivations don't align with who the characters are supposed to be, and the author just likes to randomly out of the blue preach religious testimony at you---and it's not even good religious testimony or convincing. It's more like that guy who stands on the corner of the street shouting out cliche comments about religion to passersby. If you are going to suddenly and randomly spew religion at me, at least make it creative or convincing.
Pair the preachiness with the poorly written story and the fact that about the last 1/3 of beats and story elements are completely missing, and all of that overpowers the fact that this was initially an interesting story concept.
In the beginning, I would have given it four stars. By the mid-point, I was down to 3, and by the end, this was 1 star for me. I almost gave this 2 stars, since it started okay, but since I honestly wouldn't recommend this to anyone, it gets the dreaded 1 star.
Book 174 read in 2018
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