Hey, y’all! Today is going to be a book review on “And Then You Die” by Iris Johansen.
I should probably start off with full disclosure, & say that this is one of my favorite books of all time lol. How I came across this book is actually a funny story. My sophomore year of high school was my first, & only, year of high school at a public school. For our midterm assignment, we were required to go to the school’s library & choose a book. I was pretty excited about this, because I knew that this library would have books that my old school would never have allowed on campus lol. The book we chose would be what we wrote about in an essay that would be a huge chunk of our grade. While roaming the library, I saw “And Then You Die” & was immediately intrigued. I grabbed it, read the back, checked it out of the library, & started reading it as soon as I got home from school that day. It was a time BEFORE “50 Shades of Grey”, so when I came across a sex scene in the book I felt pretty scandalized lol. Anyway, I obviously ended up LOVING the book & purchased it from my local bookstore after I had to return the school’s copy to their library. I just put down the book after reading it for the 7th time since my sophomore year of high school, so I knew I had to make a post about it. Here’s an overview –
Bess Grady is the main character. She is working on recovering from an extremely traumatizing event that occurred while she was out of the country for her job as a photojournalist. To help her recover & get back in the swing of things, she takes a seemingly easy assignment from her boss. The assignment is to go to Tenajo, Mexico & take photos for a travel magazine. Bess, somewhat unwillingly, allows her sister (Emily) to tag along. When the sisters reach Tenajo, however, it’s much more than Bess or Emily bargained for. A horribly devastating event in Tenajo sends Bess on a whirlwind of adventure to save her sister, & maybe even millions of other lives, with a man named Kaldak, who is a known killer. She struggles with her own inner-turmoil, the man she isn’t sure if she should trust, & even members of the government on her journey.
Okay. I must say this – Bess Grady is a bitch. She is a know-it-all, pushy, & bitchy pretty much 90% of the time. She can be annoying, but if you can handle her attitude & try to understand it, then I think you’ll enjoy this book. What I mean when I say, “try to understand it” is this – This woman’s world has been turned upside down. From the moment she sets foot in Tenajo it’s basically like her life isn’t her own. Imagine how you would feel if you walked, unknowingly, into a town where everyone was dead, & then you were constantly shoved around by men higher up on the totem pole than you as a result. I can imagine that most of us would be pretty disagreeable & pretty bitchy ourselves. So let’s try to give Bess a little slack. With the exception of her attitude, the only other not-so-positive thing I can say about this book is it’s pretty unrealistic. Like, movie-quality-unrealistic. But come on, y’all. This is a book! Like a movie, it’s suppose to help you use your imagination & take you places that reality can’t! Isn’t that one of the reasons we read? To experience things & adventures that we’d never be able to experience in real life?
Also, I really like the characters in this book. Johansen did a really nice job with them. As I said, Bess is somewhat annoying, but it’s understandable. Also, the twists & turns in this book are great. The thing that kills all of the citizens in Tenajo will most likely surprise you. I certainly didn’t see it coming, & when I read it I had to stop & say, “Daaaaaaamn” lol. Anyway, I could probably go on & on about this book. I know that it has mixed reviews, because Johansen fans weren’t too impressed with it. I guess I can understand that, but this was my first, & is the only, book I’ve read by her. I think you should give it a chance, if you haven’t already. If you’ve read it already, let me know what you thought. I’d really like to know if there are any others out there who love it as much as I do. If you didn’t like it, why not? Let me know!