If I Die Before I Wake: Book Review

If I Die Before I Wake by Martii Maclean. A YA Novel of sleep that is not like you would expect. Miss Jenny's ClassroomSleep. It lasts longer than the average person for those cursed. A chance encounter – will it end forever?

Title: If I Die Before I Wake
Author: Martii Maclean
ISBN: 9781760401085          Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Themes: future, cause and effect, human impact

What’s it about?
This is Vreni’s story. She and all the female members of her family have lived with a sleeping curse (like a modern-day Sleeping Beauty). Vreti is determined that the curse will be ended and that no more of her family will suffer. On a rare day out Vreni’s world changes forever when she meets the handsome, charming William, and her sister Rita falls into another long-sleep.

Embrace
Interesting and unique concept.

Beware
There are some “difficult to work out how to pronounce” words that come up frequently. Extremely descriptive to the point of distraction.

My Thoughts
If I Die Before I Wake by Martii Maclean. A YA Novel of sleep that is not like you would expect. Miss Jenny's ClassroomI was really drawn into the title and the premise of this book. It seemed like it had so much to offer and I began reading it right away. Unfortunately this book contains some of the elements I dislike the most in books.

Insta-love. Yep it’s a pet peeve. If you aren’t 100% sure what I mean it’s the “I meet and fall madly in love with a guy” – it’s one of the leading reasons I hated Cloudwish as well for those who have followed the reviews here for a while. I didn’t care for William, I thought him an overconfident, irritating jerk. Throughout the plot he was either in the way or rescuing and I often wondered if he really needed to be in the book at all – save for the “twist” at the end (which I had already worked out before the book told me.

Speaking of characters. I did kind of like Rita – there was an honesty and relatable tone to her voice and characterisation that I really did like. The father and uncle – meh. The leading lady Vretni? Honestly, I didn’t care for her at all and I think it was because of the writing style.

This book is probably suffering because I recently finished books such as The Starfish Talisman (for YA fantasy/supernatural fans) and Golden Curse (for older YA fantasy/fairytale retelling/butt-kicking MC) which were exceptionally good. Perhaps especially with Golden Curse (a retelling of Rapunzel) it really set a high benchmark for retellings and his one of Sleeping Beauty just didn’t cut it.

I found the book incredibly wordy and the storyline seemed to drag. It took forever to get to some action but the complicated storyline, lack of emotions from the characters…it just didn’t work for me.

I think this story idea had a lot of potential but it suffers from many of the same issues I raised with Cloudwish. I would have personally preferred to see Sabina accompany Vreni on her journey – but even then the journey was slow, bogged down with too much tell and not enough show. It desperately needed more dialogue and characters you actually wanted to see succeed.

Not one for me I’m afraid.

 

What do you think?