(Note: Renee's Review contains spoilers for If I Die)
Holy…. swiss cheese. That was…. indescribable. Wow. I don't know what it is about this book that makes me want to laugh and cry and do a little dance in pure joy of the moment all at the same time. There is just something so special about this book that leaves me speechless. So much wonderful all crammed into so few pages that are never enough; it's just not fair. There's a lust demon posing as her math teacher (if that's not proof enough that math's evil, then I don't know what is), her boyfriend's falling off the wagon again, and oh wait, there's more: she's dying! But that's not all!
There's Tod. Oh my Tod. Sweet, sweet Tod. You've always been there for Kaylee when she needs you, and now you're finally making your big debut. I don't know what there is that I can possible say about you that won't ruin the story for anyone more than I already have, but I must mention that you were completely right all along. Apricot jam really is where it's at.
But back to the most pressing matter at hand: Kaylee's death. It's not really surprising that she tries to set the world to rights before she's gone, it's what she does. She puts the weight of the world upon her shoulders and never tries to shrug the burden off onto another because she thinks it's her job. As heroines go, she's not going to be donning a cape and taking the comic book world by storm anytime soon, but she doesn't have to have super strength or shoot laser beams out of her eyes to be a superhero. Kaylee has something that kryptonite could never give her: a heart. Cheesy as that may sound, she is a purely good person. While that may have come back to bite her in the butt, Kaylee is undeniably one of those few characters that readers are always proud to watch grow because they know that she will never disappoint.
Sabine, surprisingly, has gained a bit of my respect in this book as well. While some may argue that's it's only Kaylee's impending demise that's shining a light upon her soul, I disagree. Sabine's really not that bad of a person. Sure her "passion" may be described as "ruthless," but when has she ever done anything to really hurt someone just for the fun of it? That's true evil, and that's not her. In this book, we see how an abandoned little girl was left for dead because of something she couldn't control, and how she is terrified of becoming the monster that so many people believe her to be. While no one will ever mistake her for a loveable teddy bear, she does care for those few that believe in her, and considering everything she's ever been through, I'd say she didn't turn out so badly.
That is, except for her choice in males. Oh Nash, how I despise you. You have really gone downhill lately and your ways of dealing with unfortunate situations certainly leave something to be desired. I'm afraid the world is not plotting against you, and dare I say it, you might be partially responsible for some of what's been going down. It need not be said that you don't exactly exude grace under pressure, but really man, words hurt. Just because you're having a bad day, doesn't mean that you can take the rest of the world down with you. Show some class.
Luckily, the most renowned Rachel Vincent has weaved enough amazing-ness into this book to cover up his frequent social blunders. This book really is the "BEST ONE YET!", and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for it. It's impossible to try to put this book into words worthy enough to describe it, but I can think of at least one that fits:
Rating: ∞ stars