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If She Wakes

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,510 ratings  ·  540 reviews
Discover the electrifying new novel from New York Times bestselling author Michael Koryta, the "master" (Stephen King) of thriller writing, the story of two women fighting for their lives against an enigmatic killer.

Tara Beckley is a senior at idyllic Hammel College in Maine. As she drives to deliver a visiting professor to a conference, a horrific car accident kills the p
Hardcover, 394 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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Mandy Laferriere I think this would be totally fine for a high school reader.
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  3,510 ratings  ·  540 reviews

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Susanne  Strong
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 Awesome, Tension Filled Stars!

A Visiting Professor, murdered. College Student, Tara Beckley, now in a Coma.

An Insurance Investigator is positive that the Police have it all wrong. A Hit Man covering up the tracks. Is anyone safe?

As Abby Kaplan, the Insurance Investigator discovers, the answer to that question is no. Lucky for her, she has agility, speed and intelligence on her side. The Hit Man Dax, however, never loses. Ever.

“If She Wakes” by Michael Koryta is one heck of a thrilling ride d
Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Nov)
A college student, Tara Beckley, finds herself entangled in a sinister plot when her part-time job gives her the assignment of transporting a professor to a conference.

The tension builds as they travel along and you just know something is just not quite right.  Wild ride ahead...

Things go horribly wrong, some bad dudes are on the hunt for information and it turns into an action-packed, dodging bullets and run for your life ride. The beginning pieces of the puzzle start to emerge as the event
Chelsea Humphrey
This wasn't a bad book, but I'm starting to feel that I'm just not 100% compatible with Michael Koryta's new books. This is a shame, because I'm an avid cheerleader of all his older works, and perhaps this makes me biased, but it's tough to engage with your standard mob thriller when you know an author can offer so much more than your run-of-the-mill gangster plot. This also felt a smidge too long, and if it had been shaved down a little to provide a snappy, faster paced reading experience, I ma ...more
3.5 stars

I was a big fan of this author’s Lincoln Perry series but it’s been a while so I was happy to get my hands on his latest stand alone. For me this was very much a book of 2 halves. I see you squinting at me so I’ll try to explain but first, the 411.

“Nineteen minutes before her brain and body parted ways, Tara Beckley’s concern was the cold.”

Got your attention? That’s the opening line & you may wonder if it might be a good idea not to get too attached to poor Tara. No worries. After a car
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Little Brown for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
So much of the terrain is unknown, but none of it is unknowable.
There is a critical difference in that.

When I say this book went at breakneck speed, what I mean is it literally was so fast and twisty that, at one point, I literally snapped my head up and gasped so quickly that I headed my neck pop.

This definitely isn't your average thriller even though it did have all the tropes of one. If She Wakes tak
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Too bad this high octane thriller fizzles at the end like an evaporating mist.! -1. Write a stronger end, Mr. Koryta! 8 of 10 stars
Patrice Hoffman
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Michael Koryta has grown to be one of my favorite suspense writers over the last few years. His novels are intricately woven with thrilling characters, plowing through a plot that just won't let go. If She Wakes does not disappoint.

Tara Beckley is given the responsibility of welcoming a professor who's scheduled to give a speech at her college in Maine. One moment she's wondering why the professor is behaving so strangely, and the next, she's a prisoner in her own body. A fatal crash leaves her
Sheila Beaumont
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant thriller! Locked-in syndrome has been done before, but not like this.
Kat Dietrich

If She Wakes by Michael is a psychological thriller

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Little, Brown and Company, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis: (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Tara Beckley, a student at Hammel College, is currently escorting a rather tense Dr. Armandi Oltamu, back to the school so he can speak to the students on “batteries”. On the way,
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Tara is tasked with one thing - get a VIP to his destination by a certain time. So why did that VIP die and she in a coma? Clearly something is afoot. The crappy thing about being in a coma, besides the obvious.... being trapped inside (locked-in syndrome) while your memories start to come back but no way to communicate or let anyone around her know she's actually in there. HELLOOOOO!

Dax - young, scary and eerily calm... didn't quite fulfill the job he was assigned and now he has to clean up the
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, actually.

To the best of my recollection, I've read only one other book by Michael Koryta (Rise the Dark in 2016, to which I gave 5 stars). And "Short Story," which he co-wrote with Karin Slaughter for the 2017 Matchup compilation was my favorite of the bunch. So it was that I was delighted to get an advance review copy of this book from the publisher (via NetGalley). In fact, I stayed delighted all the way through the nonstop action; when I got within shouting distance of the end, not
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one.

Surprisingly, my favorite character was Tara - and she was basically locked in her own body.

Definitely some surprises throughout and it was nicely twisty.

I was a little less enthralled with the reason behind everything, but the book kept my interest. I simply had to keep reading to find out how everything would end.

A good read.
Tara Beckley is escorting a professor to speak at her university when tragedy strikes. A runaway van collides with Tara’s CR-V instantly killing the professor and sending Tara careening into a nearby river. A short time later, Tara awakens to discover she is fully conscious and aware but unable to communicate with the outside world – a victim of “locked-in syndrome”.

Private Investigator Abby Kaplan has been hired by the university to look into the accident and remove any shred of liability on th
Jon Recluse
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, netgalley
A tragic auto accident in a Maine college town has left a visiting professor dead, and his senior escort, Tara Beckley with locked in syndrome.....fully conscious, but unable to move.
And in extreme danger.
An accident that may not have been accidental, yet didn't go the way it should have.
Someone is out to clean up the mess....and the bodies begin to drop....

Koryta's latest is an engaging thriller that takes Murphy's Law for a breakneck ride, which the author masterfully keeps right at the edge o
Janet Newport
I've read several of Koryta's books in the past and they have really resonated with me.

I almost gave up on this one about the 30% mark. It started off so slow and I had a tough time connecting to any of the characters. The story really started to pick up after a third of the way in and from then on it was non-stop. It jumped back and forth between Abby (the investigator) and Tara (the accident). I started to warm to the characters, but never really connected to any of them. But the story was int
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
Disappointingly, especially because I did enjoy the writing, I just couldn't get into this story. At all. Too many side stories, and too many characters that I didn't care about. I'll have to look into other novels by Koryta because If She Wakes surely can't be his best work.

If She Wakes begins with Tara Beckley, a senior in college, driving an important man to an event. A horrific accident occurs, which leaves the man dead and Tara in a coma with locked-in syndrome, seemingly brain dead to
Bonnie Brody
Tara Beckley is a college student who committed to delivering Amandi Oltamu to his keynote presentation on campus. He asks her for the scenic tour on the way to campus and appears agitated and worried about something. At one point, they stop and Dr. Oltamu asks if he can take a picture of Tara. She sees that his phone is different from any other she's observed and, right after he snaps her photo and she locks the phone in her glove compartment at his request, he is killed by a car that rams into ...more
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Michael Koryta for years. When I first started my blog, I was enamored with the way he mixed supernatural elements into the plots of his thrillers. More recently, Koryta has cranked out new standalone mysteries, eschewing the temptation of settling into a regular series in favor of original plots and characters. I enjoyed How It Happened so much that I instantly vowed to read whatever he came up with next. Koryta's publisher generously provided me a copy of If She Wakes, which ...more
Bruce Hatton
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us-crime
This is a highly original and brilliantly constructed novel which centres around two young women.
Tara Beckley, a senior student at a rural college who is seriously injured during a car accident which kills the visiting professor she’s been escorting. Tara’s body is totally paralysed, although her mind is still fully active; so-called “locked-in syndrome”.
Abby Kaplan, a former stunt driver, is working as an insurance investigator and looking into Tara’s case. She soon realises the car crash was n
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a classic example of what happens when authors deviate from what they do best to fit into a box of what the reading audience is looking for at the moment. Unfortunately, Michael Koryta did this with his latest stand-alone novel "If She Wakes." As psychological thrillers seem to be the norm now-a-days doesn't mean every author can or needs to write one. Mr. Koryta's "Lincoln Perry" series is wonderful and he should just stick with what he does best. **Net Galley and the publisher provided ...more
Darcia Helle
If She Wakes is a multi-layered psychological thriller. Because there are so many different facets to this story, it takes a while for all the pieces to start fitting together. Initially, it might feel like there are too many different subplots, but once they connect the story is an intense roller coaster ride.

I found the parts featuring Tara and locked-in syndrome to be both compelling and disturbing. Despite her character never leaving the bed, she brought a lot of emotion and intensity to the
Susanne Gulde
Thanks to Little, Brown & Co. for the digital review copy through Edelweiss.
I could not put this book down! I love all the strong female characters and I couldn't wait to read what happened with all of them. There is also a seriously creepy villain. I will definitely be acquiring this book for our library and recommending it to patrons and friends.
Victoria Mcvicker
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
What an interesting plot and it certainly kept my attention. Wish I could remember where the Blackwell family first surfaced, but resurrecting them by bringing in the son was an interesting move. Koryta has such a great writing style! I will continue to look forward to his books.
Paris        (kerbytejas)
I enjoyed the story concept, but the execution of the concept seemed too long-winded. I feel like about 100 pages could have been dropped from the story and nothing would have been lost. The book also lacked the edgy, scary, thrilling feeling that many of Mr. Koryta's books have, and I missed that.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was first introduced to Koryta's novels when I read an ARC of How it Happened. So when this title popped up, I knew I had to have it! The book focuses on Tara, a young student who is volunteering her time to guide a guest speaker to his destination when an horrific car accident leaves him dead and her in a coma with locked in syndrome; she can't move or speak but can see, hear, and is aware of everything going on around her. Enter Abby, a retired race car driver and a kick-ass, somewhat "broke ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read it!

This is the classic "just one more chapter"; this book redefines unputdownable! If you like the book description, go in blind, don't bother with the reviews, not even mine. It outshines every other thriller I've read this year, in many years. It is one of the best thrillers ever!

IF SHE WAKES starts out in very dramatic fashion, with the "accident" where Dr. Oltamu is murdered and university student Tara Beckley left in a coma. Then it slows down a little as the other characters are intro
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first few chapters have scenes and characters that are seemingly unrelated. Senior college student Tara Beckley picks up a professor to deliver to a keynote presentation. The professor asks her to stop so he can take pictures and he asks her to lock his phone in the dash pocket of her car. They are broadsided by a van.

In the second chapter, Lisa Boone is at the airport waiting for some unknown person to fly in. Next, Dax Blackwell kills Carlos Ramirez. Turns out Carlos is the driver of the
Time for me to forgive Kortya for having given up horror novels, which were always excellent. This is another first-rate thriller and features a young woman college student involved in an accident while escorting a visiting speaker (who was killed in that suspicious accident) who ends up with locked-in syndrome; a race-car driving female insurance investigator with a tragic past who recognizes early on that the accident was murder and is determined to get to the bottom of things; and a ruthless, ...more
I have to give this 4 stars for the pure entertainment value. The perspectives from all the different characters as they raced to figure out what happened, to save themselves or get rid of threats kept this book moving fast. This is my third book by this author and I think I definitely need to read more of his books.
Luanne Ollivier
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If suspense, mystery, non stop action and a factor of 10 for unputdownabilty sounds good to you, then you're going to want to pick up Michael Koryta's latest book, If She Wakes.

University student Tara is chauffeuring a visiting lecturer to his next talk when they are involved in a terrible accident. The lecturer is killed and Tara is grievously injured and left in a brain dead state - or so it appears. Abby is a insurance adjuster battling her own demons. But she is certain that the crash was no
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Michael Koryta (pronounced Ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times-bestselling author of 14 suspense novels. His work has been praised by Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, Daniel Woodrell, Ron Rash, and Scott Smith among many others, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. His books have won or been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Boo ...more

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