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If She Wakes

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  63 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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Sharon Sample There are numerous murders in the book, but no graphic sex. It is marvelously written so I think young adult readers will enjoy it.

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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  156 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Holly  B
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 events
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
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
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
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
Mar 02, 2019 marked it as arcs-to-read

Many thanks to Little Brown for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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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
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
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.
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
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
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
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, audio
**I received a Listener's Copy from Libro.FM and an eArc from Edelweiss**

I love Michael Koryta since I was introduced to his novels by a Stephen King Summer Reads list. I loved his book Rise the Dark, and If She Wakes was even more edge-of-your-seat tension. I loved, loved, loved all of the strong female characters (Tara and her sister, Abby), and I loved the plot.
Chris DiLeo
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quick Review:
This high-octane thriller gives you everything you want in a great story: an irresistible hook, realistic characters, believable surprises, and one heck of a finale.

Longer review:
There's a scene in Michael Koryta's latest thriller, IF SHE WAKES, in which a violent sociopath admonishes another character for asking obvious questions: "Who are you? What do you want? It gets tedious to be the guy with the gun" (145). In less skilled hands, a reader might sympathize, but we are in the
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I knew when I saw If She Wakes by Michael Koryta that I wanted to read it. I own (and enjoyed) How It Happened and Those Who Wish Me Dead, so I appreciated the chance to read the latest offering thanks to Little, Brown & Company and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

In this latest thriller from Mr Koryta, a student named Tara Beckley is driving a visiting guest speaker to a conference at the college she attends. A grisly car accident leaves her in a coma and the visiting speaker dea
Judy Odom
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you haven't read anything by Michael Koryta this book is a good place to start.

Michael never disappoints.

If She Wakes is a page turning psychological thriller .

Tara is a student who drives visiting dignitaries around but this drive did not go as expected.

It leaves Tara in a coma and she is the only one with the answers and her life is still in danger.

Dax , my favourite character, just happens to be a professional killer , is looking to find out what Tara knows.

Abby is out to thwart him.

Janice Lombardo
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another winner for Michael Koryta!

Tara, while driving a doctor to his keynote speech at her college, is asked to take a bit of an offshoot so Dr. Oltamu can sight-see. Here, he wants to take pictures. Just following the picture-taking, a crash into Tara's car kills Oltamu and renders Tara in a paralytic locked-in state. As the reader finds out more, this is not one incident.There are a myriad of people and reasons for this unfortunate act.

We meet everyone from doctors to hired killers in this st
May 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, vine
This book contains all the elements that should make me love it: strong female characters, evil villains, suspenseful plot, but I just am not able to get into the book. It is not making it past my 100-page rule, which states that if I am not engrossed in a book by Page 100, I stop reading it. In this case I barely made it past 50 pages before deciding that I was wasting my time.

For one thing, there have been several excellent books published in the past couple of years with characters with locke
Dan Radovich
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVED IT. Koryta adds another great thriller to his catalog. The bond of family is a strong plot point in his newest work. Tara is the surviving victim of a hired hit, and the killer is after her. Her sister, Shannon, is prepared to stop anyone from bothering her. Details of their lives are slowly brought out in perfectly timed prose. I have been a fan of Koryta's since his first book and his writing has grown stronger over the years. He writes a strong believable story, and I enjoyed that the k ...more
Donna Hines
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Remember the dream you're falling off a cliff, or the one in which you want to scream but can't for whatever reason...Ahhh the power of the mind!
YES!! This is what we have here as Tara a senior in college finds herself behind the eight ball when her car accident leaves her in a vegetative state, or was she brain dead, perhaps she's locked in, and wait she's also a coma crime stopper all rolled into one.
I know it's a lot to swallow but before you take that pill remember this - nothing is ever as
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read, really enjoyed it. It's one of those books once you start reading you won't be able to put it down until you've finished.  Fast paced, non-stop action, strong female characters, just a really good thriller. Thanks to Goodreads and Little, Brown and Company for the opportunity to review an advanced copy.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If She Wakes by Michael Koryta is a very highly recommended, fast-paced thriller.

Tara Beckley, a senior at Hammel College in Maine, is the contact person to drive visiting lecturer Amandi Oltamu to the venue where he will give a presentation related to his work on batteries and solar panels. Tara, following Oltamu's request, has parked the car by a walking bridge when a van hits them, killing Oltamu and leaves Tara in a vegetative state. After the driver of the vehicle who hit them confesses, ev
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview If She Wakes by Michael Koryta. I am not sure if I have read any of Koryta's books, but I will now.
This is book is really very exciting - Fast Paced and original.
Great characters that are deep and as a reader I was vested immediately.
A young college student, Tara, is tasked to take a well-known doctor to a college dinner. This doctor is strange, but she hs agreed to drive him to the dinner as part of her classwork. . Before they get there, the m
Emily Shelton
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I would give this book 3.5 stars. This was the first Michael Koryta book that I have read, and I enjoyed it! It was a thrilling read, and a book that was hard to put down. I just wanted to know what was going to happen and how all the pieces would fit together.

The story is told from multiple perspectives of the many people involved in the investigation of the death of professor Amandi Oltamu. Tara is the girl who witnessed his death, but she is stuck in a coma in the hospital, fully conscious in
Amanda Morgan
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
From beginning to end, this thriller delivered. Suspenseful and intelligent, my interest was kept until the very end. The only disappointing part of the book was the final chapter, which I didn't really understand how it related to the rest of the book.

The story starts with college student Tara escorting a visiting scholar to his speaking engagement. En route, he asks Tara to pull over so he can mysteriously take pictures with his phone even though they are running late for the event.

While they
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Suspense builds and builds in Koryta’s If She Wakes. It all should have been a peaceful evening in a small college town in Maine. All Tara Beckley had to do was drive a visiting guest professor to a speaking engagement hosted by her school. But the visitor requests that she take a different route. This results in tragedy – the professor is killed and Tara slips into a coma….but a coma that renders her body paralyzed but her brain awake.

Meanwhile, the circumstances of the accident arouse suspicio
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I just finished this thriller and, oh my, I couldn't put it down. The pace, the tension, the race for the truth and the killer was non-stop. While the story ran in a straight line, most of the characters jabbed and ducked, moved and jabbed, with lots of surprises up their sleeves.

The professional hit man, Dax, was the most terrifying character in the story. And he wasn't the only killer.

Surprisingly, the police only show up in the beginning and during one brief phone call. Otherwise, they are
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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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