If I Live (If I Run #3)

by Terri Blackstock

Conditional Recommendation: In this thrilling conclusion, fugitive Casey Cox must stay alive a little longer to expose the true criminals, but she’s running out of places to hide from both the police and the people who want her and those she loves dead.

Age: Young Adult
Series: If I Run, Book 3 of 3
Pages: 352
Published: 2018

Genre: Christian Thriller

A thrilling conclusion to the series. I just love how each of these books sucks you in and takes you for a ride. I enjoyed this final book in the series though I will say that the first book is my favorite. All in all, this is a fun and pretty clean thriller series that I think a mature young adult would enjoy—something hard to find in this day and age! This book includes more romance and violence than the two previous books in the series so see my recommendation note below.

Read my reviews of other books in the series:

If I’m Found (Book 2)

Summary from the Publisher

Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for a murder she didn’t commit. The chase that began with her bloody footprints has escalated, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises no longer work. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her. Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once sought her arrest, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life tempt Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking, but exposing the criminals is more complicated than they ever imagined. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, and their relationship has consequences of its own. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?

Goodness and Truth

There’s more talk of God and Casey’s beliefs in God in this book and she finally becomes a Christian. Casey has a building thought process around her beliefs about God. Here’s some snippets:

  • Casey doesn’t want to “make God mad” by doing things she doesn’t think He’ll like.
  • She doesn’t think Christianity is about going to church.
  • She’s amazed that Jesus let people crucify Him for her sins and that one act is something that can cleanse her now, 2,000 years later. I like that the cross isn’t left out—something I’m coming across all too often in “Christian” books.
  • Going to church is too risky now and she discovers sermons online and gets a haphazard education in Christianity.
  • Something she goes back to multiple times throughout the book is the idea of Jesus praying for her, interceding for her. She says learning that was what made her realize that Jesus is real and alive today.
  • She feels like there’s some commitment to becoming a Christian.
  • Another character tells her: “I can give you one piece of advice: Don’t wait. Seriously, it’s not complicated. If you’re this pumped about Jesus, take it now. This feeling might fade if you don’t and you might never go all the way. You don’t want that to happen. It sounds like He’s wooing you.” Casey responds that she read in Revelation that Jesus is knocking at the door, and the other character replies, “Yeah, let Him in.”
  • Casey thinks that if she commits to being a Christian, then she’ll have to turn herself into the authorities. I don’t understand her reasoning about this at all, but the false dichotomy is a real hang up for her. It seems that she thinks being a Christian means she has to act a certain way. The distinction between the point of salvation and the Christian life are ambiguous and therefore it leads to some confusion that doesn’t get cleared up.
Recommendation Note

Romantically, kissing happen but everything is respectful and slightly descriptive because the two characters, Dylan leading the way, aim to be pleasing to God. They do share living spaces together—staying in motels while they’re on the run from people trying to kill them—and though longing is communicated, every time they decide who gets the bed and who gets the couch and nothing happens. It’s very functional in nature.

There’s more descriptive violence because 1. this is the final book and the stakes are high and 2. we get part of the story from the point of view of the murderer and there are scenes of him committing more murders. I will warn you that not all of Terri Blackstock’s books are created equal in terms of evil and violent content, so be wary of just picking up any of her books. Do your research if these things are a concern.

Where to Find this Book: Amazon* or your local library!

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