Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: Read Me Dead by Emerald Barnes

“I sit up in bed alert.  I’m sweating, and my breathing comes in quick, short gasps.  My long, thick curls stick to my neck, and I can still feel his large hands covering my mouth preventing me from breathing.  The outside lamp casts an orange glow through the blinds into the dark room.  I stare at the shadows around me.  I put my head in my hands and wait for the fear to pass, and I’m afraid.  Afraid of what hides in the dark, what always hides in the dark. Secrets.”
-       -  Emerald Barnes, Read Me Dead

That is the paragraph that first caught my attention. And how could it not? Emerald Barnes paints a clear vivid picture with lots of details, that get the imagination going.  

 Read Me Dead is the story of 17 year-old Alexia Wheaton, as she struggles with the absence of her parents after witnessing their murder 7 years prior.  After her parents died, Alex (Alexia) and her twin brother, Matt moved in with their aunt, uncle, and their cousin.  Alex oftentimes has nightmares about her parents’ murder and even her own murder, so she doesn’t care to sleep. Fairly early on in the book, I learned that Alex is keeping a secret, a secret that she has not revealed to a single person. She not only witnessed her parents’ murder, she saw the person who killed them. The sole reason she has not told anyone is because the killer told her if she ever revealed what she saw, he would come back to town and kill her. She is torn on whether she should tell someone all the while possibly ending her own life in the process or just keeping silent and staying alive. In the middle of all that craziness she is also dealing with romantic interests from her two best friends Landon and Christian (ex-boyfriend).

 One night at a football game, Alex thinks she sees the man who murdered her parents’ and she has a little panic attack. When Matt, Christian, and Landon see Alex they grow concerned and question her…she finally confesses and Matt gets very upset with her for not at least telling him about it. Not long after the newspaper prints the story and now her fear that the killer will find her practically quadruples. I found it a little surprising that a lot of people in the story did not really think that her life was in danger. They were thinking why would the killer come back after all these years? Even her brother didn’t really think she had anything to worry about. Luckily her aunt, uncle, Christian, and Landon want to take extra precautions to make sure Alex stays safe just in case.

Seeing what Alex is going through, I started to feel for her right away. All she wants is for the weight of the situation to be off her shoulders and to live a normal teenage life where she can breathe easy and free of fear.

Throughout the book Alex is trying to sort through her jumble of feelings for Landon and Christian while trying to help catch her parents’ murderer and stay a live at the same time.
The bad person in the story was a bit easy to pinpoint. Although it was easy for me to figure out the who, figuring out thy why was not. This is good because I like some element of surprise left in the story. Trust me when I say, the ending will definitely leave you wanting more. I am hoping Ms. Barnes writes a sequel because of that.

Read Me Dead is an entertaining thriller/suspense YA book. Even though it is for YA, I would say anyone can enjoy this book, not just young adults. At Approximately 362 pages, it is a good sized read, though I was so absorbed in the story it took me less than two days to finish it. So if thriller/suspense books are your thing, take a chance with Read Me Dead.

You can find Read Me Dead at some of these booksellers:


  1. I just came across this review! Thank you so very much for the kind review! :)

    Emerald Barnes

  2. Thank you for checking it out. I'm glad you liked it.

  3. Wow. nice review. Certainly want to read this book. :)
    A wonderful blog! :)
    I just started a blog recently, and do drop by :)

  4. Thanks, Zeena! I hope you enjoy the book if you end up reading it! :)