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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
“Whether I Live or Die” is a novel that juxtaposes two stories; one is about a woman who cannot seem to find the strength of character in her relationships with men and life in general and the other story is that of a rookie policewoman whose job is to protect those who do not have the strength to protect themselves. Amanda's relationship with Steve becomes abusive and she turns to Mark, her friend and gym trainer, for protection. Mark takes advantage of the situation and Amanda ends up pregnant and unwanted. Her tale of physical, mental and emotional abuse continues with her husband Josh and life seems to spiral down for her. On the other hand, Nicole graduates from the police academy on top of her class. She has a healthy relationship with Todd and is a dedicated police officer who faces crime every day. With an amazing zeal, she becomes involved with a number of cases involving women. How these two different lives merge at the end is a twist that nobody will ever expect.
Stacy Eaton weaves together two stories where the main characters are two poles apart. Amanda's story is a sad tale of a woman subjected to a series of abuses. Some readers may sympathize with her and cajole her into fighting back, while others may give up on the weakness of her character, but we cannot just look from the outside without empathizing with her. This is where the author succeeds in her narrative because one cannot help but feel for Amanda in her seemingly hopeless plight. Nicole's story inspires the reader and her persistence and determination as a police officer is admirable. In dealing with cases mostly involving women abused by their partners, it is a wonder where she gets her motivation from. “Whether I Live or Die” is a novel that centers on empowering the weak and it tries to send an important message to the readers: that all of us can choose to lead a decent life free from physical, emotional and mental abuse. This is a novel that will keep you mesmerized page after page and you will not be disappointed with the surprising and unique twist at the end. Highly recommended!