West is a high school senior who has everything going for him until an accident leaves him paralyzed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, West is terrified and alone. Until he meets Olivia. She's the girl next door-sort of. A patient in the room next to his, only Olivia can tell what West is thinking, and only Olivia seems to know that the terrible dreams he's been having are not just a result of his medication. Yet as West comes to rely on Olivia-to love her, even-certain questions pull at him: Why has Olivia been in the hospital for so long? And what does it mean that she is at the center of his nightmares? But the biggest question of all comes when West begins to recover and learns that the mysterious girl he's fallen in love with has a secret he could never have seen coming.
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
I love when you find a book that has the ability to surprise you. Blink Once was definitely that kind of novel for me. It was a refreshing change for several reasons and I am curious to see what else the author has written.
The first thing that I liked about the novel was the POV. It was done in first person with the narrator being a 17 year old boy who has lost the ability to speak due to a serious biking accident. Most of the novel features his inner thoughts as he relays his horrifying dreams and the conversations he overhears while recuperating in a rehabilitation center.
The previously athletic West lies paralyzed with only the ability to communicate through a series of blinks. His frustrations are apparent and his only respite is through visits with another patient named Olivia. He falls in love with the mysterious girl and she helps him through his harrowing ordeal. Their scenes together were touching even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Olivia’s character.
The twist was a surprise and not one I completely expected. I felt like a few questions were left unanswered after the reveal, but it did help explain a lot of the odd observations made by West during the first 3/4 of the novel.
The ending was a mixed bag for me. It wasn’t exactly happy, but I thought it had a hopeful message. It dragged a little too at the end which was strange since I found the rest of the novel’s pacing was done very well. It was also nice to read a standalone novel after reading so many series lately.
I would highly recommend this novel. The prose was beautiful and West was a captivating narrator.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy of this book for review!