Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Oblivion by Sasha Dawn

Goodreads Summary:

Lisa McMann's Dead to You meets Kate Ellison's The Butterfly Clues in a psychological thriller full of romance, intrigue, and mystery.

One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: "I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM." But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours. All she knows is that her father, the reverend at the Church of the Holy Promise, is missing, as is Hannah, a young girl from the parish. Their disappearances have to be connected and Callie knows that her father was not a righteous man.

Since that fateful night, she's been plagued by graphomania -- an unending and debilitating compulsion to write. The words that flow from Callie's mind and through her pen don't seem to make sense -- until now.

As the anniversary of Hannah's vanishing approaches, more words and memories bubble to the surface and a new guy in school might be the key to Callie putting together the puzzle. But digging up the secrets she's buried for so long might be her biggest mistake.

Publication Date: May 27, 2014

Oblivion was a book I could not put down for the life of me. The mystery had me guessing and it was tough trying to piece together the clues left from Callie’s graphomania. I never saw a book that used graphomania as a plot device and I found it turned a simple murder mystery plot into a very intense and dark suspenseful read.

Callie’s graphomania, an impulse to write, emerged after her father and a little girl went missing. The scenes where Callie disappears from reality and has an impulsive writing episode were exceptionally well written. I could see myself inside of Callie’s troubled brain and could empathize with the horror she experienced as she lost time. Callie has suffered horrible abuse and the writing is the only way she can properly express herself.

Callie is a flawed and unreliable narrator, but I still liked her character. She was a doormat at times, but she was certainly that way because of how horribly she had been treated. There’s a romance with Callie and two men. One of the boys was horrible and honestly I couldn’t believe she kept him around for as long as she did. The other boy came off as little too good to be true, but I still liked him.

The pace was good although the book was quite long for a young adult book. The author put a lot of detail into Callie’s writing episodes and it really set the haunting tone of the novel. I think a few sub-plots could’ve been eliminated like some mean girl drama at Callie’s high school, but otherwise I never felt bored while reading. The only other complaint I would have is that I don’t think Callie’s condition was handled realistically. I can’t imagine that the adults in her life (a psychiatrist, teachers, police officers and foster parents) would allow her to have these blackout episodes and not do something drastic to get her health. They don’t pressure her to take her medicine and never threaten to admit her to the same mental facility as her mother.

The plot is dark with themes such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, abduction, mental illness and religious fanaticism. I believe this is considered YA, but would likely be most appropriate for older teens and adults.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a copy of Oblivion from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


  1. The mystery sounds good, and I haven't heard of this one

  2. This sounds like a good book. I really like reading stories like this, but I've never heard of this one before. Great review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  3. Wonderful review, Heather! Thanks so much for sharing it. This certainly sounds like an intriguing premise. WRITE ON!