Expected Publication Date: September 4th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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.
Blink Once exuded mystery right from the first page. West wakes up from a bike accident, paralyzed, on a respirator and unable to communicate with nurses, family and friends. Told through his point of view, West is often drifting in and out of consciousness which led us as the reader to only be aware of information about his case, along with everything else, piece by piece. I thought this style worked really well and I enjoyed it more than I expected. The writing never felt chopping but more realistic to West’s condition. There was also the issue of his reoccurring nightmares. They were dark and twisted and added a whole other element to the plot. This all led to an amazing novel that was hard to put down at times because I wanted to keep reading to find the answers I was craving!
Olivia is a girl in the room next door to West and takes a liking to him right away. She was blunt, having no problems saying what she wanted to say, and I really admired that about her character. I also found her sassy but sweet. She taught West to communicate with her by blinking once for ‘yes’ and twice for ‘no’. She would sneak him information about his condition, read him Harry Potter and take him for walks at night. Of course I had some suspicions…
I am afraid to say anything more in regards to the plot because I would hate to ruin anything but I truly loved this book! I was thoroughly engaged right until the very end. I fell in love with West and his story as well as the girl who changed him in more ways than one. If I had to pinpoint anything I didn’t like, I would have to say I wish we were given a little more towards the end. It was like I got to the moment I was waiting for and it didn’t completely follow through as strong as I hoped. Vague enough? LOL But did this book make me cry? YES. Would I recommend others to read Blink Once? YES!
4 out of 5!
*This review is based on an egalley provided by the publisher for a fair and honest review.