Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Blink Once by Cylin Busby

Blink Once
by Cylin Busby
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Available: Amazon (pre-order)

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.


First, I have to admit I would have read this book based on the cover alone, although the synopsis did interest me as well. Blink Once had been on my to-read shelf for a while before I finally had the time to read it (real life just kept getting in the way), and when I did start reading it, it was immediately after I finished reading another book about a girl who wakes from a coma and the dreams she had. Thankfully, the two books were completely different.

West had an amazing voice as a narrator. He is semi-aware of what is going on and from what he does know, he is in denial. He is unwilling to accept that he is permanently paralyzed and constantly tries to prove to himself and others that he is recovering. He's not lying there moping, and instead fills his awake time trying to piece together what has happened to him and what is going to happen to him. He drifts between dreams, awareness, and a state of semi-consciousness, and the lines between the three blur frequently. This added to the sense of confusion he sometimes experiences and had me wondering which parts were real and which weren't.

Olivia was just as interesting. She has obviously been a long term patient and is desperate for someone to connect to. She clings to West in a way that only pure loneliness can. At first she seemed just lonely and bored, wanting West to get better so they can communicate easier. But by the end there is obviously a part of her that is very selfish and sad. She's not completely likable, but she's not unlikable either. Just somewhere in the middle, that makes her story even sadder.

The only thing that kept me from giving this 5 stars is that I felt the big secret Olivia has was pretty obvious by about the halfway point. I wish that part hadn't been so predictable.

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