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Review - Blink Once

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Blink Once
by Cylin Busby

Publication: September 4, 2012
Pages: 304
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

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 is what I would call a contemporary story with paranormal elements. At the heart of the story is a high school boy who has been in a biking accident that leaves him in the hospital and wondering when--if--he will get out. Weaving in and out of the plot are bizarre dreams that make him questions what is real and what is a figment of his imagination. There is the beautiful Olivia, also a patient and who has her secrets. With each answer, new questions arise in a complex plot that culminates in a revelation of self-identity and the workings of the world.

West has been paralyzed in an accident that he barely remembers. Everyone seems to believe that he isn't aware of his surroundings--everyone, except Olivia that is. Olivia is the only one that realizes that West is conscious, and together they form a bond out of their similar circumstances, as both are trapped in the hospital and the only company for each other. Drifting in and out of consciousness, West is barely aware of what is going on, however, and sometimes it takes time for his mind to puzzle through days and sort them in chronological order. Some things may take years to recover; others will fade out of mind. The focus of most of his thoughts are on Olivia.

The two have a bizarre relationship that seems to have been born out of need. The need for someone to be there, understanding and compassionate. Someone who understands. Even when one of them gets to pushy or crosses some line, the other will be quick to forgive because they have no one else. Having broken up with his ex-girlfriend, it wouldn't have been hard for West to turn his thoughts towards the girl who is there, and Olivia is lonely, having spent quite some time alone in the hospital.

I love how this story explores the unexplained. How is West having these dreams about people he has never met, and who really is Olivia? The story is told through the perspective of someone who isn't entirely there for much of the novel, so West's story isn't very credible. Nevertheless, it is incredible, unique, and interesting. This is a story that I would recommend to those who are interested in a different kind of contemporary read with supernatural elements in addition to a tad bit of mystery and thrills.

Rating: Keeper

Return September 4th for an interview with author Cylin Busby as a part of the Blink Once tour!

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
6 comments on "Review - Blink Once"
  1. Liked the review :) I like what it's about so this is so going on my to read list :)

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  2. I've heard of this story, but backed off from it. I thought it would be sad and a little odd, but I think you may have changed my mind. It explores the unexplained? That sounds really intriguing, though the whole having trouble differing between reality and dreams can be hard to handle and fully grasp as both a character and a reader. If you like books like that, though, I'd recommend checking out Lucid by Ron Bass and Adrienne Stoltz. I just read the ARC and the ending was the biggest mindfuck I've ever encountered in books. But damn, was it an amazing story! I have a feeling this may be just like it in that sense.

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    1. It is pretty hard to grasp what was was and what wasn't, but by the end most of it is sorted out. I've heard great things about Lucid and will be sure to check it out!

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  3. tnx for the review . this book is on my wishlist

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