“Someone is crying. A girl. Not a pretty kind of crying, like actresses do, tears delicately streaming down a beautiful face. This is sobbing, sniffling, gasping for air. Crying hard. I have to wake up. I have to help her, whoever she is. I force my eyes open but I don’t see anyone. I see a white wall with a machine attached to it.”
West wakes up in a hospital room, though he’s not completely awake. Paralysed from the chest down the people around him act like they think he’s there but its clear they aren’t always sure. He cant breathe on his own, he cant move to let them know he is there. But Olivia, the girl in the next room over seems to understand him; she can tell what he wants to say even though he can’t say it. No-one else seems to take much notice of Olivia though and he wants that to change, he wants to get better and come back for Olivia, be there for her, but is that possible when it seems like she’s never going to be there for him?
This is a poignant love story, one that makes you consider things in a new light, one that makes you wonder ‘what if?’ and one that makes you rally for the side you know can’t win. It’s a heart-felt story that will have your heartstrings tugging and your eyes watering.
I loved the voice in this book, it flowed so well and was so easy to read. I flew through it so easily and there were times when I looked at what page I was on and couldn’t believe I’d only been reading about half an hour and got that far! I thought West was exceptionally mature, but he was also quite frustrating as a narrator. West can’t speak, he cant communicate with anyone at all, and this Olivia comes along with a system for him to speak to her and he thinks it’s great, she’s the only one that can understand him. He can understand everything thats going on around him but he can’t let people know that because he has no way of doing so, so they are making his decisions for him. I got so frustrated because to me West was fully able, he couldn’t move but I was reading his thoughts, I could tell what he wanted and needed but he couldn’t put that out there to the other characters.
Olivia was frustrating too because I wanted to know more, I wanted to know her story, and I couldn’t know everything because West couldn’t ask anything. I had theories about her character but I didn’t know how they all fitted together and once they did I loved this book even more.
The nurses and West’s family and friends were brilliant, especially his parents. It was hard for them to witness their son go through what he did but they stayed strong, even though it was harder at times than others. I loved his mum and how much she worried – rightly so – I loved the cracks in the hard-man persona that Mike, Wests best friend, showed and I even liked Allie, because I could understand her.
The book might only be criticised on its handling of certain situations. It’s a strange topic to consider, coma patients, and I thought there may be some people who weren’t impressed with the handling of the operation West has or the running of the facility he is in and the outcome of the book. It’s a tough one to think about and I thought it may upset people who are of certain ideas about this kind of illness/state. I thought it was handled quite well and I loved it but I’ve never really taken into account the implications of these things.
I really did enjoy Blink Once. I loved the romance, the emotion and the relationships gathered. It was a fast paced book for me and I would really recommend it to any fan of the romance genre.
Blink Once was published on October 11th by Bloomsbury. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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