Title: Blink Once
Author: Cylin Busby
Date Added: July 22, 2016
Date Started: September 15, 2017
Date Finished: October 21, 2017
Reading Duration: 36 days
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
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.
This novel was far better than I expected. It was ethereal without be unrealistic and believable while still retaining its magic. There are two distinct parts that would be spoilery to mention but are obvious once you reach the end of the first. Busby crafts a finale that is completely realistic and doesn’t try to shoehorn anything in for the sake of an overly happy ending. It couldn’t have been more satisfying, and this is the type of book that must have a good ending otherwise everything leading up to it falls apart (*cough cough Never Never).
Minor critiques include the asshole nature of teenage boys and some ablelist language e.g. “crazy eating disorder chicks” *sigh* but “the asshole nature of teenage boys” makes sense in terms of story. West’s friend Mike is gross and shallow, and his ex-girlfriend Allie comes off as manipulative; both of which are annoying cliches, but since they weren’t important to the main narrative involving West and Olivia, it’s easy to push them aside.
Blink Once pushes you to consider how expansive the human consciousness can be, but never to the point of breaking the suspension of disbelief, nor is it wholly unbelievable in real world terms. There’s just so much we don’t know about consciousness, not only in general but also within comatose states, and while there are some questions the book doesn’t answer, the author handled the subject matter extremely well.