*Thank you Netgalley for this ARC!*
Probably the most hyped book I have seen on instagram. You know me, I had to see what the hype was about.
My Synopsis: A 19 year old girl falls off a bridge. Or did she…?
Pairs best with: Honestly, whatever you’re eating at the time whenever you’re eating it. For me, it was a salad at my desk while I rushed to finish this at lunch. It wasn’t even a “I CAN’T PUT THIS DOWN” but it was a “I am curious and work is boring so lets see if I can get away with it.”
This book was a classic thriller, and I loved it for that. I didn’t see the end twist coming directly, and some of the journey was pretty heart breaking (like the revelations in the later chapters that you knew Olivia never got to tell her mom, and that her mom never got to tell her). I can see why this book is getting so much hype!
Extended Review: *SPOILERS BELOW*
I love thrillers. Hands down, my favorite type of book. In 2019 I’ve been expanding my horizons, so maybe its not clear from this blog, but in general I definitely tend to go more towards thrillers.
Was this the best thriller I’ve ever read? No. Did it pull at my heart strings more than some others have? Yes. Okay lets dive in shall we:
Where to even start! I guess I’ll start with a little more background on the story. Olivia is 19 years old, and falls/gets pushed off of a bridge. She is brain dead, being kept alive only by life support. TWIST: she is also pregnant. And in Washington state, it is illegal to take a pregnant person off of life support while the fetus is still alive.
The book goes back and forth between the past being narrated by Olivia, the 19 year old who dies, and the present being narrated by her mother, Abi. Because of this, a large theme of the book is mother/daughter relationships. It made me reflect both on my relationship with my mom, and my relationship with my future daughter (when she gets here in approx. 11 weeks, but who’s counting).
This is the part that was heart breaking. Towards the end, Olivia comes to a lot of realizations about her mom. As the reader, we know that she will never get the opportunity to tell her mom these things, because in Abi’s chapters she is fully unaware. It was incredibly sad to know that their relationship ended so much more strained than it needed to, and really emphasized the “live each moment like its your last” decal stickers so many teens have on their walls. YOLO.
But really, I almost (almost) got teary eyed when Olivia went to kiss her mom goodnight in her last chapter. Her mom doesn’t, and never will, know that happened. I was taking notes on a post-it while I read and just wrote “Olivias mom sleeping :(.” That was sad.
There were some parts of the book that had me scratching my head. Her relationship with Anthony was weird and obviously not what it seemed from the start. It didn’t make sense he just showed up and cared. Even after the explanation that he was really working for the police, it still was a little extreme. Why did he care tHaAaAt much. I get that they explained why, but I still don’t buy it.
While the murderer being Tyler shouldn’t have been a huge twist (the boyfriend did it… I mean, its not anything ground breaking) I didn’t see it coming! They did such a good job making it seem like it was the dad and step sister (who’s names I’m blanking on), that I knew it couldn’t be them. It was a good tie in to be related to the step sister, without being her. But she still seemed like a troubled person so I’m glad she was somewhat involved.
In the end, the baby had to live. There was nothing surprising about that, but I was still glad she did.
Also. I must say, as a 29 week pregnant lady, I did not enjoy reading about the C-section. I’m choosing the “blissfully unaware” method of childbirth. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
The author very easily could have written “Olivia was 19. Fell off a bridge. Died.” without throwing in the baby. Normally, I’m anti-baby as a plot point, but in this case I thought it really added a lot to the story. It gave a reason for Olivia to stay alive even in her death, and kept her as a character in Abi’s parts as more than a memory. It was a bold, but overall successful, choice by the author that I admire.
Have you read The Night Olivia Fell? What did you think?