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.
Review: Wow. This story was a page turner that sort of crept up on me as I read and by the end I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It’s very suspenseful and had me trying to figure out the ending…
West is in a hospital as we start to know him and struggling to figure out what happened to get him there. Every day, he’s turned, prepped, and visited by his mom. His feelings of confusion and anxiety were heart-wrenching to read and I felt that I was putting the pieces of what happened together at the same time he was. As he went in and out of consciousness, day after day, I felt sorry for him, his mom, and his friends.
When his friend, Olivia, appeared, the story moved into a gentle friendship between two teenagers on the same floor in adjoining rooms. I wasn’t sure what to make of Olivia. At times she was kind but her facial features and actions left me in doubt as to her true intentions regarding West. As their friendship grew, she became selfish at times and began questioning whether West truly had feelings for her.
Since I was rooting for West to get better, I was cheering as he moved from hospital to surgery and then physical therapy but wondered what would happen to his relationship with Olivia? Sometimes, I flipped back a page or two rereading a part making sure I was keeping all the facts and hints I felt I was reading in order. I was also trying to figure out all the dreams and characters that kept appearing to him while he was in the hospital and their significance.
There is no way to discuss any more of the story about what happens to West and Olivia without posting spoilers. This is one I’d definitely recommend as the writing style flows along without any lags in the story and you truly want to know what happens to the characters in the end.
Favorite Quote: In the tree of my life, this year was a ring dark and deep, embedded further than any other year had been or ever would be.