It’s hard for West to tell what’s going on . . . he knows he’s in a hospital, but no one talks directly to him and he’s aware for only brief flashes at a time. Slowly, he becomes more awake, and understands that he’s been in a coma for a while after a biking accident. Aside from very limited hand movement and blinking, he can’t move, and few people even acknowledge that he’s awake under his paralysis. When all the nurses and family leave, Olivia, the patient next to him, sneaks in for a visit. Even though he can only blink for yes and no and write a word at a time, Olivia keeps talking to him, and they cherish each other. West decides to have a risky surgery so he can get better for her, and hold her frail body in his arms to protect her. That’s not quite how the story plays out, though. As he recovers and starts to communicate, the lines between reality and something else begin to blur, and West struggles to figure out what really happened. The author knows her craft. The writing is fluid. Character development and pacing are spot-on making for a quick read. She captures the feeling of West’s helplessness and the deep loss that is Olivia. The twist in the book took me by surprise – and it is a big twist. Highly recommend.
NetGalley review Publication date 9.4.12