Blink Once by Cylin Busby is an excellent book, haunting and touching at once, but it’s a tough one to review. There is so little I can say without giving away valuable secrets, because when it comes to secrets, this book has a bundle of them.
Seventeen year old West is a high school senior, one of the popular kids, with a beautiful girlfriend and a love of bikes. After a serious accident he wakes up in hospital, arms and legs strapped to the bed, completely paralysed and completely alone.
Drifting in and out of consciousness, he is plagued by terrible dreams and with no way of communicating with the outside world, his fear and confusion threaten to engulf him; that is, until he meets Olivia, beautiful, troubled Olivia, the patient in the room next door. “Blink once for yes” she tells him “and two for no”, and so their friendship is formed.
Olivia understands him like no one else can, so well that West is sure she can read his mind. His friends and family barely look at him anymore, unable to let go of the person he used to be, but Olivia truly sees him and soon their secret friendship becomes a secret love.
Before long, West’s Mother finds a doctor who believes he can cure West’s paralysis and West is carried off in an ambulance to another hospital for a risky surgery and when he wakes up he finds himself torn, between the life he created for himself in the hospital, and the life everyone wants for him here in the real world.
Blink Once is the kind of story that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page, it is haunting and sad and just a little bit shocking, if you like teen fiction then this is absolutely a book for you. I dare you not to get caught up in the story of West and Olivia and their impossible love.
Available now: Allen & Unwin RRP$15.99