First Lines: Think about a moment, a little centimeter of time you’d happily exist in forever, if time could be laid out along the spine of a ruler. Maybe it haunts you in that blue inch of half consciousness just before you’re fully awake.
This was another book I took on vacation that I planned on reading but never got to. (Trust me when I say I took about 5 books with me that I planned to read and only got to one.) After I got home, this was the first one I read. Library books have a tendency to be prioritized because of their due dates.
Sixteen-year-old Olivia Tithe had a really good life. She was a painter, went to an art school in Michigan, and had the best friend anyone could ever have. Everything was perfect, until her crazy mother killed her best friend. They blamed the mental illness, but that doesn’t bring Lucas Stern back. Then Olivia starts seeing Stern’s ghost in small snippets around town. He wants Olivia to unravel what happened in his death. But there’s a problem. Olivia’s gone colorblind and she’s fairly certain she’s going crazy too, just like her mother. How else do you explain seeing ghosts? There are 9 days until her mother’s trial and Olivia’s determined to see what answers she can uncover.
This was a really interesting read. Olivia’s pretty emotional, for one thing. She tends to react very strongly to pretty minute things, but part of that has to do with the stress she’s under. How exactly are you supposed to recover from your own mother killing your best friend? I can’t even imagine what that would feel like. Not only have you just in effect lost two very close people to you, there’s a huge sense of betrayal as well. Olivia’s not the kind of person who has a lot of friends, so she’s pretty lonely.
The happenings outside of that were things that a lot of teens encounter, and I liked that it stayed pretty true to that. Even with the crazy stuff going on, Olivia was still a normal teen dealing with normal teen things. It helped keep the story grounded. As did the rich characters. That was probably my favorite part.
I will say that there’s a “mystery” in the story that really isn’t much of a mystery. If you pick up on the cues, you know pretty quickly how things will resolve themselves. But I don’t think the mystery is really the point of the story, so I didn’t care much.
Overall, it was a very sweet read. Olivia is relatable and almost tragic. You really feel bad for her. But the other characters really bring the story together.