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Blink Once
Cover of Blink Once
Blink Once

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.

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.

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  • Kindle Book
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  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.7
  • Lexile:
    680
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • CYLIN BUSBY is the author of several teen books and non-fiction articles as well as the acclaimed young adult memoir, The Year We Disappeared. A former editor with Teen magazine, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family.
    www.cylinbusby.com
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 20, 2012
    Busby's novel works both as an atmospheric mystery and a realistic portrayal of what trauma patients and their loved ones face during hospitalization. When 17-year-old West wakes up in a hospital, a neighboring patient his age, Olivia, tells him that he has been in a mountain biking accident and is paralyzed ("Sorry if you didn't already know. I'm sure you're bummed"). Using blinks—"once for yes and twice for no"—and then a whiteboard, West starts to communicate with Olivia, an intense, unpredictable girl. As their relationship turns romantic, Olivia warns West against an experimental surgery his family has scheduled, and West is simultaneously unsettled by recurring dreams about a violent man that he thinks are "trying to tell me something.... Something about this hospital, this room." Readers will race to the end of this moody, surreal book from Busby (who collaborated with her father on The Year We Disappeared) to unravel the mystery behind West's dreams and his strange connection to Olivia. They won't be disappointed by what they discover. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2012
    A medical thriller offers a twist that will have readers questioning reality alongside its narrator. A young man wakes up strapped to a hospital bed, unable to speak or, initially, to move. As he drifts in and out of consciousness, the details of his former life are revealed in flashbacks, dreams and conversations (he blinks and writes on a board to communicate) with a fellow patient, Olivia. His name is West, and at age 17 he was a talented dirt-bike racer until an accident left him paralyzed. Through the excruciatingly long days of his recovery, West falls in love with the knowing, sarcastic Olivia even as he acknowledges the depths of her dark side and its root cause--her irreversible ill health. As West considers whether to participate in an experimental surgery that could either kill him or let him walk again, he finds himself at odds with Olivia, who has mysteriously strong feelings of her own about the risks. Although the first-person narration lags a bit in the middle, the last third of the novel is both briskly paced and increasingly eerie as West begins to realize that things are not as they seem. This outing is a marked departure from Busby's Date Him or Dump Him series; the twists and turns of West's relationship with Olivia provide a cloudier and more satisfying kind of suspense. (Thriller. 12-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2012

    Gr 8 Up-Seventeen-year-old West is in a coma after a mountain-biking accident. Because the story is written in first person, it appears that he is awake, but it slowly becomes clear that he isn't, as those who visit him respond to him as if he were not conscious. Sixteen-year-old dancer Olivia, who is also a patient at the hospital, visits him when no one else is around. She helps him communicate even though he's unable to move and sneaks into his records. She understands what he is thinking and how he feels about his situation. At the same time that West is falling for Olivia, he begins having strange, reoccurring nightmares that reveal more and more about his situation. Who is the burned man who appears in his dreams? Olivia has a secret, and readers will turn the pages frantically to reveal it, wondering what her intentions are for West. The story is haunting and will appeal to teens who like paranormal mysteries with a light love story. The simple setting allows the focus to stay on West and his emotional ups and downs. Readers will feel his frustration and understand his reaction to Olivia. Though the ending is not a perfectly happy one, it won't disappoint romantics.Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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