Reviewing BooksForAri – Elizabeth O’Roark’s “Waking Olivia”

Waking OliviaWaking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: A free digital copy of this book was received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sooo… I’ve been in a book funk. *sigh* I know, I know. We’ve all been there. There are those off us that have been there so many times, that we don’t even worry about it anymore and just ride this funky wave until our hand steers us right back into Literary Land. There are times that seem like we’re in a book funk more often than we get into a book frenzy and it concerns us so much that we contemplate our identity as book lovers. Alas, I found instant cure in this cute novel on my kindle.

Sometimes, all it takes is a fluff book to do the trick. You know those kinds of books, the ones that are a bit mindless, somewhat predictable and traditionally YA romance? It’s the books that are enough of a quick read that you’re not mentally drained when you’re finished but you’ve engaged enough with the content to get the juices flowing? It’s the book that takes you less than half a day to get through and you’re not even guilty about the empty calories because it was a fun read. THIS BOOK was exactly that – and precisely what I needed.

Though the author handles a couple of heavy topics, including but not limited to, child abuse, mental illness, familial issues, doomed romance and rape, the book did not delve deep enough into those particular topics to bring the reader down with the character. It was very much centered around the romance and bringing the characters’ issues to light so that they can deal with them. I like the fact that both of the characters had issues, and it wasn’t just the guys “saving” the girl. I like that the romance played out a bit more rocky than usual.

What I didn’t like was the lack of diversity. Additionally, I would have liked to see more development with the friendships and some more writing dedicated to explaining (view spoiler) I liked the fact that Olivia was equally fierce and vulnerable; I not-so-secretly wanted to see more equally obvious vulnerability in Will. And, I enjoyed that Olivia’s mental struggles didn’t just miraculously disappear when she fell in love.

Overall, it was a sweet book and I don’t really have many bad things to say. I think readers will know what they’re getting into when they’ve read the description and when they decide to read it, they won’t be disappointed. The chapters are relatively short – quick and to the point, which is just how I like these kinds of books. The plotline continues consistently and the twists are fluid and interesting. I would definitely recommend this quick-read to anyone in a book funk or that need a good fluff book between two intense novels.

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