Title: Waking Olivia
Author: Elizabeth O’ Roark
Rating: 4.5 Stars
*E-BOOK copy received via Net galley for an honest review*
“That girl isn’t just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She’s trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety. She’s the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more.
And the last thing I need right now is more trouble.”
A failing farm.
His father’s debt.
And a struggling college track team.
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.
A smart mouth.
A strong right hook.
And a secret that could destroy her.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please.
Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her.
And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.
Waking Olivia was introduced to me by 2 different bloggers; My Tiny Obsessions and The Girl Who Read Too Much. They each have reviews of this book also up on their blogs so be sure to check them out as their reviews are what intrigued me to give this book a read myself.
Waking Olivia is my first experience with Elizabeth O’Roark as an author and I had no trouble getting into her writing style and falling into the story, in-fact I was hooked on the story from the beginning and I wanted to continuously read to find out what was going to happen next.
Firstly I think the most notable element to this book is Elizabeth’s incorporation of issues such as PTSD, Survivors Guilt and other psychological issues such as memory repression. I found these elements to the story very interesting as it added another dimension to Olivia’s character and having studied Psychology for my A-levels and GCSE’s I found it very interesting to see these in a fictional story. Olivia suffers from PTSD, at first we are introduced to this element from her sleep-running at night, ending up with no shoes, her feet battered and bruised and herself in the middle of nowhere. It isn’t until further into the novel we establish that she is in-fact suffering from PTSD, not simply an extended version of sleep walking. Later on in the book we also establish that she has repressed some traumatic childhood memories that are triggered by a visit from the police and the discovery of human remains.
The discovery of human remains is what begins Olivia’s Survivors Guilt, for those remains are of a relative.This discovery shows how this story is more than just a romance, it has elements of mystery tied to it. As a reader we are constantly questioning the novel, firstly we are wondering why Olivia runs in her sleep, what is she running from? then we begin to question what really happened in her childhood. As the reality sets in that Olivia had suffered in the past, it wasn’t surprising to find myself feeling sympathy and sadness for her. Elizabeth O’Roark’s writing allows you to get close to her characters and you feel emotional for them.
Alongside this element to the story, Elizabeth also incorporates a will they – wont they relationship through Will and Olivia’s characters.Olivia is Will’s newest student to coach running, therefore this is almost a forbidden relationship. This added a tension to the novel as they fought off there feelings for one another and as a reader you begin to question if anything would happen between the couple.
As you can see I decided to rate Waking Olivia 4.5 stars, I couldn’t rate a full 5 stars because I was left a little disappointed by the ending. I felt like it was almost a little rushed for me, I would of liked to read more about Olivia’s father and later on how Olivia begins to work on her own fears. However overall this story was a lovely easy read, the use of psychology topics sets the book apart from other romance novels and adds more to the overall story.
Definitely one to check out if you are interesting in a romance book that offers a little more than boy meets girl.