In this gorgeously written, emotional novel that fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy, a teenage girl must piece together the parts of her life she doesn’t remember after a severe collision leaves her with no memory of the past four years. When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a near-fatal car accident, she can’t remember how she got there. She figures it’s because she was in a coma for a week, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last week of her life—she’s lost all memory of events that happened years ago. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. As Liv tries to sort out her family and friends’ perceptions of her, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance and the one person that has made Liv feel like her old self…whoever that is. With feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living.
The Secret History Of UsFeatured
What I loved about the story, is how it sucks you in from the very first page. This happened to me with Things We Know by Heart, and it happened with The Secret History of Us as well. As a reader, you are eager to find out what happened to Liv, and especially why everybody is being so mysterious about it. Kirby gives the reader tiny bits of information, the same amount that the people surrounding Liv are giving her. You feel how frustrated Liv is, but also how helpless she feels when she finds out what (not) happened. Kirby is a master at capturing feelings, without overdoing it.
The pace of the story was quite slow, though it felt like the book ended too soon. I didn't have any problems with the speed of the book, I liked it this way. Things were slowly unfolding and there was no need for a big or grand finale, or a dramatic scene at the ending of the book to blow things up. However, I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed. I felt like Kirby wrapped things up very quickly and maybe 'too easy', as if she wanted the story to be done. That is the only real critique I can think about when reviewing this lovely book.
The thing I enjoy the most about Kirby's book are the scenes, the romances and the main character overall. Imagine waking up after being in a coma for eight days, not knowing where you are or who some people are. It's dramatic, yes. But Kirby knows exactly how to make it feel real and raw. It feels like a Nicholas Sparks movie, but with teens. It's kind of like a John Green novel, only a little less lyrical of literature-ish. Everybody can read this book. It's impossible not to love this story.
In short the only thing I can say is that I fell deeply in love with his story. It's not perfect and I was a little disappointed with the ending, but it was a quick read I enjoyed intensely. The scenes, the emotions and the characters... what's not to love? This is one of those books that you'll pick up and finish in one sit. It's easy, adorable and fun to read. I'm looking forward to whatever Jessi Kirby is writing next!
- Quick and easy read
- Great description of emotions
In the case of this book, I was Sherlock Holmes,--who deduced the entire mystery of the story in a short couple of minutes. There wasn't much to solve. Unfortunately there were no secrets and very little history, despite the title. I was once again foiled by an elusive and slightly misleading title.
To make it short, this book is a series of puzzle pieces that once together, presented a pretty uninteresting and a barely there spark of a story. I followed along page by page hopeful for some eye-opening aha moment--but what I got instead is a story with decent characters and not much else going on.
That was the problem. Not much went on. In a story like this one you would expect quite a bit to be lingering under the surface but the story was that, surface. Surface details, surface back-story, and just a lot of nothing--and I am disappointed.
The story is perfectly readable and fluid, with characters you want to know more about but like I mentioned a couple of times already you barely reach the surface of who they are, and what they are hiding--perhaps what they were hiding just wasn't all that interesting.
I gotta admit it really had potential but again the whole mystery answer thing fell short for me. If this was merely a contemporary, it would've been better--adding the mystery hindered instead of helped.
I wanted more but I just didn't get it. Ahh well.
I'd recommend this to fans of books, like With Malice, and This is Our Story.