Having been revived after her heart stopped beating for three minutes, Olive is given a second chance at life and love.
Olive tries hard to convince herself and others that she didn’t drive into that tree on purpose. Even though she was devastated by her breakup with her boyfriend Derek. Even though she was speeding and she didn’t slow down at the curve in the road. Alive but not well, 18-year-old Olive returns to school. Now, however, Derek has a new girlfriend, Olive’s grades are slipping, and she’s got this inexplicable song continually swirling about in her head. At a gathering of near-death enthusiasts, Olive meets Nick, a mercurial young man with an English accent. He makes her feel valued and beautiful, but there’s something he’s not revealing. There’s a slim mystery threaded throughout, but this story has all the elements of a formulaic romance: Jerk boyfriend breaks girl’s heart, girl meets new guy, ex comes begging back, girl has misunderstanding with new guy, true love prevails. Olive is wishy-washy, obsessive and has no real sense of self. Eventually, she begins to clear her boy-befuddled brain to better understand her family and create some goals for herself. Irritatingly, the song’s mystical origins come as a stunningly anticlimactic nonrevelation.
Readers looking for an undemanding beach read may find a few hours’ pleasure here. (Fiction. 13-18)