This review contains spoilers.
**I received this book free of charge for a fair and honest review.** This is actually the very first book I have reviewed for a free copy.
Unfortunately, this was no good. When I review ARCs, I try very hard to read the entire book. For this, I broke my own rule. The copy I read was for the Kindle app (on my phone). This may be the reason for some of my complaints- the formatting seems terribly off. I’d be interested to see it in another format to see if it is better. LOTS of missing spaces, too large of spaces, author’s name in the middle of a random paragraph, punctuation all wrong. However, on top of that, there are some spelling errors (ee instead of we, comma instead of coma). C’mon, the book is about a girl in a coma- THAT word must be spelled right of any of them. 😦
**Update from publisher- The misspellings were intentional because the girl’s boyfriend misspelled it (uh, ok, not sure how the reader was to know that. See if you agree in the image below. You can also see some of the formatting issues in this clip also.) and when looked at on other formats than my Kindle phone app, apparently the formatting issues I had aren’t present.
As for the story, it is about Allison who is shot in the head by someone and is in a vegetative state in a long term care facility. While that sounds all sad and touching, I had no personal connection to her at all. The only people who visit her are her ex boyfriend, whom she degrades (mentally since she can’t speak) and her brother. A girl (not a friend) from high school also shows up, but only because she (somehow) knows Allison’s roommate. There is unfortunately nothing redeeming about Allison.
I got through one of Allison’s story lines…which was- who shot her? Somehow she manages to figure it out, despite not being able to move, see or feel anything. Initially, it is not clear if Allison can even see or hear, but then you realize she can hear, and also suddenly is able to see from one eye. They arrest her alleged attempted murderer in a one paragraph sum-it-all-up fashion.
The second story line for her was that there is someone killing off patients in this long term care facility every seventeen days. Or something. People die all the time and yet she’s somehow, without moving, feeling or seeing, figured out the pattern. Even though some die on day 12 or 4 or 6. Somehow, she also knows this killer is after her- but why? Who knows. Maybe to finish the job? Maybe because they are madly in love with her? Maybe for her necklace? This “someone wants me dead” story line I could not get through.
On top of all the things she is able to figure out, she dreams (time travels?) of her ancestors and the things these women went through during the American Revolution. There is no explanation at all as to why this may be, as she doesn’t know anything about these women prior to these dreams (she’s never been told stories about her ancestors). IS she time traveling? Is it some weird coma-y thing?
I only learned about two of these women, Rebecca and Lizzie, and then couldn’t go further. BUT, these bits, about these women and their relationship to some major players in the American Revolution, were actually very interesting and written MUCH differently (re: better) than the Allison chapters. Rebecca’s chapters were fascinating, and I was sad they ended (and am not really sure why they did other than her lover dies, which we only find out as a random aside). Lizzie’s chapters weren’t quite as good as Rebecca’s, but still miles better than Allison’s. If this book had been about Rebecca in its entirety, it would have been much more readable and enjoyable.
A few other notes: Rebecca’s last name is the same as the author’s wife’s last name. Some sites list this as children’s fiction- I assume this is different than YA? I’d call this more YA than children’s fiction, but that does not make the book better or more acceptable.
Overall this book is just all over the place. There is no reason to grow attached to Allison, so no reason to cling to your chair wondering what will happen to her. The writing in her chapters is awful, and hard to read. The stories of Rebecca and Lizzie are better and much more interesting, yet they are full of sudden endings with random “oh yeah, now their dating”s and “oh yeah, her beau died”s. There is no wrapping up of any story, it’s just all abrupt endings that feel like when your seat belt gets tight after hitting the brakes too hard- painful and you don’t want to feel it/do it again.