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Blink Once

Review

Blink Once

When West Spencer wakes up, he realizes he is in a hospital room --- and he is paralyzed. However, that doesn't stop him from meeting a beautiful girl and falling in love, while suffering intense nightmares that seem to be the clues to a tantalizing and yet terrifying mystery.

"This is a compelling mystery revolving around a sympathetic main character in an unimaginable but yet somehow completely relatable situation. Readers may feel that they have forgotten to blink altogether as they madly race through this original and suspenseful page-turner, simultaneously burning to reach the end while wishing the story could continue forever."

West Spencer is awakened by the sound of heartrending sobbing. He feels like he must help this sad girl, whoever she is. But when he finally forces himself awake, he is puzzled to find himself strapped to a hospital bed. He can't move or speak. His heart is galloping and his throat is on fire. What's more, he is suspended somehow on his belly, staring at a tiled floor. He passes out, and the next time he opens his eyes, he is looking at ceiling tiles. He hears a machine puffing air and another one beeping. He wants to tell someone how thirsty he is, but he still can't speak. He still can't move.

The third time West wakes, he sees a nurse. She is holding his wrist and appears to be taking his pulse, but it feels to West as if his arm is enlarged and numb even though it looks normal. He tries to ask her where he is and what has happened to him, but he still cannot talk. The nurse straps him to the bed and then rotates it, so he is facing the door. Later, West meets his patient-neighbor. Olivia is a small teenager with long, dark hair and enormous dark eyes, who informs him that he can't talk because he has a tube in his throat, attached to a ventilator that is breathing for him. She also lets him know (by the way) that he happens to be paralyzed.

Paralyzed?

Immediately, West decides Olivia must be mistaken. He is definitely, absolutely not, paralyzed --- and he'll prove it by moving. But when he tries to move, he finds himself strapped down. Okay, he's restrained but he is not, truly not, paralyzed. Olivia reaches out to touch West, but he can't feel her hand. He tries to move his foot and can't tell if it is also strapped down or if she's telling the truth and he simply can't move. She explains that she can hear everything that occurs in his room; she's overheard West's parents talking about the terrible mountain bike accident that landed him in the hospital.

Meanwhile, West suffers intense nightmares. At first, he believes they are just terrible dreams but he begins to wonder: Could these dreams be clues to an occurrence that has already happened or even one that is in his future? Are they connected to his hospital room? And what about Olivia, who begins to seem more and more mysterious?

This is a compelling mystery revolving around a sympathetic main character in an unimaginable but yet somehow completely relatable situation. Readers may feel that they have forgotten to blink altogether as they madly race through this original and suspenseful page-turner, simultaneously burning to reach the end while wishing the story could continue forever.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on September 21, 2012

Blink Once
by Cylin Busby