Friday, January 25, 2013

Review, Interview and Giveaway - Blink Once by Cylin Busby




Title - Blink Once
Author - Cylin Busby
Genre - YA
Pages - 304
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Source - For Review


West is a high school senior who has everything going for him – until an accident leaves him paralysed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, moving in and out of consciousness, West is isolated and alone. Until he meets Olivia.

Olivia is the girl next door – though not the typical girl next door. She is in the hospital room next to his, and before long, she’s sneaking into his room to talk with him. Only Olivia seems to know what he’s thinking, and even dreaming about. Yet certain questions haunt him: Why is Olivia in the hospital? And how is she connected to the terrible dreams he’s been having? But the biggest shock of all comes when West must face the possibility that the girl he’s fallen in love with – and who’s done more to aid his recovery than anyone else – may not even be alive.

Myself and Jessica at Booked Up took up another read-along when we found a book we both received from the publishers. You can find her review here. Please click Read More to enter the giveaway. 

Blink Once is an incredibly moving plot line right through to the end... It begins with West a normal seventeen-year old with a life that just couldn't get a better; A loving girlfriend, passionate mountain bike enthusiast and awesome family and friends. But then a tragic accident occurs leaving him in a critical postillion in hospital. That's when he meets 'the girl in room 203', beautiful, former ballerina, Olivia. He can talk to her, gaining some resemblance of a normal life, Olivia is the only one who understands. But West didn't realise he would fall for her, in the most unpredictable place to be in. Olivia is a surreal characters and one that is mysterious to all. 

Cylin makes quite an emotional and tragic storyline, that compels you to question the facts but also your beliefs. For me I found this a very difficult storyline to contend with on a personal level. I found myself reliving my own past experiences. But the intricate detail and delicacy of the situation is just beautiful. The love and care eliminates everything to make a full recovery of life and of feeling. Cylin's influence was based on the inbetween, the life after Death, the belief of Afterlife, but for me it was centred around here and now and the strength to come back and be who you want to be.  The only thing that became rather tedious and slightly boring was the continuous setting of a hospital, it was only until Chapter ... did the pace of the book quicken and your interest sparked. 

West is a very admirable and likeable character, however when you are put in that situation, I feel pity for him. He can't communicate with the Nurses, nor can he show the progress that he gains when he is with Olivia. In the beginning, there are a few unresolved questions surrounding his conditions and status, but it was rough experiencing it through his eyes, unable and unmoving of his life moving forward. Olivia was a controversial and contrasting character. To me she is a delicately woven persona of a normal yet haunting past with her conflicting future ahead of her. Olivia shows the best in West and is the best medicine for his injuries. The future for them in unpredictable and inspiring.

Blink Once has a very steady and constant love story and plot line but what really shocked me the most was the ending. The expectation that I had was completely blown to smithereens when it ended so dramatically and had a very dear impact on me. After I finished the book, I closed it and starred, blurred eyed wondering, what have a just read? and the main thought... Why? It baffled me but struck me close to the heart and I think that is what Cylin was trying to convey intentionality. 

Would I recommend it, yes... If you loved The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or Before I Die by Jenny Downham , then Cylin Busby is on par with these incredible authors brought to show the truth and reality of human nature. 
Rating - 4
Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Jessica and I were again very lucky to be agreed for conducting this interview. This is what Cylin Busby has to say about her novel Blink Once!


Interviewers: Me and Jessica

1. What impact were you looking for when writing this novel?
When I'm writing a novel, I hope to create the kind of story I loved to read when I was younger--a page-turner, something with a gripping story that pulls you in, a little bit scary.

2. What inspired you to write such a powerful story as Blink Once?
In the memoir that I co-wrote with my dad, THE YEAR WE DISAPPEARED, he tells the story of his near-death experience and how it felt to be technically “dead” for a few moments. His story started me thinking about what happens when you are not on this Earth, or in your physical body anymore…especially when your body is being kept alive for you. What if you were a teenager, confused about life anyhow, not fully formed as person, and found yourself in that place where my Dad was—somewhere between Here and There. And what if you weren’t alone….
This thinking led to the idea for BLINK ONCE.

3. You have a very diverse selection of genres you write, which one has been the most challenging to write?
My memoir was the most challenging, because I had to vividly remember events from my childhood. The subject was also a difficult one to write about--I prefer writing fiction!

4. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest novel, Blink Once?
I live in Los Angeles, California with my husband and 9-year-old son. I've been working in publishing, either as an editor or a writer, since I graduated from college about 20 years ago.
My latest novel, BLINK ONCE, is the story of a teen boy who wakes up in the hospital after an accident. He meets a mysterious patient named Olivia in the room next door to his, and together they try to unravel a haunting mystery.

5. What would you say was your favourite scene to write in Blink Once?
My favorite scene was when West wakes up after surgery, and he is speaking to his friend Mike--something is revealed (can't say here for spoilers). It was nice to finally be able to give that piece of information to the readers.

6. Is there a message in your novel that you're hoping your readers will grasp?
I would like readers to come away from reading BLINK ONCE with the knowledge that although sometimes life deals you a harsh blow, you can and will recover, even though you may not believe it at the time. The body heals, the soul heals, the spirit heals. It can take time, sometimes a very long time, but it does happen. And life goes on. Like West mentions about the rings in the tree--those marks are always there, but it is just one ring in so many rings in the tree of your life.

Quick-Fire:

1. Influential Author?
Emily Bronte
2. Best Book Boyfriend? 
Heathcliff
3. If your house caught on fire, and you had a choice of one book to take, what would it be?
Argh! so many books--I guess WUTHERING HEIGHTS.
4. Male POV or Female POV?
Female POV
5. One book you would give to a non-reader to persuade them to read more?
The most recent one would be GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. Even non-readers could not put it down!
6. Paranormal or Fantasy?
Paranormal

Thank you so much Cylin for taking the time to answer our questions, its been a pleasure to have you on our blogs.

We are also very honoured for Cylin to have two Paperback copies of Blink Once up for grabs. Click below to enter.



T&C's
  • The Giveaway is International
  • It will run from the 25th of January for one month. Myself and Jessica will pick the winners after the 25th of Feburary.
  • The winners will be picked at Random.
  • I am not responsible for any prize lost in the post but I will do all I can to track it.
  • The Winner's name will be announced as a post on mine and Jessica's blog.
  • You will also find the Giveaway at BookedUp.

Below is the Rafflecopter form:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and may the odd be ever in your favour! 

12 comments:

  1. This one's been on my wishlist forever and I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Oh no....is it an ending worthy of the zombie-state-inducing Delirium? Fab interview, girls, you're on a roll!
    Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  2. I loved this book too! The ending is so moving and unique.. I almost cried - ALMOST! ;) I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great interview too, you both came up with really good questions. The momoir sounds interesting. I won't enter the giveaway as I already have a giveaway but good luck to everyone else! Thanks for posting xx

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  3. Please put me into the draw - thank you xx

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  4. I like a good love story! And I like the message that the author offers us. Thanks for sharing the interview :)

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  5. This book was so great! West could have been such a jerk because he was so good looking according to everyone else. He was such a nice character and the twist was crazy! New follower (:

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  6. I prefer a female point of view to a male point of view, too. Though sometimes it is a refreshing change to get a male perspective. Great interview, ladies! I read this first on Jessica's blog and remember being impressed with the inspiration for this book.

    I'm glad to see you enjoyed it, Emma. It sounds like a brilliantly emotional book, and I'm really curious about the ending now. Great review!

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  7. Oh this is a fab interview ladies, I totally recommend reading Gone Girl, I finished it a few months ago and can't get it out of my head! Blink Once was a book that I hadn't heard of before but after reading your promising review I can't wait to pick it up! Lovely review Emma and thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  8. Love the cover can't wait to read it..Thanks for a great giveaway!!

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  9. I swear I commented on this post before...urghhh I have such bad memory! hahaa

    Anyway...Blink Once sounds exactly the type of book I love! have a feeling I'll really enjoy the relationship between West and Olivia<3 Awwwww...I wish I had a copy of this with me right now...I REALLY want to read it already!!

    Wow...Cylin's inspiration for this story reminds me a little of The Sea of Tranquility. I like how she's made the story so thought-provoking with a very inspirational message for her readers!

    Thank you so much for the giveaway<3 Fingers crossed I win! I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK ALREADY!

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  10. I haven't heard a lot about this one, but I definitely want to check it out now. I love that this book connected with you on a personal level, since those are always the best kind of stories, and thought-provoking novels always make me want to pick them up. Wonderful review, Emma, and thanks for putting this on my radar! :)

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  11. I've seen the synopsis of the story before and was definitely intrigued by it. How sad to be a young and vital person, only to have such a tragic accident take so much away. I want to know what the mystery is. I wonder if one of them is really dead. I guess I'll have to read this to find out. Wonderful and compelling review and interview ladies! Thanks for the giveaway as well. :)

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  12. Brilliant review! This book sounds incredibly moving and tear-inducing! The interview was also extremely interesting to read! :D xxx

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