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The Secret History of Us

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A near drowninga coma for daysand then Olivia wakes up to realize she doesnt remember. Not just the accidentbut anything from the last four years. Not high school. Not Matt, the guy who is apparently her boyfriend. Not the reason she and Jules are no longer friends. Nothing. Thats when it hits herthe accident may not have taken her life, but it took something just as vital: A near drowning…a coma for days…and then… Olivia wakes up to realize she doesn’t remember. Not just the accident—but anything from the last four years. Not high school. Not Matt, the guy who is apparently her boyfriend. Not the reason she and Jules are no longer friends. Nothing. That’s when it hits her—the accident may not have taken her life, but it took something just as vital: her memory. The harder she tires to remember things, the foggier everything gets, and figuring out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. But then there’s Walker. The guy who saved her. The one who broke her ribs pumping life back into her lungs. The hardened boy who keeps his distance despite Olivia’s attempts to thank him. With her 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 even remember living.


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A near drowninga coma for daysand then Olivia wakes up to realize she doesnt remember. Not just the accidentbut anything from the last four years. Not high school. Not Matt, the guy who is apparently her boyfriend. Not the reason she and Jules are no longer friends. Nothing. Thats when it hits herthe accident may not have taken her life, but it took something just as vital: A near drowning…a coma for days…and then… Olivia wakes up to realize she doesn’t remember. Not just the accident—but anything from the last four years. Not high school. Not Matt, the guy who is apparently her boyfriend. Not the reason she and Jules are no longer friends. Nothing. That’s when it hits her—the accident may not have taken her life, but it took something just as vital: her memory. The harder she tires to remember things, the foggier everything gets, and figuring out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. But then there’s Walker. The guy who saved her. The one who broke her ribs pumping life back into her lungs. The hardened boy who keeps his distance despite Olivia’s attempts to thank him. With her 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 even remember living.

30 review for The Secret History of Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) I dont know who you are. This was a YA contemporary story about a girl with retrograde amnesia following a car accident. Olivia was an okay character, although I expected her to be a little more frustrated by her lack of memories than she was. She did her best to get on with things though, and it was brave the way she tried to piece together her life after the accident. The storyline in this followed (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “I don’t know who you are.” This was a YA contemporary story about a girl with retrograde amnesia following a car accident. Olivia was an okay character, although I expected her to be a little more frustrated by her lack of memories than she was. She did her best to get on with things though, and it was brave the way she tried to piece together her life after the accident. The storyline in this followed Olivia after being pulled from the river and resuscitated, after her car went off of a bridge. She was diagnosed with amnesia, and had to then try and figure out who she was after being released from the hospital, re-meeting her boyfriend for the first time, and trying to work out why she wasn’t friends with one of her oldest friends anymore. The pace in this was quite slow, and I did guess the twist towards the end, but this was an enjoyable story overall. The ending to this pretty good, and I was pleased with the way things worked out. 7 out of 10

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    The Secret History of Us is the type of read you would want with you while taking a long weekend or while relaxing at home in front of the fire place. A read that just lets you get away for a few hours and have no worries about what is going on around you. It is a quick read that adds an air of mystery along with a coming of age story that will both interest you and keep you reading until the very end curious how the author will tie it all up in the end. It isn't anything necessarily unheard of The Secret History of Us is the type of read you would want with you while taking a long weekend or while relaxing at home in front of the fire place. A read that just lets you get away for a few hours and have no worries about what is going on around you. It is a quick read that adds an air of mystery along with a coming of age story that will both interest you and keep you reading until the very end curious how the author will tie it all up in the end. It isn't anything necessarily unheard of or anything unique but it was well written and entertaining. Not quite a mystery and not quite a contemporary, instead you get a read that will be great for after a hard or intense read. One that will cleanse the reading palate and let you relax awhile from the cares of the world. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I don't even look at the synopsis of a Jessi Kirby book. I know they're always going to be good and this was no exception. Liv is a great MC. Everything about her is so raw and being in her head while things were happening felt so real. I loved her brother and her parents. All three were supportive and added levity to the story. There are a few other characters, but we only got bits of them. It was another effective way to show how Liv was sort of struggling. Plot wise, I would have liked just a I don't even look at the synopsis of a Jessi Kirby book. I know they're always going to be good and this was no exception. Liv is a great MC. Everything about her is so raw and being in her head while things were happening felt so real. I loved her brother and her parents. All three were supportive and added levity to the story. There are a few other characters, but we only got bits of them. It was another effective way to show how Liv was sort of struggling. Plot wise, I would have liked just a little bit more. Especially at the end. I like how the story unfolded with slow reveals, but the synopsis made me think that there was going to be time with Walker and I was eager to see their connection. However, we maybe got a total of 10 pages of him, so for me, that part of the story seemed a bit lacking. Overall, it was a great read and it was easy to root for Liv right from the beginning. **Huge thanks to Harper Teen for providing the arc free of charge**

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kiera

    This book so good and it really shows the importance of memory and knowing who you are. I really enjoyed listening to this it was very entertaining and interesting. I will definitely be checking out more books from this author. Overall four stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    I could always count on Jessi Kirby for a beautiful story of moving forward after a tragic life experience or after a death of a loved one. In The Secret History of Us, its very ironic but probably even more painful because Olivia lost hers after a supposedly fatal accidental which she miraculously survived and four years of her life has been completely wiped off from her memory and now she doesnt know exactly how to live, even more Ironic because here nickname is Liv. The writing is simple but I could always count on Jessi Kirby for a beautiful story of moving forward after a tragic life experience or after a death of a loved one. In The Secret History of Us, it’s very ironic but probably even more painful because Olivia lost hers after a supposedly fatal accidental which she miraculously survived and four years of her life has been completely wiped off from her memory and now she doesn’t know exactly how to live, even more Ironic because here nickname is Liv. The writing is simple but in that gorgeous way and descriptive in that easy to imagine way. I also appreciate how the author makes it possible to insert romance in the story without ever making it always about romance. It’s the same with In Honor, Golden and Things We Know by Heart. The plot is fast-paced that I was able to easily read it in just a matter of a few hours but the characters and themes are still very much well-explored. I usually think that’s what good writing is supposed to be- short, simple but meaningful and may I also mention how much I’m loving that cover. I don’t know why but I just do. Another heartwarming story from one of my favorite authors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    I've read most if not all of Jessi Kirby's books and was excited to read this one .... until I started it and found out what it was about. In the past few weeks, I've read (or started to read) four YA books about main characters who've been in car accidents, three of whom had amnesia. If only I had book-amnesia and could forget that I'd read the others, I'd be fine. That said, I actually liked the amnesia element of this one. Liv wakes up in a hospital and is told she's been in an accident. Good I've read most if not all of Jessi Kirby's books and was excited to read this one .... until I started it and found out what it was about. In the past few weeks, I've read (or started to read) four YA books about main characters who've been in car accidents, three of whom had amnesia. If only I had book-amnesia and could forget that I'd read the others, I'd be fine. That said, I actually liked the amnesia element of this one. Liv wakes up in a hospital and is told she's been in an accident. Good news: she's going to be fine. Bad news: she can't remember much about the past few years, including anything about her boyfriend, Matt, or about the accident itself. As I read, I could definitely figure out exactly where this story was headed. I enjoyed it, except for the fact that the ending felt really rushed to me, which made the romantic element of the story pretty unsatisfying. I often complain about overly long YA contemporaries, but at a skinny 288 pages, I think this book could have benefited from a few more chapters to wrap things up. Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com or check out my Bookstagram! .I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    Before: I really can't wait to get my hands on this one! After: 3.5-4 stars I do like it more than my other 3.5 books, I just felt that I was missing part of the story, it definitely needed a few more chapters, preferably swoon-worthy, and it would have been a strong 5 stars. The writing is beautiful, I enjoyed the characters and the story-arc. I absolutely loved how the accident and the awakening were described. Her confusion felt authentic, so was how her loved ones tried to make things easier Before: I really can't wait to get my hands on this one! After: 3.5-4 stars I do like it more than my other 3.5 books, I just felt that I was missing part of the story, it definitely needed a few more chapters, preferably swoon-worthy, and it would have been a strong 5 stars. The writing is beautiful, I enjoyed the characters and the story-arc. I absolutely loved how the accident and the awakening were described. Her confusion felt authentic, so was how her loved ones tried to make things easier for her, even when it wasn't their call to make. Overall, a heartwarming story, I just wanted more in the end. The last chapters felt rushed and I needed more of that history and more from the present too. In the end is this question that lingers. Who are we without our memories? Full review soon. Instagram feature:

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    BLOG REVIEW: https://wordpress.com/post/passthefee... I'm so conflicted about writing this review! I really, really enjoyed this book, even though literally nothing happened! I guess I liked the characters and premise enough to have a lot of fun reading it, because there was certainly no drive to the plot at all.  It was really strange actually because at times it seemed like it was really leading up to some big reveal or conspiracy at the end of the book, but no, nothing came! That was more shocking BLOG REVIEW: https://wordpress.com/post/passthefee... I'm so conflicted about writing this review! I really, really enjoyed this book, even though literally nothing happened! I guess I liked the characters and premise enough to have a lot of fun reading it, because there was certainly no drive to the plot at all.  It was really strange actually because at times it seemed like it was really leading up to some big reveal or conspiracy at the end of the book, but no, nothing came! That was more shocking than a reveal would've been I think! haha ------------------------- I really liked the characters, and the premise behind the book. I think the only reason I couldn't connect more to the characters was because the book was so short, but I did really love reading about them. I found the ordeal that Liv went through, and how we watched her deal with it, to be so interesting to read about. ------------------------- I think this novel goes to show how you don't necessarily have to have a hugely plot driven story to make it a good book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maria (Big City Bookworm)

    -- I won't lie. I had no idea this book even existed until recently. It wasn't even remotely on my radar until I came across the audiobook! The cover and title piqued my interest first, but the synopsis sold me. I loved how mysterious it sounded! I'm really glad I picked it up as I ended up enjoying it quite a lot! Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I finished this one about a week ago, and Ive forgotten much of it already...so theres that. This book was good, not great, but I do recall really liking the voice of this novel. I finished this one about a week ago, and I’ve forgotten much of it already...so there’s that. This book was good, not great, but I do recall really liking the “voice” of this novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leanna Domalik

    Interesting premise, but ultimately I just felt like there was a more interesting story to be told.

  12. 5 out of 5

    i.

    This was a really fast read for me, I just couldn't believe it when it finished. I wish the story had developed a bit further, because I enjoyed it . An easy and entertaining summer novel to enjoy while sunbathing specially by the sea. www.theleisurediaries.blogspot.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sue (Hollywood News Source)

    The Secret History of Us is a good read and while the ending is lacking; it could still stand on its own as a Good Read. Gauging from the novel's premise I thought it's going to be a sinister read. I came in expecting to uncover convoluted conspiracies instead the twist is a lukewarm mystery. That's not necessarily a bad verdict, it's just different from what I was expecting. It could've been so much more; in some ways I feel like the potential has been wasted. The story follows eighteen-year old The Secret History of Us is a good read and while the ending is lacking; it could still stand on its own as a Good Read. Gauging from the novel's premise I thought it's going to be a sinister read. I came in expecting to uncover convoluted conspiracies instead the twist is a lukewarm mystery. That's not necessarily a bad verdict, it's just different from what I was expecting. It could've been so much more; in some ways I feel like the potential has been wasted. The story follows eighteen-year old Liv who woke up in the hospital room disoriented. She’s been in a car accident, and she lost four years of her memories. See? Why I was expecting something incredibly creepy subplot. Throughout the story, Liv’s families and friends are making active attempts at helping her refresh her memories. Sometimes, the intent is rooted in selfishness on their part to protect her and themselves. The novel explores Liv’s agency – in crafting her own persona “After The Accident.” It’s neatly done. I noticed some similarities between Things We Know By Heart and The Secret History of Us. If you’ve read both books, it’s not difficult to note that Kirby likes to integrate how survival could connect two people together. I like the execution on her earlier novel but for this recent standalone, it lacks the depth that I was looking for. The book is relatively short compared to its peers and I understand that’s a main factor. The author didn’t have enough space to properly craft the romance. I would’ve rated it four star if this part is gracefully done. Alas. In the end, The Secret History of Us is a sweet short read. I wish the novel could’ve been longer.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Olivia almost died in a car accident; she was even in a coma for days. When she wakes up, she can't remember what happened--which is normal. But she ALSO can't remember the four years prior. Her whole high school experience is gone. So...was her life really as great as her family and friends say? I loved this book. And, despite the last sentence, this isn't really a sinister book. It's not like someone is deliberately trying to hurt her. Olivia can trust everyone except herself, because she Olivia almost died in a car accident; she was even in a coma for days. When she wakes up, she can't remember what happened--which is normal. But she ALSO can't remember the four years prior. Her whole high school experience is gone. So...was her life really as great as her family and friends say? I loved this book. And, despite the last sentence, this isn't really a sinister book. It's not like someone is deliberately trying to hurt her. Olivia can trust everyone except herself, because she doesn't really know who she is. (How would you be able to, if you couldn't remember four years of your life?) Everything Jessi Kirby writes is amazing, and this is no exception. Recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    As readers, we all have our list of favorite tropes and themes that we love reading about, for me one of those is Amnesia stories. That is what drew me to Jessi Kirby's The Secret of Us. The book starts off with Olivia being pulled out of the water by Walker James and given CPR as she was found with no pulse. She is then rushed to the hospital where she has been in a coma. Olivia or Liv to her friends wakes up and discovers that the last four-five years of her life has vanished. She has just As readers, we all have our list of favorite tropes and themes that we love reading about, for me one of those is Amnesia stories. That is what drew me to Jessi Kirby's The Secret of Us. The book starts off with Olivia being pulled out of the water by Walker James and given CPR as she was found with no pulse. She is then rushed to the hospital where she has been in a coma. Olivia or Liv to her friends wakes up and discovers that the last four-five years of her life has vanished. She has just graduated high school and turned 18, but the last thing she remembers is about to start High school and turning 14 years old. Olivia upon waking up is also about to learn she has changed quite drastically, the biggest being that she is no longer best friends with Jules - a childhood friend and that she has a boyfriend, Matt for the past two years. Another big thing is that once she was addicted to her camera and the last few years she hasn't been take photos which were once her passion. Over the next course of the novel, Olivia will start to try and learn what she was doing before the accident and what caused the accident. Will she in doing so, like the person she has become or has this opportunity given Oliva the chance to re-do the past five years of her life and become a better person in the process? I was a tad disappointed in the ending of this book as I felt that we needed a bit more of the story with Walker and I felt that Olivia's interaction before her accident with Walker was rushed. Overall if you are in the mood for a YA Amnesiac mystery, then check out "The Secret History of Us" by Jessi Kirby.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    Liv and Matt are on the way back from a party and the car they are in is hit by a truck. In turn, the car ends up in the bay. Matt is able to escape the submerged vehicle, but Liv is trapped in the car and is unconscious. Matt tries desperately to get her out of the car with no luck. Enter Walker, who is able to pull Liv from the car and perform CPR on her until the paramedics come. When Liv awakens at the hospital, her family realizes, and eventually her, that her memories of the last few years Liv and Matt are on the way back from a party and the car they are in is hit by a truck. In turn, the car ends up in the bay. Matt is able to escape the submerged vehicle, but Liv is trapped in the car and is unconscious. Matt tries desperately to get her out of the car with no luck. Enter Walker, who is able to pull Liv from the car and perform CPR on her until the paramedics come. When Liv awakens at the hospital, her family realizes, and eventually her, that her memories of the last few years of high school are gone due to some sort of amnesia from her accident. In fact, she doesn't even recognize Matt. It's as if she has to figure out who she is all over again and even though her best friend tries to clue her in, it's still a big mystery. How do we know they are telling the truth about who she really is? What if she doesn't want to be that person anymore? Jessi Kirby's thoughtful story of finding your true self gives readers a lot to think about, but in the end, The Secret History of Us wasn't my favorite of Kirby's novels. Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}

    I don't know why I put off A Secret History of Us. Actually, I do. The reviews were eh so I just let it go for a long time. But in my effort to get to all past due ARCs I listened to this one. I actually really enjoyed it!!It is a story of amnesia, which I know a lot of people don't love, but I liked it here. Following Olivia on her journey to piece back what memories she had lost and try to recapture the life people told her she had helped me connect with her and understand her. There felt like I don't know why I put off A Secret History of Us. Actually, I do. The reviews were eh so I just let it go for a long time. But in my effort to get to all past due ARCs I listened to this one. I actually really enjoyed it!!It is a story of amnesia, which I know a lot of people don't love, but I liked it here. Following Olivia on her journey to piece back what memories she had lost and try to recapture the life people told her she had helped me connect with her and understand her. There felt like there was a little tiny mystery underlying the story which all came together in the end. Also, I really liked the ending which is big for me. Overall, I am happy I finally picked this one up. I received this book for free from Publisher via Netgalley, Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Man, this story dragged! Don't get me wrong, despite everything I enjoyed this and wasn't bored (much) but until 50% or so I felt like I was still reading the first few introductory chapters and I was waiting for the story to finally pick up pace and for things to start happening. I also think the blurb is kind of misleading since I expected more romance and some kind of conflict between Liv, Matt and Walker but we don't get to meet Walker until the last third of the book so I felt like I had to Man, this story dragged! Don't get me wrong, despite everything I enjoyed this and wasn't bored (much) but until 50% or so I felt like I was still reading the first few introductory chapters and I was waiting for the story to finally pick up pace and for things to start happening. I also think the blurb is kind of misleading since I expected more romance and some kind of conflict between Liv, Matt and Walker but we don't get to meet Walker until the last third of the book so I felt like I had to read almost the entire thing before I finally got the story I was looking for. Then everything was wrapped up so quickly and felt a bit rushed. I don't know, it wasn't bad but I expected more from this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    To be completely honest, I had forgotten the plot of this one when I cracked it open to read so the idea hooked me right away. As always, Jessi Kirby managed to write a story that had complications - for the character, in relationships and in situations. But I liked Olivia a lot, and was interested to find out about her and her life. While I do feel like it lacked a little bit of that something that would have made the emotional connection for me stronger, it was still really compelling and a To be completely honest, I had forgotten the plot of this one when I cracked it open to read so the idea hooked me right away. As always, Jessi Kirby managed to write a story that had complications - for the character, in relationships and in situations. But I liked Olivia a lot, and was interested to find out about her and her life. While I do feel like it lacked a little bit of that something that would have made the emotional connection for me stronger, it was still really compelling and a very fast read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Secret History of Us is a standalone YA contemporary novel. The narrator is 18 year old Olivia/Liv. The beginning was really good. I didn't look up too much info on this book before starting it. All I knew was that Olivia had been in a coma. I'm actually glad that was all that I knew about the book. Because everything that happened subsequently was completely new to me. I really enjoyed how the book started. It made me very interested to see what would happen next. The book is basically about a The Secret History of Us is a standalone YA contemporary novel. The narrator is 18 year old Olivia/Liv. The beginning was really good. I didn't look up too much info on this book before starting it. All I knew was that Olivia had been in a coma. I'm actually glad that was all that I knew about the book. Because everything that happened subsequently was completely new to me. I really enjoyed how the book started. It made me very interested to see what would happen next. The book is basically about a girl who was in an accident and her memory issues. I really found this subject fascinating. And I really enjoyed learning about the accident and those involved. I also really enjoyed learning about Olivia's life. What I liked: I really liked the coastal fishing town where Olivia lived. I liked that there were boats around and that she could walk to the beach. I really liked her brother Sam and how they worked together. I also really liked how the title came into play. I found that to be very clever. The premise was really good. Where the book fell a bit short for me was in the romance department. There was a certain character that we are introduced to very late in the story. I wish that both male leads (Matt and Walker) and been more prominent in the story right from the start. So much is happening towards the end, but then the book is over. Overall, this was a quick read. It was a really good YA contemporary novel that dealt with a very interesting subject. I just felt a bit let down by the romance aspect of the story. I wanted more. Thanks to edelweiss and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julia (BrightBoldAndBookish)

    Ever since the first time I heard about this book I was intrigued (which for me is practically unheard of when it comes to contemporary novels). When I got it in the mail I actually thought that I wouldnt get to read it for ages because university work was taking over my life. Lucky me, I needed a way to take my mind off of school work and needed an easy book to read and this beauty fit the bill. The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby is an awesome book that is both sweet and frustrating and I Ever since the first time I heard about this book I was intrigued (which for me is practically unheard of when it comes to contemporary novels). When I got it in the mail I actually thought that I wouldn’t get to read it for ages because university work was taking over my life. Lucky me, I needed a way to take my mind off of school work and needed an easy book to read and this beauty fit the bill. The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby is an awesome book that is both sweet and frustrating and I absolutely loved every second of it. As I said before I don’t really tend to like contemporary books. This one however, intrigued me simply because I had never read a book that had this type of plot. Car crash, a coma, and not remembering four years of your life is definitely different for me. I liked, and this is going to sound quite strange because I normally don’t like it, that the narrator, Liv, was mostly unreliable due to her memory loss and people not telling her what was really going on didn’t help any. It was pretty cool that you got to find out what was going on and discover who Liv is as she does herself. The thing I don’t like about contemporary novels is that you generally can see the ending coming a mile away. With this book I definitely saw the ending coming but in this instance I really hoped that I was right and that the ending would be as predictable as I hoped. This particular contemporary novel was kind of mysterious as Liv worked out what was going on but she definitely wasn’t having an easy time with it. People were refusing to answer her questions at every turn and her past, pre-amnesia self had kept secrets from her friends and family so she could only really get so far. If I were this girl I would be WAYYY cranky at people for stonewalling me and treating me like a china doll. Instead, she was pretty calm about the whole thing. Speaking of her family, I got kind of frustrated that the only one who knew to leave her be and let her find herself again was her older brother. Everyone else she knew was constantly trying to turn her back into the person that they knew before the accident when that person didn’t really exist anymore. Matt, her boyfriend, was one of such people and to be completely honest I didn’t particularly like him from the beginning. He didn’t let Liv be Liv as she was in the moment and, along with her best friend, kept trying to turn her back into the person she was before the crash. This was a super easy read. Really! I managed to read it in less than a day (I actually read two books that day so… shrug). It’s short and sweet, and probably what people would call a “summer” read. None of the weird and complicated language that you might find in a high fantasy book to be found. The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby was a super sweet and cute read, perfect for when you want something easy to read. With just enough mystery to keep a non-contemporary reader interested, this book is one that I would recommend to anyone (especially if you are looking for a book to break into the contemporary genre). My Blog - Instagram - Twitter

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelby (shelbyymay)

    The Secret History of Us was a delightful YA contemporary to read (well, listen to), about a girl named Olivia who suffers from memory loss following a car accident. The book proceeds with Olivia waking up in hospital after the accident, none the wiser, and then how she gradually tries to adjust back into her normal life. Unfortunately, with not being able to remember whats happened in the previous 4 years of her life, Olivia doesnt know what her normal is anymore. From initially trying to pick The Secret History of Us was a delightful YA contemporary to read (well, listen to), about a girl named Olivia who suffers from memory loss following a car accident. The book proceeds with Olivia waking up in hospital after the accident, none the wiser, and then how she gradually tries to adjust back into her ‘normal’ life. Unfortunately, with not being able to remember what’s happened in the previous 4 years of her life, Olivia doesn’t know what her ‘normal’ is anymore. From initially trying to pick up where she left off, to then seeking new ways of finding herself, this story is about both exploring the past and looking to the future; and pursuing redemption and renewal. There’s not a great deal of character development, and the narrative is, quite rightly I suppose, focused on Olivia and how she feels and what she does. Although there are other characters involved or affected by the accident, it would have made my rating potentially a 5 star had we have seen chapters from other characters. But the story is quite a light ‘fluffy’ YA novel, that you just need every now and then, you know? And you don’t read in to it too much – just appreciate it for what it is. Because yes, not a lot really happens, and it’s rather short and simple. As I was listening rather than reading this book, actually that worked out quite alright for me – I was predominantly occupied by mundane spreadsheets at the time so just needed a little something to listen to. The ending was a tad rushed and ‘thrown in’ at the end, but you could predictably see it all coming. The blurb kind of gives it a way actually. BUT…I still gave this a 4 star because I really liked it. Yes, it could have been further expanded/developed, but actually it did what it needed to. It was cute, it had a happy ending, and the characters or writing weren’t s***. Happy days!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* This book has quite a few good things going for it, and then a few that kind of missed the mark for me. Overall, it was enjoyable, but let's get to the good versus the not-as-good! The Good: Olivia was quite a sympathetic character. How scary must it be to have no idea what happened over the past four years? Olivia is going through this, and she is understandably shaken. Reading You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* This book has quite a few good things going for it, and then a few that kind of missed the mark for me. Overall, it was enjoyable, but let's get to the good versus the not-as-good! The Good: Olivia was quite a sympathetic character. How scary must it be to have no idea what happened over the past four years? Olivia is going through this, and she is understandably shaken. Reading about her handling this tumultuous situation certainly kept the pages turning for me. She had to try to repair relationships, forge new ones, and figure out how the new and old fit together. Quite intriguing, really. It's incredibly readable. Not only is it a quick book, but it's a nicely flowing book. I read it in one sitting, partly because of the length but also because I was definitely curious to see how it all turned out. The summery vibe was perfect for this time of year! It wasn't something I was expecting, but I enjoyed that Olivia was trying to reclaim her life, but in a really nice setting, with people who were caring and kind, for the most part. The Less So: The ending felt very... abrupt. It seemed as though it was rushed a bit, and perhaps it could have been better if it had been fleshed out a bit more. I liked the ending, but I wanted more of it. I was fairly certain what some of the "secrets" were. While it wasn't a complete deal-breaker for the story, it did take away some of the sense of urgency. Bottom Line:  The Secret History of Us was a quick read, entertaining certainly. I loved watching Olivia try to rebuild her life, I just wish we'd gotten a bit more time with the closure. *Copy provided for review

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    Interesting love triangle, but Walker's character needed more fleshing out. I liked the "idea" of him, but he was still too much of a "secret" to me, the reader, at the end. This could have been a very sweet story. The really enticing parts of the story were glossed over - hinted at. I don't want to provide any spoilers here, but this book had the potential to be memorable. Instead, it suffers from the main character's inability to remember her past after a terrible near drowning. Maybe a Interesting love triangle, but Walker's character needed more fleshing out. I liked the "idea" of him, but he was still too much of a "secret" to me, the reader, at the end. This could have been a very sweet story. The really enticing parts of the story were glossed over - hinted at. I don't want to provide any spoilers here, but this book had the potential to be memorable. Instead, it suffers from the main character's inability to remember her past after a terrible near drowning. Maybe a shifting point of view could have helped this book achieve the emotional depth it was lacking. Something was always just beyond Liv's reach - and in my opinion, it stayed that way. I felt so left out of a potentially great love story. A great idea that just needed a bit more development and depth. Still, a good quick read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charly

    This was considered a young adult piece but it was quick and looked interesting. A story of a young woman who survives a near drowning with the aid of someone she is presented as barely knowing. She suffers a post coma memory loss and then goes about putting together and pulling apart the life people told her was hers for the last 4 years. I think early on one knew where this was going but how it got there was pleasantly surprising.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 3.5 Stars There are many mixed reviews on this one, and I feel like I am somewhere in the middle. I thought this was quite an interesting story of self identity, and overall, enjoyed the book. Olivia had been in a horrific accident. She didn't lose her life, but she lost four years of memories. She spends a great deal of the book trying to figure out who she became during high school. I thought Kirby did a nice job conveying Olivia's struggle and the emotional turmoil she was experiencing Rating: 3.5 Stars There are many mixed reviews on this one, and I feel like I am somewhere in the middle. I thought this was quite an interesting story of self identity, and overall, enjoyed the book. Olivia had been in a horrific accident. She didn't lose her life, but she lost four years of memories. She spends a great deal of the book trying to figure out who she became during high school. I thought Kirby did a nice job conveying Olivia's struggle and the emotional turmoil she was experiencing during this post accident period. My heart really went out to her during this time. I really liked being there with Olivia as she rediscovered her home, her family, and herself. It was beautiful for her to be able to get back to some of the things that were once really important to her, and be more true to herself. There were things in the story, which hinted at Olivia kind of losing sight of things she loved in order to please others, and I was happy she was getting this second chance to fulfill her wants and needs. Then, there were the secrets. I suspected both big secrets, but I still really enjoyed watching the pieces fall into place. My biggest problem was with the ending. One of the reveals was made my heart pitter patter, and I would have liked more. I have a thing about endings, and this one felt like a LifeTime movie ending. We had this decent build, and then it's over all of a sudden, and I feel like I was cheated from something that could have been great. I only say that, because I love where the story ended up, I just wanted more of it. BLOG|INSTAGRAM|BLOGLOVIN| FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  27. 4 out of 5

    Claire (Book Blog Bird)

    I did enjoy this book - the plot was engaging and I liked Liv and the situation she found herself in was pretty awful and made for a good plot. I listened to this on audiobook while doing some painting and decorating (summer holidays) and it kept me interested throughout. In fact, I found myself looking forward to the next time I got an hour to myself to listen to it (while sanding and caulking). The only criticism I have is that I just felt itwas a bit short. It could have done with a few more I did enjoy this book - the plot was engaging and I liked Liv and the situation she found herself in was pretty awful and made for a good plot. I listened to this on audiobook while doing some painting and decorating (summer holidays) and it kept me interested throughout. In fact, I found myself looking forward to the next time I got an hour to myself to listen to it (while sanding and caulking). The only criticism I have is that I just felt itwas a bit short. It could have done with a few more chapters to flesh everything out a bit better. More interaction with Walker. More about how missing four years of her life is such a massive deal when they're such formative years (she has no recollection of anything she learnt at high school. Not a thing. That's massive.) I guess it's a good thing when a book leaves you wanting more, though.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Neeshma Nazar Ayyaril

    3.9 stars . Arc received via Kinokuniya Group Dubai from HarperCollins for an honest review. I just really enjoyed reading this book. Simple yet elegant . Decent and meaningful . It's about finding yourself, it's about lost love without cliche. FAST pacing story line and i love anything that includes Ocean in it...!!! The only -ve is that the last 2 chapters was really fast...like author really needed to finish before the deadline... So there was possibilities in those chapters for good contents , 3.9 stars . Arc received via Kinokuniya Group Dubai from HarperCollins for an honest review. I just really enjoyed reading this book. Simple yet elegant . Decent and meaningful . It's about finding yourself, it's about lost love without cliche. FAST pacing story line and i love anything that includes Ocean in it...!!! The only -ve is that the last 2 chapters was really fast...like author really needed to finish before the deadline... So there was possibilities in those chapters for good contents , BUT not utilized. Highly recommended read and good for 14+ - 20s crowd!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Jessi Kirby is one of those underrated writers that really deserves more credit. My first of her books was Things We Know By Heart, which I read as a review book a couple of years ago. I had Golden sitting on my shelves for a couple of years, and read that one shortly after. I still have two of her books on my TBR and I'm grateful for that fact because each of her books have managed to wow me in a different way. Some contemporary writers write a particular style of book that works for them Jessi Kirby is one of those underrated writers that really deserves more credit. My first of her books was Things We Know By Heart, which I read as a review book a couple of years ago. I had Golden sitting on my shelves for a couple of years, and read that one shortly after. I still have two of her books on my TBR and I'm grateful for that fact because each of her books have managed to wow me in a different way. Some contemporary writers write a particular style of book that works for them (think Sarah Dessen and her perfect of growth and learning books), which is awesome and I love the predictable enjoyment factor. With Jessi Kirby's books, however, I go into each one not really knowing what type of story to expect, which I LOVE. The Secret History of Us is a thriller and opens with a girl being pulled out of the lake. Everyone around her is certain that she's dead and her rescuer begins performing CPR. The girl lives and its her story that we read, as she tries to piece together her memories of that fateful night. The opening scene perfectly set the pace of the book; I was sucked into the story from page one and couldn't put it down. Liv's character development is so real and genuine and I found myself really connecting with her as she tried to puzzle through her life. It's a short, well-paced book and I flew through it in 24 hours, sneaking a page or two in whenever I could. This book releases in the summer, and is perfect for a camping trip read, curled up by the campfire or stretched out in the sun on a warm dock, but will also be perfect to curl up with in front of a roaring fire when the weather turns chilly. Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gray Cox

    Very anti-climatic. This was a quick and easy read, but I found myself thinking "that's it?" when I reached the end.

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