Oliver Bishop is having a seriously bad day. With one diagnosis, his life suddenly has an expiration date. Confused about the numbness he has to the idea of it, he unwittingly puts himself directly in the sights of a girl that just may give him a reason to fight – and to live.
Available on Amazon October 28, 2013
This is a novella? Hmmm… funny, it doesn’t really seem like a novella. Maybe it’s the fully developed characters, or maybe it’s the gripping story line that had me clicking my ‘next’ button in a mad fervor, anxious to know about this diagnosis, what it means for Oliver, how he’s going to handle it. And anxious, I was—I don’t do angst and anxiety well, so walking through his diagnosis and treatment with Oliver made my heart ache. But imagine my surprise when that wasn’t even the hardest part. Nooooo… that came when Oliver is pumped up and excited with wonderful news, but stumbles upon something and interprets with his eyes and not with his heart. His growth as a character is enormous, though, and his ability to step back and right some wrongs, well—
Let’s back up for a minute, I think I’ve jumped ahead. Oliver is about to graduate from high school when he’s diagnosed with Lymphoma. Stunned, he follows a comforting routine of dinner at the diner, where he meets Hannah, a college student and all-around most awesome chick ever. As the summer progresses and Oliver goes through treatment, she’s at his side, offering what he needs almost before he knows he needs it—and certainly before he can even think to ask for it. Their relationship is physically innocent, yet emotionally vast as they begin to rely on each other, connect on countless levels, and form a single unit. Gifting him with a camera and album, she encourages him to record his memories, knowing he’ll look back on them in appreciation once he’s cured. And she’s certain he will be. I don’t have sufficient words for the fabulousness that is Hannah.
Oliver records his summer as he goes through treatment and falls in love with Hannah. When she returns to college, he plans to regain his strength and surprise her the moment he’s able.
But… well, you have to read it from here; I don’t want to give it away.
Trust me that every heart clench and every tear shed will be worth it. The range of emotion in this book is enormous, spanning the lowest, most aching pain to dry-eyed shock to heartwarming love. And everything you can imagine in between. As I said at the start, this doesn’t feel like a novella. It’s such a complete story, it spans such emotion, and the characters are so well written. I’m impressed with the author’s ability to fit that into a 25,000-word novella.
So, eight hundred million stars. Or five. I think I’m only allowed to give five.
Thank you to Amber L. Johnson for providing me with a copy of Where We Fell in exchange for an honest review.