Sunday, July 20, 2014

Novel Review: Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg

Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: RazorBill (Penguin)
Release Date: May 2013
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she’s haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.

Then Olive meets Nick. He’s dark, handsome, mysterious . . . and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can’t explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance—until Nick makes a troubling confession.

Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.

The Cover:

I don't like this cover.
Okay, to be fair, I do actually like the cover. It's cute, girly, romantic. It's an adorable cover. But it's a bad cover for this book.
Something showing an accident, a girl numb and grieving, would have been more fitting. Given that the romance isn't given as much attention as the accident makes this cover misleading. I also was disappointed with the romance, so making the cover focus on the grief would have been better, in my opinion.


  • "This must be what a parallel universe is like, I thought. Everything looked the same, but I suddenly felt like it wasn’t. Like everything had been taken apart, brick by brick, flower bed by flower bed and put back together in the wrong order. Just like me.” (ARC, pg. 6)
  • "'You’re the one in charge. You’re the only one who can change your destiny no matter what you might think. The sooner you can figure that out, the sooner you can start living for real.’” (Pg. 101-102)
  • "When I was little I would avoid the cracks in the sidewalk and step over them, convinced it would keep me safe. But now I knew it was useless. The cracks were everywhere, and there was no escaping them.” (Pg. 102)
  • "'Olive. You don’t buy a dress like this for an occasion. You create the occasion for the dress.’” (Pg. 141)
  • "It reinforced the fact that it didn’t matter where we had been before. What mattered was how it had changed us, how it had brought us together, and what happened next.” (Pg. 204)


I am mostly just disappointed with this book. I was expecting a good, romantic book, and after I started it, also with a serious plotline. That is not what I got.
Olive was in a car accident, which she caused, and some people think she did it on purpose. She doesn’t remember clearly what happened, and she doesn’t really want to. She just wants to go back to before it happened, happy with her boyfriend, close with her best friend, back to how it was with her family.
I didn’t really care for Olive, especially when I found out what had happened to cause the accident. I can understand why she did what she did, but I don’t like it, and I don’t agree with it. I didn’t care for her sulking about her boyfriend, or why she was a jerk to her family and best friend.
This book had a lot of Olive trying to get over the crash and deal with the changes (much more than the romance), and I understand that maybe Olive was frustrated and numb and upset, but I still didn’t really feel that. The emotions just weren’t portrayed very well for me.
I just did not really believe her, or some of the other characters. They just didn't seem real to me. And given how Olive felt about her parents during the majority of the book, the huge change in perspective or personality at the end of the book did not seem even remotely believable. I'm not sure if she was suddenly looking at them differently, or if they were suddenly being understandable, either. If she was supposed to have been an unreliable narrator, then it didn't work, because I didn't believe her enough. If they suddenly weren't being so harsh anymore, then that was way too sudden. Either way it didn't work.
Also, the reason behind the crash seemed to be pushed a lot in the synopsis (particularly related to the music), and quite a bit in the book, and it just didn’t seem as important when the reveal came. It wasn’t as dramatic or as surprising or exciting as I thought it should have been.
I did not understand her attraction to Nick at all. He seemed like a distant loner, possibly dangerous, for most of the book. And yet she was thinking about him all the time, acting like they were really close, when I wasn’t seeing any actual attraction or chemistry between them at all. There were maybe fifty pages near the end of the book with actual emotion in it, but that didn’t make up for the rest of the book.
The ending worked, I guess. I’ve read similar endings before, and I think I would have liked it more, thought it was cute, if I’d liked the characters more. Given that I didn’t really care for them, or feel much for them at all, it just didn’t work for me.
Mostly I was just disappointed with this. The characters and the emotions just weren’t there for me, I didn't connect, and I didn't enjoy it.

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