Lisa McMann’s Dead to You meets Kate Ellison’s The Butterfly Clues in a psychological thriller full of romance, intrigue, and mystery.
One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: “I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM.” But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours. All she knows is that her father, the reverend at the Church of the Holy Promise, is missing, as is Hannah, a young girl from the parish. Their disappearances have to be connected and Callie knows that her father was not a righteous man.
Since that fateful night, she’s been plagued by graphomania — an unending and debilitating compulsion to write. The words that flow from Callie’s mind and through her pen don’t seem to make sense — until now.
As the anniversary of Hannah’s vanishing approaches, more words and memories bubble to the surface and a new guy in school might be the key to Callie putting together the puzzle. But digging up the secrets she’s buried for so long might be her biggest mistake.
I was kind of uncomfortable going into this. I mean no offense to the publisher at all, but I had just finished White Space by Ilsa J. Bick and I was severely let down. Egmont is the publisher of this and that, and though it’s stupid to judge a publisher off of one book I didn’t like, I sort of did.
This book was like Egmont’s resurrection to me. They are totally awesome again (I know, I know, my logic is really flawed).
Oblivion is that mystery/thriller/psychological book that is so hard to find in YA. Callie Knowles remembers nothing from the night her father and a girl from his congregation, Hannah, went missing. All she knows is that she was found three days later in an abandoned apartment writing all this weird stuff on the wall, primarily “I killed him.”
Her graphomania causes her to blackout and write things throughout the book, intensifying as the anniversary draws closer. With her new acquaintance and person-she-loves-but-says-she-can’t-love, John, she begins to start finding memories through her words. But the more she remembers? The more clueless she becomes.
I absolutely loved this book. Honestly, it was exciting and I had no idea what to really think throughout the book. Were they dead? Did Callie really kill her dad? What did John and Callie’s mom have to do with it? While I thought the book skipped something towards the end and didn’t wrap up one little string I wanted to know more about, I found this to be a fun ride.
Plot: 4 out of 5
Callie was a very sweet character for the most part. She had her flaws and doubts like any human being and I may not have liked all of her choices, but they really made sense. Not to mention that she’s someone who definitely cares about her foster family. Some kids might just shrug them off, say “I’ve only known them for a year,” and do their own thing. Callie cares for her foster sister all throughout the book. I really liked that about her.
John was a wee bit lackluster to me. I understood his motives, but more faintly. A very believing and trusting guy to have believed that fortune teller years ago. Although, I would have been a bit wary of his “falling in love” with me just because a fortune teller kind of described me to him years ago. He seemed like a nice enough guy, though. I wish that we could have seen more about his family, interests, and that elusive cousin of his mentioned throughout the book, but oh well.
The other characters seemed pretty well described for side characters, although I always want more info on them. It’s sad that there are always so many minor characters with their own stories that you don’t always get to see. Elijah definitely fit the jerky category. Kind of reminded me of how I imagined the Tortelli kids on Cheers. Lindsey was that rebel child who had her pick of the male species and often drug Callie into her schemes. And Callie’s poor mom. . . You see her in the sanitarium, but you never fully find out the exact why from the sanitarium (as in what psychological disorder). I mean, we know that she stabbed Callie’s dad in the thigh, but it always seemed like people would rather believe she was crazy than see if she had a reason to be stabbing their beloved pastor. Though, in the end, yeah, she was crazy. It did rather get explained. I’m just disappointed in the sanitarium for not diagnosing her for me. (Because, you know, the world is supposed to cater to me)
Characters:4 out of 5
*claps hands* Bravo, bravo, well done. It seems like this is always the category that I have to bash. But I found the setting very well described. There was so much going on in this book, but I never once felt lost (excluding that part where I felt like I missed something. But, I really may have missed something). Everything about the place made sense and I knew where I was at all times.
The writing style was really good too. I love how Dawn would bring on her graphomania and show us her words without ever making us feel like we were being taken out of the story.
Writing Style/Setting: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars. Awesome book. I’d rate it 15+ for more adult references and language. You should most definitely preoder this pretty, though. You can preorder Oblivion on Amazon for $13.67.
I received a copy of Oblivion on NetGalley for an honest review. My opinions here are my own.