Member Reviews

Fabulous book! I kept thinking that I knew who did the deed and then the story would take me in another direction. I really enjoyed the book and the author!

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I was hooked from the very beginning with this one. I did not want to put it down. I cannot believe this is a debut novel.

At first I thought it was obvious what had happened but then the author would throw something else in and I would question my thoughts. This happened repeatedly throughout this book and not until things got to the very end did it all make sense. Every twist the author threw in was believable and helped move the storyline. There were so many moving parts and secrets in this book but I loved every single thing that was revealed.

The characters were the best part of this book. They were real and as the story moved along you realized that no one was as perfect as they seemed on the outside and they all had their own secrets. This made every single person a suspect in my head, even Olivia herself.

Excellent book. Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for the opportunity to read this title.

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How well do we really know our children? And what happens when we keep secrets? The Night Olivia Fell is both a compelling mystery and a cautionary tale about the consequences of keeping secrets. It's a great book for the beach or a long plane ride (I read it on a cross country flight) as it keep you turning the pages to reach the not-entirely-unexpected conclusion. There are some pretty heavy themes throughout the book (infidelity, right-to-life, suicide, mental illness) but most are handled with a light touch and only given the surface treatment. Still, it's a fast-paced book that will keep you guessing.

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Amazing book! Loved how it varied point of view. Great characters. Would highly recommend this thriller!

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I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald could have just been a typical "mom seeks the truth about what happened to her daughter" book except it was not. Christina McDonald's writing makes you connect with the characters, root for Abi, a single mom whose entire life revolved around her daughter, Olivia, and makes it a "cannot put down" book.

Abi wakes in the middle of the night to hear every mother worst fear - her studious, sensible daughter had an accident. At the hospital she learns Olivia fell off a bridge, is braindead, and, oh yeah, she is pregnant. Abi's word turns upside down and she will not stop at anything to find out what happened that night on the bridge.

Using flashbacks McDonald flips back and forth between the present and the months leading up to Olivia's fall. This technique lets us see how in just a few months a person can change by keeping secrets and not letting others in.

I was not sure until the end of the story what really happened to Olivia. This is a suspenseful mystery that sucks you in from the very beginning.

I have added Christina McDonald to my "authors to read" list.

Review published on, Smashbomb, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble on 3/1/19.

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Abi’s world is shattered when she receives a call in the middle of the night that her teenage daughter, Olivia, has been in a terrible accident. Olivia now suffers from a brain injury and Abi is left with a lot of questions and a police squad that isn't being helpful. Abi takes it upon herself to find out what actually happened to Olivia that night and who is responsible. As she investigates certain leads she learns a lot about her daughter and the devastating news that someone from her past may be behind this. review: I think my review may be a bit different than some, solely because I read Reconstructing Amelia and the two books have striking similarities... so much so that I found myself comparing the two the entire time I was reading it. However, if you haven't read Reconstructing Amelia I think you will *love* this book. The book is a real page turner and as Abi starts learning more about Olivia, it's almost impossible to put this book down. The mystery and twists within this book are surprising and totally believable. I loved the writing and thought the author did a great job of developing the characters throughout the story without revealing too much right off the bat. The ending totally wrecked me. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

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While I wouldn't consider this book a thriller, it is still an enjoyable mystery. The plot is unique and interesting and I suppose it could be realistic. I will be looking forward to more from this author in the future.

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The Night Olivia Fell, an emotional, domestic thriller, is one of my favorite books in the last year.

Abi, Olivia's mother, gets a phone call late at night, one which every mother dreads--her daughter has fallen and is in critical condition on life support, and is also pregnant!

The story goes back to before the fall, and is told in alternate chapters by Abi and Olivia. I was totally engaged with this story the longer I read. I have to say it's been a very long time I've shed tears over a fiction book, but this one did it!

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Abi's worst nightmare comes true when her 17 year old daughter, Olivia, is in an accident. Upon arrival at the hospital, she discovers that not only is her daughter brain dead ... but also pregnant! How and why did Olivia fall off the bridge? Were there any witnesses? Was it truly an accident, or something more sinister? And, who is the baby's father?

This fast-paced story kept me guessing until the very end. Who was there "The Night Olivia Fell?" Was it him? Was it her? Alternating between the present with Abi's point of view and the past with Olivia's, the story continued to move two steps forward and then one step back again while I scrambled to figure out how the pieces fit together.

"Family ... was like a box of puzzles pieces. They filled all the holes of your life with little pieces that all together make you whole."

Just like a puzzle, this story about a single mother's bond with her teen daughter will break your heart and then piece it back together again.

"Being a parent is one long process of daring yourself to let go. It's like I always have this instinct to never let you out of my sight, but I know I need to teach you to be confident and independent on your own. Sometimes it feels like an impossible tightrope to walk."

The end made me cry, and since I definitely didn't expect that from a thriller, it earned one of my elusive 5 star ratings!

"Whenever, whatever. I'm here forever."

If you want to read more fictional accounts about pregnant women on life support, I'd highly recommend The Promise of Stardust (5 stars) by Priscille Sibley and The Choices We Make (5 stars) by Karma Brown.

Location: Washington (Portage Point and Seattle)

I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Once Upon a Book Club - February 2019

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"...everybody -- no matter how harmless they seem -- has the capacity to veer outside the lines. It's just a matter of how far they go."

On the night that Abi Knight gets the call informing her that there's been an accident, she rushes to the ER to find her daughter, Olivia, brain dead from severe head trauma leading to irreversible damage incompatible with life. Olivia, 17 years old, is also pregnant. It's then that Abi realizes that she didn't know her beloved daughter as well as she thought and that Olivia had slipped from her control and protection. When the authorities don't seem to be looking at Olivia's fall from the bridge as anything more than an accident, Abi joins up with Anthony Bryant, a victim advocate with the Seattle Police Department to find out what really happened that night. But first, Abi needs to come to terms with her own lies. Even as Olivia remains on life support in order to mature the fetus so that it can be delivered, Abi spends all her time asking questions of those friends who were connected to Olivia. There's so much she doesn't know and she still has to confront her big secret -- Olivia's father. She'd never told Olivia the truth. NO SPOILERS.

If this sounds rather melodramatic to you, then you're not alone in that perception. It is marketed as being for fans of two other books that I read but it is most similar to RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA in my opinion. The author attempts to present a few different scenarios and possibilities for what happened and who might have been responsible, but the tension and suspense that is usually present in a thriller is missing here. The main focus was on how much Abi loved Olivia and the mother-daughter bond. I felt that much of the narrative was quite unrealistic in portraying the thoughts of teenaged Olivia and also the actions of Abi going round questioning friends, etc. I really wanted to like Abi -- as a mother of daughters I could feel empathy for her incipient loss of Olivia, but for some reason her behavior and the things she had done basically annoyed me. And don't get me started on the convenient romantic entanglement. UGH. NO. There were just too many things that irked me so my heartstrings weren't tugged as I don't really enjoy gut-wrenching tales as they seem too contrived to wring out all that emotion. Anyway, the book was a fast read and easy to finish in a single sitting. I guess I'm just not a fan of somewhat manipulative relationship stories as I'm more of a crime fiction and gritty thriller lover.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the e-book ARC to read and review.

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The Night Olivia Fell is a suspenseful story that kept me up til early in the morning to finish! Abi receives a call that her daughter, Olivia, has fallen off a bridge and is now brain dead. As Abi tries to figure out what happened to Olivia, secrets start to come to the surface. Christina McDonald has written a captivating debut novel! I can't wait to see what the future holds!

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I couldn't believe this was a debut novel for Christina!! I loved every word!! The title was absolutely perfect and made me want to read it right away. I never guessed the ending!! Absolutely brilliant!!

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The Night Olivia Fell⁣
Christina McDonald⁣
⁣2.5 stars

I was really looking forward to reading this book. It was marketed as a mystery/thriller and that’s a go to genre for me. Unfortunately, that’s not what this book is. ⁣
The premise is interesting, a pregnant teenager on life support that must be kept alive until the baby is born. The pace of the writing was well done. But this book is actually a YA mystery with not much suspense at all. ⁣
While I loved the premise, the story just fell flat. To many things were unbelievable, too many things were too easy, and too many things contradicted who we knew the characters to be. ⁣
While this book wasn’t for me, if you have a teenager who wants a mystery book that’s safe for them to read and shows the pitfalls of engaging with the wrong people, this book may be a great choice.

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The Night Olivia Fell was a great book that kept me guessing the entire time. It is a gut-wrenching story of a mother and daughter who seem to have lost each other over the years. I was so wrapped up in the characters and the story I couldn't put this one down! It was very well written and a great first book for the author. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for an electronic ARC of this book to review. It was a pleasure to read and I cant wait to read her next novel!

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Very rarely does a thriller bring me to tears but The Night Olivia Fell was able to do so. Starting from the beginning when Adi gets a call in the middle of the night telling her there has been an accident involving her teenage daughter, Olivia. When the phone rings in the middle of the night you immediately know it is not good news and this call was no different.

Adi is a single mother who has gone to great lengths to protect her daughter. She oversees her daughters schoolwork, pushes her to volunteer, sets strict rules and basically makes it so she knows where Olivia is at every minute of the day. If you were anything like me when you were a teenager, then you found ways to break your parents rules without them ever finding out.

Upon arriving at the hospital Adi finds out that Olivia fell off a town bridge and is now braindead. To make matters worse...Olivia is pregnant! The hospital explains to Adi that they will be keeping Olivia on life support in hopes that the baby will survive. Given that Olivia is only a few weeks along, this give Adi plenty of time to get the answers she so badly needs.

The last chapter broke me...I will not anything more than that because I do not want to spoil anything but have your tissues ready.

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3.5 stars rounded up to 4.*

The Night Olivia fell is the first book by Christina McDonald that I've read, and I chose it solely from the description: "In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant."

It is the story of Abi Knight - dealing with the dual reality that her daughter will die when she is done incubating her grandchild (that she was completely unaware of) and trying to push for answers about how Olivia fell from the bridge resulting in her injury that has left her braindead in the first place.

The author did a great job weaving an interesting and relatable backstory for Abi - herself a teenaged single mom, who thought by being completely involved and restrictive with Olivia she could keep her from the same fate.

The auxiliary characters (boyfriend, best friend, best friend's brother, possible half-sister, possible father, aunt, detectives) are all strong and combine to build a good story with a great twist.

*with thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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A top read of this year - I love that the two story lines flow separately and then become one in the end. The author did a great job at the character development which left me really involved even after reading.

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As a mother of a daughter, this book was tough to read but it was so well-crafted and well written I kept furiously turning pages even as I wiped the tears away as I imagined myself enmeshed in even a fraction of the drama that plagued poor Abi... The secrets were painstakingly extricated in a continual build and release of tension that was just this side of painful, but made the overall tale all the more compelling as a result. This was a great find and a really fast read.

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Ok so my suspect list was accurate kinda.. I love the way it flowed and the way the author told this story.. however I will warn you when you get to the ending chapters have some tissue.. you will cry..

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I absolutely loved this book!

Full of suspense! A page turning thriller that pulls you in and never lets go. I really really couldn’t wait to find out what happened. I felt so much for these characters and could not read fast enough.

Captivating! Addictive! Thrilling!

A must read! I can’t wait to read more buy this author.

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