Review - Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O'Roark

by - Monday, October 17, 2016


Title: Waking Olivia
Author: Elizabeth O'Roark
Genres: Contemporary, NA, Sports Romance, College
Published: March 14th 2016

"That girl isn't just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She's trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety. She's the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more. And the last thing I need right now is more trouble."

A failing farm.
His father’s debt.
And a struggling college track team. 
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.

A smart mouth. 
A strong right hook.
And a secret that could destroy her. 
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please.
Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her. 
And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.


I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of the book from Netgalley! You never fail to amaze me. 

Waking Olivia is the kind of book that renders you speechless and leaves you with a major book hangover. The kind where you mope around for a couple of days and refuse to pick up another book just because you did not want to detach yourself from Olivia and Will's story, where even the mere sight of sport shoes will trigger the waterworks and you reach for another box of Kleenex.


Ugh, it was ugly for me. I woke up with a bittersweet feeling that was as powerful as finishing a series, and the author managed to do it in 79 Chapters + a sweet epilogue of a standalone book. 

Olivia Finnegan is a troubled track athlete whose performance is astounding, yet inconsistent. After a scandal that gave her a bad reputation in her old school, she moved to a new college in hopes to train with an infamous coach, only to be handed down to Will Langstorm who decided to make her life a living hell. To top it off, the word of her assault spread like wildfire in her new college and Olivia was facing a huge amount of stress, causing her to have even more frequent nightmarish episodes. She never meant for Will to know her secrets or about the faceless monster that lurked in her nightmares. Running was all Olivia have known, but as Will slowly unravel her truth, they were blindsided by the intensity of their chemistry. 

Forbidden yet tempting, how can something so wrong feel so right? 

Just because her eyes don't tear, doesn't mean her heart doesn't cry. Just because she comes off strong, doesn't mean there's nothing wrong. 

What I loved most about this book is probably Will's ability to see through Olivia's defenses. Reading about Olivia's depressing childhood had my throat in knots throughout the book, disgusted by what happened and appalled at what had become of Olivia in her later years, I was desperate for someone to save Olivia from herself. Although Will and Olivia weren't one for insta-love, the slow yet intense build up of their relationship was what reeled me in. There wasn't a dull moment between them and the fact that it was forbidden made it even more thrilling! It's twisted I know, but I enjoyed reading Will's battle against his will (haha, pun intended!) and Olivia's struggle in coming to terms with her past. 

If you already love the MCs, I bet you'd equivalently love Will's family. Will's brother Brendan loves tormenting his brother by harassing Olivia, knowing that it gets on Will's nerves. Although he sounded like an a** most of the time, Brendan added life to the book and made it impossibly funny. If you thought Will's mom is the strict and uptight kind, I assure you that Dorothy won the "Best Mother of the Year" award hands down. There's just something wholesome about the characters that made the story so vivid and believable. 

The author's writing was mystifying, I can't seem to tear myself away from the story even for a bathroom break. From the setting to the storyline, Waking Olivia is NA romance at its best. Three words that best describe the book: intense, steamy and explosiveI never saw it coming. 

I've been craving for an emotional fix and Olivia and Will had broken down my water dammittt! *grabs another tissue* 

If you love forbidden romance with explosive chemistry and damaged characters with a painful past, this is your perfect read.

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