Review: Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark

29494152Waking Olivia
Author: Elizabeth O’Roark
Publication Date: March 12, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“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 was told by other bloggers that I would love this book. I knew it had to be a great new adult novel, but I had no idea what I was in store for. Waking Olivia was amazing! It left me  wondering why I haven’t heard of author Elizabeth O’Roark before?!?!

Elizabeth O’Roark’s writing was exceptional. The emotions in this book were so palpable and intense. I felt fear, loathing, anger, nervousness, sadness, happiness, love, hope. It was amazing and overwhelming at the same time. I felt like I was in the story! And the plot. It was so complex! Waking Olivia wasn’t just another romance. It had a darker, thriller side to it. It was so cool. I also have to throw in the fact that the running theme in this book actually worked. It’s very rare to find a book where running as part of the plot feels natural. It did here.

I loved the main characters in Waking Olivia. Neither of them was perfect, which made them feel all the more real. They were both so complex and compelling, especially Olivia. She was haunted by her past and could barely function in the present. She came across as a hard person, so getting to know what was deep inside her was rewarding. I had such hope for her. Will may not have initially been happy with his new trouble-making track star, but I loved the fire Olivia brought to his life. Being around her showed who he really was. He may have been the sexy track coach, but he was also a compassionate human being.

I’m not a big fan of student-teacher/coach relationship, so I was originally worried I wouldn’t enjoy the forbidden romance between Olivia and Will. I shouldn’t have worried, though. I loved Will and Olivia’s connection. The relationship between them and their situation didn’t have a truly forbidden feel. They were so close in age (even if Will seemed so much more mature) and it felt more like a workplace romance than a student-teacher one. I do have to admit that the secrecy of their relationship did set me on edge several times, but I loved Will and Olivia together. They completed each other in a very special way.

One of the things I loved most about Waking Olivia was the last few chapters. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the entire story. I was so addicted to it that if I could have forced myself to stay awake any longer, I would have read it in one sitting. But there was something so special about the ending. Where some authors would have ended the story, Elizabeth O’Roark continued it. She made it a true story of healing. I felt like I got a well thought out and possible conclusion for Olivia. I really loved that.

If you’re a new adult fan or just a romance fan in general, you really need to read Waking Olivia. It’s an awesome experience that you don’t want to miss. (You can find it as one of NetGalley’s Read Now books.)

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