Review | The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 24th July 2017 

 

Gorgeously written and emotionally charged, The Secret History of Us explores the difficult journey of a teenage girl who must piece her life together after losing her memory in a near-fatal accident.

When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a car accident that almost took her life, she can’t remember the details about how she got there. She figures the fog is just a symptom of being in a week-long coma, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last several days of her life—she’s lost her memory of the last four years. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. 

As Liv tries to block out what her family and friends say about who she used to be, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance—and the only person Olivia inexplicably feels herself with. With her feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living.

A quick, breezy read that I need every now and then to escape reality.

The story follows Liv, who miraculously survives a fatal car accident but has lost her memory of the last four years of her life. Her journey to recovery after the accident made me question how I would react if I woke up with the realisation that I’d lost the last 4 years of my life and whether I’m happy with the person I am today. After creating a quick summary of things I would change vs things I would like to remain the same, it turns out if I were to lose the last 4 years of my memory, there are definitely things in my life that I would do differently.

The message I took from The Secret History of Us is that we shouldn’t care about what other people thinks of us or what society expects us to do. Do what you want.

“You gotta go with what seems right to you, not what you think you should be doing because it’s what you’ve been told. You’re allowed to change. We all are.”

We spend half our lives living in fear that we’ll get judged for doing something unconventional or un-us. But who cares about what other people think? Life is short, do what you want for yourself.

Jessi Kirby continues to be on my list of authors to look out for every year. I can’t wait for her future books!

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