Review: OLIVER LOVING by Stefan Merrill Block

Janelle Advance Copy, Book Reviews, Contemporary, Flatiron Books, From Publisher, Literary Fiction Leave a Comment

Thank you so much to the wonderful Flatiron Books for providing my free copy – all opinions are my own. 

“Survival was not a story you could tell. Survival was the telling, and that was the burden and the gift of living.”

This is a heartbreaking story that takes place in a Texas town about a family and how they deal with life in the aftermath of a tragedy. Ten years ago, a terrible incident occurred at Oliver’s high school which left him in a coma. The novel is written from multiple perspectives between Oliver and his family. As you are reading, it feels very real and you can’t help but get emotional. This is a very different take on a very well known subject which kept me captivated. My heart ached for each character as they dealt with hope and despair. 

The writing, character development, and plot are absolutely brilliant. The biggest problem I had was it was overly verbose. In my opinion, It could have been cut down a bit in the middle. If this were written as a shorter book, I would probably rate it differently. But that being said, Block’s prose is beautiful and this is an interesting, dark story that I read to the end for a reason. I have to say it was thought-provoking, intense, and I’m very glad I read it. 

I rate this book 3.5 / 5 stars! 

Available today! Click here to purchase on Amazon. 

Leave a Reply