18 Things (My So Called After Life #1)

Young Adult

PARANORMAL:  Lightning never strikes twice... That may be true, but once was enough for Olga to lose her beloved best friend Conner. Because she failed to save him, Olga feels not only the pain of his loss, but the guilt of perceived responsibility, as well. Making it worse, is the fact everyone else blames her as well. As a consequence, she takes a bottle of pills to escape everything. Her parents, in an effort to help her, make her go to a therapist. She prescribes a bucket list… 18 daring and different things Olga needs to come up with and then do…with the help of Nate, the new boy in her life.  After completing the list, however, Olga will learn secrets that will shake up her existence forever.


Wow, just wow!  Being struck speechless and bowled over by a book doesn’t happen often but in this regard Jamie Ayres is a force of nature! Despite much that happens, “18 Things”, may feel a bit slow starting out, but The List comes to the rescue with the spirit of High School fun, youth and freedom! The close-knit group of Olga’s friends, the Jedi Order, gives this novel incredible spirit and energy. They balance the gravity of Olga’s journey to let go of Conner and guilt perfectly. What makes it stand out, however, is the absolute shocker that changes EVERYTHING completely near the end of the book. The author accomplishes this beautifully!  It is a twist that, in hindsight is visible, but nearly impossible to guess beforehand. Bravo, Ms. Ayres! Readers. keep the next book close by!


Mimi Smith