Everyone has days, weeks, even months they wish they could do over—but what about an entire year? After living through the worst twelve months of her life, intensive care nurse Olive Watson is given a second chance to relive her past and attempt to discover where she went wrong… After a year of hardships, including a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend Phil, the prospect of her mother’s remarriage, and heartbreaking patient losses at the hospital, Olive is ready to start fresh. But when she wakes up in her ex-boyfriend’s bed on New Year’s Day 2011—a day she has already lived—Olive’s world is turned upside down. Shouldering a year of memories that no one else can recall, even Olive begins to question herself—until she discovers that she is not alone. Upon crossing paths with Sherry Witan, an experienced “repeater,” Olive learns that she has the chance to rewrite her future. Given the opportunity of a lifetime, Olive has to decide what she really wants. Should she make different choices, or accept her life as she knows it, flaws and all?
Imagine living through the worst year of your life just to wake up on New Year's Day and realize you are back at the very beginning of that year. That is exactly what happened to Olive. She has just woken up in 2011, again, in her ex-boyfriend's bed. Of course she is scared and a little freaked out, but soon Olive realizes that this is her only chance to make things right. She can go back and fix all the wrong she has done in the past year and stop bad things from happening. Then she meets Sherry, a friend of her mother who has had many repeat years before. She isn't the nicest of women, but Olive has no choice to seek her out for advice and comfort. Can these two women come together to help each other and fix their past mistakes? Or is Olive going to have to relive the year all over again?
You know the kind of book where you sit down to read for just a few minutes and you don't get back up until you have read the whole thing? That is this book. The Repeat Year has been one of the best books I have read so far this year. I know almost everyone has thought at one time in their lives that they wish they could go back and fix a mistake. How would you handle it and what mistakes would you fix?
Olive is just like the rest of us. She is only human, she makes mistakes. Unfortunately though, her mistakes are quite big. She lost her longtime boyfriend, Phil, and she even lost her best friend, Kerrigan. To top that off, her mother is getting married again only a few years after her father's death and she hasn't been very supportive. Those three things can only give you stress. I immediately fell for Olive and could feel her pain through the pages. Even though she didn't always show it, she had a big heart. I couldn't imagine being in her situation.
When I first started reading, I thought I knew how Olive's year was going to play out. But as I continued through her story, I found that things were not going as I expected. One of the things I presumed was that most of the story would be focused on two or three big events and then it would end. It was, in fact, just the opposite. There is so much more to this story than what you are lead to believe. Olive can't just go back and fix her big mistakes, she has to learn from them as well as small mistakes she didn't even realize she made. It was so refreshing to see Olive grow as a person and in her relationships. There were many small twists that kept me glued to the pages even when I should have been doing something else. I read as much as possible, whenever possible. Only a truly great story can grab and hold my attention this way.
Overall, this was a truly amazing read. I turned the last page feeling only hope for these characters and for myself. There are many small life lessons to pick up from Olive's story, and even Sherry's. These characters will feel like your own family and friends, like you've known them for years. You can't help but want to see them succeed.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, especially those who enjoy stories about family, friendship and love.
For more about Andrea Lochen and The Repeat Year, visit her website here.
*I received this book for free in exchange of an honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way and all views and opinions expressed are 100% my own.