The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald | Book Review

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald | Book Review | Petite Mélanie The suspense story of how a girl came to fall off a bridge - and how a mother must now find out the truth of what happened to her daughter. Suspense, mystery, Young Adult, Teen novel.

The Night Olivia Fell

Author: Christina McDonald

Publisher: Gallery Books

Release date: February 5th, 2019

Pages: 368

Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Rating: ★★★

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| Buy The Night Olivia Fell here |


In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?


Why did I choose to read The Night Olivia Fell?

Here’s another book I discovered while writing of my monthly book-releases post. I discovered this book back in January, as I was researching the book releases of February 2019.

The cover was beautiful and eerie at the same time! I was immediately intrigued. I purchased it the following month, but only started reading it towards the end of April.

As you know if you’ve been reading my posts about books, I love a good suspense/mystery story, and the synopsis also caught my attention.

What did I think of The Night Olivia Fell?

Verdict: I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. In fact, I started reading it in April, then I put it aside, and only recently finished reading it (in June).

That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. It was an easy read; the mystery was enough to keep me intrigued and made me want to finish reading it. However, this book wasn’t perfect, and here a few reasons why.

First, I think it should have been marketed as a “Young Adult/mystery” book, instead of an Adult suspense/thriller. Many of the themes in this book would have fitted better in the Young Adult category, such as teen pregnancy, mother-daughter relationship, teenage romance, etc. Had it been marketed as such, I may have enjoyed it a bit more, since I wouldn’t have been expecting a regular thriller novel.

Second, I didn’t really connect with the mother, Abi Knight. The novel is told from two perspectives, Olivia’s, from before the accident, and Abi’s, as she deals with the aftermath. When in Olivia’s point of view, I thought some of Abi’s character traits were unrealistic and overexaggerated. For example, Abi was deeply protective of Olivia, like any mother would be, but it was all too much. It wasn’t that it was annoying, it was unbelievable. As such, I didn’t get to feel for Abi as much as I should have.

Also, many of the character’s reactions were confusing and seemed out-of-character. I found myself more than once ever-so-slightly rolling my eyes at the book, because I wasn’t convinced of something I had just read.

And finally, plot holes. I won’t go into details because I try to keep these reviews as spoilers-free as possible, but, yes, there are a few plot holes.

But now, let’s talk about what I enjoyed of The Night Olivia Fell. I gave this book a rating of 3-stars, which means I did like it.

Except for the negative aspects I mentioned above, I loved the mother-daughter relationship between Abi and Olivia. I thought the moments when they were together were heartwarming.

Also, I liked how the story was told: alternating between Abi, as she learns what happened to her daughter to her finding out the truth, and Olivia, from before the accident up until her fall and what lead to it.

Plus, I quite liked the ending. I thought it made sense, if a little bit predictable. Although, the delivery threw me off a bit, and I hadn’t quite figure out what had happened.

All in all, The Night Olivia Fell was an enjoyable read. I would recommend it mostly to teens and fans of the Young Adult genre.

Have you read The Night Olivia Fell? Let me know in the comments below what you thought!

Until next time!

– Mélanie


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  1. Kim says:

    Good review. I will try to find it so I can read it. Great writing

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