The Impossible Story of Olive in Love – Tonya Alexandra – Story of Olive #1 – Harlequin Teen – Published 20 March 2017
I get that I’m impossible. I get that I’m mad and rude — perhaps even a drama queen at times. But you’d be impossible if you lived my life … You’d be impossible if you were invisible.
Shakespeare was an idiot. Love is not blind. Love is being seen.
Plagued by a gypsy curse that she’ll be invisible to all but her true love, seventeen-year-old Olive is understandably bitter. Her mother is dead; her father has taken off. Her sister, Rose, is insufferably perfect. Her one friend, Felix, is blind and thinks she’s making it all up for attention.
Olive spends her days writing articles for her gossip column and stalking her childhood friend, Jordan, whom she had to abandon when she was ten because Jordan’s parents would no longer tolerate an ‘imaginary friend’. Nobody has seen her — until she meets Tom: the poster boy for normal and the absolute opposite of Olive.
But how do you date a boy who doesn’t know you’re invisible? Worse still, what happens when Mr Right feels wrong? Has destiny screwed up? In typical Olive fashion, the course is set for destruction. And because we’re talking Olive here, the ride is funny, passionate and way, way, way, way dramatic.
The Impossible Story of Olive In Love is a hilarious and (strangely) charming story of love, relationships and growing up that is both unique and quirky.
Olive is invisible. Her family was cursed three generations ago, so that the women in her family (herself, her mother and her grandmother, yet strangely not her sister) are invisible to everyone except their true love. Olive spends her time writing gossip columns and hanging out with her best friend (who happens to be blind and thinks Olive is making up the whole invisible thing). When Olive meets Tom, she is shocked to discover he can see her. Does this mean he is her true love? But falling in love is so much harder than Olive imagined.
While The Impossible Story of Olive In Love does centre around the topics of romance, true love and relationships, the ultimate message is more about Olive and her development of character and growing up rather than a romantic happy ending. There is a sequel, which should tell you something about how this first book ends. Complications of family and friendship (and of course a gypsy curse) also bring plenty of drama, humour and heart to this story.
Olive is uniquely Olive. I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a character who is as brash, rude, independent, lonely, hurting and snarky as Olive. She’s also invisible, so that really sets her apart from your average romance protagonist. I honestly loved Olive, even when it seems she should be totally unlikable. She’s funny and true to herself, even when that means disappointing the people around her. Yet, she does have a lot to learn about understanding the people she cares about and learning how to show that care. There are plenty of humorous moments and some touching ones as well.
I look forward to reading the sequel and continuing Olive’s tumultuous journey towards self-discovery and (maybe) love.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Genre: Magical realism.
Themes: Invisibility, romance, family, curses, love, Gypsies, relationships, visual impairment.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Relationship between girl younger than 18 and an older guy (early 20s). Coarse language, sh** (8), cac (Gaelic for sh**) (21), as***** (1), bit** (2). Sexual references.
Published: 20 March 2017 by Harlequin Teen.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 284 pages.