Tag Archives: Our Song

Our Song – Jordanna Fraiberg

Our Song – Jordanna FraibergTitle: Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg
Publishing Info: May 2, 2013 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Psych/Mental Health, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 25, 2013

    Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she’s haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.
Then Olive meets Nick. He’s dark, handsome, mysterious . . . and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can’t explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance—until Nick makes a troubling confession.
Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.

bookreview1

OUR SONG was an interesting read for me. The first half of the book actually went by really quickly. I was really interested in Olive’s story and I totally breezed through. The second half of the book sort of seemed to take a lot longer for me to get through, though.

The story starts off with Olive Bell coming back home after a car accident for which she spent two weeks in the hospital. She can’t quite remember the details of what happened and why except for the fact that she has this string of lyrics and a melody running through her head — a faded memory of the accident and a key to the mystery of it all. I loved this puzzle of the mystery song throughout the first half of the book! I was dying to know why this song was stuck in her head and how come she couldn’t find any information about it.
The second half of the book kind of let me down with the reveal of how the song was related to the accident, though. I thought the reveal was kind of… off the path of where the book was taking us. It just didn’t seem to fit the general feel, in my opinion. Just didn’t do it for me. What I DID like was the reveal of Olive’s actual accident and the events leading up to it. I was like, “OHHH that makes so much sense!” That was very fitting, even if I wasn’t sold on the song part of it.

I like that Olive was basically reinventing herself after the accident. She knew it was a defining moment in her life — not just because she had technically died and come back to life — but also because although she couldn’t quite remember what, she knew there was something that led to the accident that changed her. I like that she didn’t just go back to her regular life, as much as she had originally wanted to. It was nice to see that change in her and to see her making her own choices instead of what she thought other people wanted.
On the flip side, I wasn’t quite sure I like the ways that she changed. The romance in this book, Nick, sort of became her partner in crime, so to speak, but I actually didn’t like their rebellious  nature together. Maybe it’s because I’m still that girl who finds the need to please other people, but I kind of felt like Nick was getting her into more trouble than helping her. I guess in the long run, he really helped her figure out who she wanted to be, even if she did a few crazy things along the way, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was more of a bad influence on her than a good one. *shrugs*

That being said, I just never really ended up liking Nick as the romance. He felt unreliable and dangerous. I mean, this girl was in a car accident, right? So why does she never speak up when he’s driving around recklessly through L.A. in a beat up Jaguar (which clearly has been through some traumatic things on its own)? If Olive didn’t even want to drive anywhere near where the accident happened, why was she okay with Nick driving so crazily? She was holding on for dear life a few times, sure, but even still. I felt like that didn’t quite fit.

I liked how the ending came around with Olive and the issues she had with her family, her final decision about ex-boyfriend Derek, and a touching conclusion with Nick, but it all felt a little too perfect for me. Mostly with her family. I liked that things wrapped up well with her family, but it all felt too convenient and quick.

I think I was just much more invested in the first half of OUR SONG than the second and I wasn’t quite sold on several things in the end. The fact that I never connected with Nick as a romantic interest and failed to swoon didn’t quite help my enjoyment of the book! I think a lot of people can like this one, but it just wasn’t quite for me.

character_breakdown1

Olive: I liked Olive and her transformation as well as how she ended up dealing with the aftermath of her car accident. I felt like she made a lot of mistakes and at times was a little melodramatic, but then again, hey. She’s a teenager. I felt like she was a little too all over the place for my personal tastes and when it came down to it, I just found it hard to root for her and Nick until the very, very end.
Nick: Nick’s a little bit of a wild child, it seems. He’s got his own demons, that’s clear, but I wish the story had delved into those a little bit sooner so I could have made a more personal connection with him. He felt like he was hiding so many things from Olive for such a long time, which I guess he was. Once I finally found out what those things were, I was like, “OH I like you much better now because I understand you.” I didn’t get Nick half of the book so I just couldn’t make that connection with him and I didn’t find myself swooning.
Annie: Annie was Olive’s best friend in the book, who I LOVED. She pushed Olive to be her own person and to discover who she wanted to be, but not in the way that Nick did. She seemed to push her in a much more positive way and she was always there for Olive, even when Olive ended up ditching her a few times. She was a good friend and very lively! What I didn’t like was the turn her own story line took. I just didn’t think it was necessary. Not like I had anything against it, but it didn’t seem to have a place in the book and was just a bit of extra drama.

addiction_factor1Borrow it

It was enjoyable at first and then it wasn’t AS good. I had hoped for more but it may be hit or miss with some!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE OUR SONG

     Confessions of An Angry Girl      Where She Went

Our Song Blog Tour: Interview with Jordanna Fraiberg

Welcome to the blog tour for OUR SONG by JORDANNA FRAIBERG!

A huge thanks to Shane from Itching for Books, Penguin, and Jordanna Fraiberg for making this blog tour happen!

Welcome to the OUR SONG blog tour! I’m so excited to be a tour host today with an awesome interview with the author, Jordanna Fraiberg! Before I start with the interview, here’s a little more info about OUR SONG to get yourself acquainted with the book:

Released: May 2, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Purchase: Amazon

“Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she s haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.
Then Olive meets Nick. He’s dark, handsome, mysterious … and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can t explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance until Nick makes a troubling confession. Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jordanna Fraiberg was born in Montreal, Quebec, and currently lives in L.A., where she settled after receiving degrees from Harvard and Oxford. A former national squash champion and Hollywood film executive, she now divides her time between dreaming up stories and chasing her toddler. She is the author of Our Song and In Your Room.

jordannafraiberg.com | @Jfraiberg

Okay! So now that you have all the info on the book, let’s dive into the interview with author Jordanna Fraiberg!

INTERVIEW WITH JORDANNA FRAIBERG

Olive is haunted by a song that runs through her head after her near-death experience — the only memory from her accident. Was there a specific song that inspired the book?

There wasn’t a single song, but several I listened to on repeat that evoke the feeling and tone I was imagining for the song running through Olive’s head.
They are:
1901 by Phoenix
Dark Paradise by Lana Del Rey
Heart Songs by Weezer

So Nick. He’s British! *swoon* I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a sucker for accents! Was there any specific reason you chose his character to hail from overseas?

Like Nick, I also studied at Oxford and it was one of the best experiences of my life so I wanted to find a way to infuse that into the book. I also have a friend, who like Nick, lived in the United States but was sent to Eton for boarding school in England at a very young age, and I always wondered what it was like to be sent so far away, so young. But most importantly, making Nick British it felt organic to his character, to his sense of fractured identity, and to the fact that he feels like he doesn’t really belong anywhere.

A really big part of this story is the fact that Olive had a near death experience (which actually leads to the reason she meets Nick). Did you have to do research to include the characters’ accounts of their near death experiences?

Yes, I did a lot of research! I read lots of personal accounts of people who’ve had near death experiences, and I attended a meeting of The Los Angeles International Association for Near-Death Studies. The most surprising thing I discovered at that meeting was that like the members of the Near Death Society in the book, not one of the participants had actually ever died. I decided to use that to my advantage in the way I portrayed the Near Death Society to make Olive feel even more isolated in the one place where she hopes to find comfort and answers. But ultimately, she has to rely on and believe in herself to figure things out, and Nick helps her get there.

One of my favorite characters from the book was actually Olive’s best friend Annie. She was a very no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is friend. Would you say you see more of yourself in Olive’s character or Annie’s?

That’s a great question. I think in many ways Olive and Annie are two sides of the same coin. On one side you have Olive, who has yet to find herself or feel comfortable in her own skin, and on the other, you have Annie, who is bold and outspoken and seemingly fearless. Maybe a better way of saying it is that Olive and Annie represent both sides of who I am — where I’ve come from on my journey of self-discovery, and where I’ve landed. But I think we all have internal struggles — even Annie does — that challenge our confidence and sense of self, and I wanted to explore that through each character and their friendship with each other.

I always love to ask authors if they remember the starting point of the idea for their book: Was this book a long idea in the making? The result of a specific idea that popped in your head?

In a way it was both. I knew I wanted to write about a girl suffering from terrible heartbreak, and I also knew that the book would begin with her coming back to life after literally dying. I wanted to flip the idea that being given a second chance is a gift, because at first for Olive, it feels like a curse. For her, heartbreak feels like a fate worse than death, so I wanted to take that idea and see where it lead me.

What was the hardest part about writing OUR SONG? What came to you the easiest?

The hardest part was seeing it through. Quite honestly, there was a time I thought I would never finish. I got pregnant in the middle of the process. It was the thing I wanted most — to become a mother — but my pregnancy was incredibly challenging and I was unable to write for months while I focused on getting better (and keeping food down!), and then on being a mom to my delicious newborn. At the time the extended hiatus felt terrifying. I wondered if I’d ever be able to focus or write again. But once my baby was almost a year, I was able to come back to the book with renewed energy, focus, and frankly, compassion for Olive. While what we went through was entirely different, I related to the idea of letting go of one identity to make room for another, and the growing pains inherent in that process.

The easiest part was once I got back into it, letting the characters speak to me, and letting the words lead me. Not always easy to achieve, but when you do, it feels like magic!

Who are some of your favorite authors? Would you say their writing influenced you in any way?

Lauren Oliver is one of my all time favorites. I find I’m constantly highlighting passages in her books, constantly learning from her craft. She also happens to be a good friend, and I love talking to her about process (one of my favorite topics!)
I’m also a big fan of Sarah Dessen, Sara Zarr, and Gayle Forman.

A big, big thank you to Jordanna Fraiberg for such an awesome interview! I absolutely loved getting more insight to OUR SONG!

And before you go, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!! Enter for your chance to win a copy of the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway