Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block

Oliver Loving

From a celebrated literary talent comes a brilliant, propulsive novel about family, the traumas and secrets that test our deepest bonds, and the stories that hold us together. One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troub...

Details Oliver Loving

TitleOliver Loving
Release DateJan 16th, 2018
PublisherFlatiron Books
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Did Not Finish, Audiobook

Reviews Oliver Loving

  • Diane S ☔
    A West Texas high school, a racially divided school and town. A high school homecoming dance, shots ring out, four dead, six wounded. The shooter, a recent highschool grad, also dead. Is there any subject more feared? Something that keeps happening again and again. As I was finishing this , the latest school shooting in rural Kentucky was on the news. Gave me the shivers.I can't say that this is the fastest moving book, it is not. It takes patien...
  • Monica
    Wow... This is a story that will take some time to really digest. If there was ever an ending I could dislike more, then I don’t want to read it!The writing, especially the poetry, was beautiful. I was glad the story focused not only on the teenagers, but the adults too,as they tried to make sense of the tragedy. In part, this novel is a horrifying story of how one young man’s personal trauma multiplied into the loss of so many in the small T...
  • Miriam Smith
    Oliver Loving was shot in the head during a shooting at the Bliss County High School dance ball and left in a vegetative state, wordless and paralysed, his fate unclear. Ten years later when a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate — and so also to tell the truth of what...
  • Kendall
    This is a heart-breaking story about Oliver who was shot in the head after a terrible shooting at his high school I think that this is such an important topic considering how many school shootings that continues to occur across the nation. The novel is written from Oliver and his family's perspective on how they coped with the aftermath of the tragedy.Merrill Block's writing is beautiful and unique. The only issues that I had with this book is I ...
  • Cathy
    Find all my book reviews, plus fascinating author interviews, exclusive guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/‘Once upon a time there was a boy who fell through a crack in time but he didn’t fall all the way.’ Following the momentous events at his school’s annual dance, Oliver lies in a coma – neither here nor gone but ‘suspended’ somewhere in between. ‘By your twentieth birthday, you h...
  • Janelle
    Thank you so much to the wonderful Flatiron Books for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own. This is a heartbreaking story that takes place in a Texas town about a family and how they deal with life in the aftermath of a tragedy. Ten years ago, a terrible incident occurred at Oliver’s high school which left him in a coma. The novel is written from multiple perspectives between Oliver and his family. As you are reading, it feels very ...
  • Nicole (Read Eat Sleep Repeat)
    I really wanted to like this; I've heard a lot of great things about it. Unfortunately this was just too wordy for my taste and I couldn't get into it. DNF.*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Liz Barnsley
    **3.5 stars**Oliver Loving is a beautifully written and consuming story that looks at familial and community relationships in the aftermath of a tragedy – the sort of tragedy where the question “Why” cannot always be answered..Using multiple views, one of which is the locked in Oliver, we see the before and the after, the changes the family goes through, the ways in which hope remains alive. It is a wonderfully compelling tale that digs dee...
  • Caryn
    3.5. Full review and giveaway on my blog: http://www.thebookwhisperer.org/2018/...
  • Ashley
    ***A special thank you to Goodreads Giveaway, Stefan Merrill Block and Flatiron Books for the ARC and allowing me the opportunity to write an honest review.***What an extraordinary, heartfelt novel. I honestly don't even know where to begin with this. When I began Oliver Loving, I did not expect for it to make me feel the way it did. As we all know, after the first couple of chapters we pretty much have an idea on whether we are gripped or not; t...
  • Chris Mara
    5 stars and if I could give more, I would. Holy smokes, to me, this was an incredibly complex, emotional, heart breaking book. I read it from cover to cover in one fell swoop. What I liked: The beautiful, wonderful descriptive prose by the author. His literary skills are profound. The heartfelt poems written by a young boy in love - his emotional angst came out through the pages The plot - so very unusual and thought provoking, sad The characters...
  • Jenny Lee
    "Once upon a time, there was a boy who fell through the crack of time - but he didn't fall all the way..." Oliver Loving is your normal, hormonal - hopelessly in love with a girl out of his reach - high school Junior. He attends school in Bliss Texas, and is a member of his father's astrology club; the only member. One day Oliver's hopes are raised when his father announces Rebecca Sterling is coming home with them to view a meteor shower. Eventu...
  • Sascha
    This has to be one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read in a very long time. The prose has a rhythm to it that is mesmerizing, drawing the reader into a seeming dream that eventually becomes a nightmare.Stefan Merill Block’s Oliver Loving takes on what the public seems to have become inured to, a school shooting, and raises the bar. Oliver Loving, the oldest and beloved son of Eve Loving, lies unable to move in a nursing facility ...
  • Krisette Spangler
    The novel is brilliantly written. There are stretches where the prose is so beautiful that you can't wait to read more. However, I could only give it three stars for the following reasons:1. The novel just lagged in places. There were times where I felt the same conversations and the same confrontations were on a loop. The novel should have been at least 50 pages shorter.2. The language was a little rough in places. When did the F word become the...
  • Sarah
    I am giving this a 4 even though it was more a 3.5 for me because there were a small amount of flat parts for me even if I really did like the book overall. It earns the 4 because I will probably recommend this book a lot. I am a fan of literary reads and if they are done well there really just is no need for a heavy plot. While this one definitely was not plot heavy it kept me wondering what would happen. It definitely kept my interest for most ...
  • Bob Lopez
    Oliver Loving instantly grabbed me and never let go. It was a sad tale with a new feel for this trope—school shooters. The characters were real, believable, troubled in their own ways, the narrative never strayed, the orbits of the characters, their motivations all made sense, and I was sympathetic to everyone—minus the two characters we’re not supposed to like.The writing was fantastic, not too showy but definitely skilled. There are a cou...
  • Aimee
    Oooh weee that was a doozy. I’m going to need to unwind and decompress before I can gather my thoughts enough to write a review. My heart couldn’t take much more of this story and I found my self on edge finishing the last hundred pages or so. It was beautifully written. As you can see I have about 100 highlights. But this one was a tough book to read. Lots of triggers, lots of sadness and feelings. Will report back soon with a full review. T...
  • Terri
    I first saw this book on the Readers First website, wrote my first impression and then a couple of days later, I received an email saying that I had won Oliver Loving. And just like Oliver's last name, I was loving the book.I was first drawn to the novel because of the colors of the cover, the soft blues which drew me in and the simpleness of the cover, I felt intrigued and wanted to know more. Reading the first impression I felt drawn in to the ...
  • Quinn da Matta
    I started this book on one continent and finished it in another. And just like my location changed while reading so, too, did the book change me as a reader, as a person. And that is truly the greatest compliment I can ever give a book, especially one of this magnitude.There's no point in trying to explain every reason why I loved this book because it is a book that needs to be experienced because that is exactly what starts happening -- you tran...
  • Kristy
    One of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. Finished it on the train just now and openly wept.
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/"Spooky Action at a Distance: it wasn’t only your family or the people of your town that were tangled up with you in that vexing physics."A young man commits an act that sucks Oliver Loving, full of passionate unrequited love for one Rebekkah Sterling, into a black abyss of half existance. The is he, isn’t he there question plagues his family, and haunts the girl he never had the chance to lo...
  • Erin Charpentier
    I wanted to love this, but it fell really flat. Oliver Loving is comatose after being shot in a school shooting. The story is meant to unravel the mystery behind that night, as well as whether Oliver is still aware in his current state. It did that; however, it was so wordy that I mostly skimmed to get to the end.
  • Therese
    "Once upon a time, there was a boy who fell through a crack in time." Written in exquisite prose, this is the story and character examination of Oliver, a student wounded during a high school shooting, and existing in a vegetative state for ten years hence, and of the flawed and troubled characters that still spin in his universe, including his Ma and Pa, his brother Charlie, and the girl he was falling in love with who directly witnessed yet sur...
  • Amanda
    "Once upon a time there was a boy who fell through a crack in time, but the truth is that he didn't fall all the way. Half of the boy remained there, on either side" Nearly ten years ago, Oliver Loving was the victim of a tragedy that tore apart his hometown, Bliss, forever. When a recent graduate brought a gun to the high school homecoming, the Loving family was changed forever, and Oliver, the only one who might have answers, was left unable to...
  • Claire Barfell
    I won this book on Goodreads Giveaways.This is not just reading a story, it is an experience. It revolves around the family of Oliver Loving and what happens after a shooting at his school. There are so many questions like what caused the shooting, could it have been prevented. However, it really focuses on the family of Oliver Loving, their secrets and weaknesses and what would have happened if they had revealed some facts before the shooting. M...
  • Linda Hepworth
    Once upon a time there was a boy who fell through a crack in time but he didn’t fall all the way. Oliver Loving, a studious, shy gentle seventeen year old, was persuaded by his father to attend the high school’s annual dance. His initial reluctance had been overcome because he hoped to be able to see Rebekkah Sterling, a classmate he had become romantically obsessed with. It proved to be a fateful decision because a disturbed ex-student, Hect...
  • Arnold
    This is an AMAZING book. To tell such a tragic and dramatic story with such beauty, insight and even humor is magnificent. Oliver's story, and that of his family, happens all too frequently in our society. This book will bring the reader special empathy for everyone touched by mass shootings, and asks fundamental questions about love and sacrifice. The last 100 pages left me completely breathless.
  • Michelle Lancaster
    LITERARY FICTIONStefan Merrill BlockOliver LovingFlatiron BooksHardcover, 978-1-2501-6973-0, (also available as an e-book, as an audiobook, and on audio CD), 400 pgs., $26.99January 16, 2018Oliver Loving is seventeen — an awkward, lonesome, aspiring poet with “a nearly anaphylactic aversion to prolonged eye contact,” in first-love with the mysterious new girl Rebekkah Sterling — when he walks into a high-school dance and never walks out. ...
  • Marilyn
    I received a free copy of Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block in a goodread's giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The setting for this book was a small town called Bliss located in West Texas. Oliver, a high school boy, lived there with his mother, father and younger brother Charlie. He was a shy boy but Oliver had a crush on a girl from his school, Rebekkah Sterling. Bliss Township High School was hosting their annual dance that Novembe...
  • Blodeuedd Finland
    This book was certainly something that fit in these times. It takes place in the past and in the present. Times that shaped them all.Oliver is your normal kind of teenager. He has a crush on a girl. He writes poems. His dad is a teacher at his school (and a failed artist), and his mum is well normal. And everything else is perfectly normal until that fateful day, the day Oliver is no more.In the present we learned that Oliver was shot in a school...