Synopsis from Good Reads:
One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: “I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM.” But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours. All she knows is that her father, the reverend at the Church of the Holy Promise, is missing, as is Hannah, a young girl from the parish. Their disappearances have to be connected and Callie knows that her father was not a righteous man.
Since that fateful night, she’s been plagued by graphomania — an unending and debilitating compulsion to write. The words that flow from Callie’s mind and through her pen don’t seem to make sense — until now.
As the anniversary of Hannah’s vanishing approaches, more words and memories bubble to the surface and a new guy in school might be the key to Callie putting together the puzzle. But digging up the secrets she’s buried for so long might be her biggest mistake.
I was expecting a really creepy, mind-twisting book when I picked up Oblivion, but that isn’t really what I got. It was still a pretty interesting and enjoyable read, though.
I had never heard of graphomania before. According to Wise Geek, the definition is: …A condition in which a person feels an obsessive impulse or compulsion to write. When describing a medical condition, this impulse is so serious that the afflicted individual may not even write in comprehensible or grammatical language or take much interest in the things he or she is writing. In other contexts, this term can be used to verbally devalue the work of a writer or to describe the attitude of a larger group. When used in this way, the term is somewhat figurative, describing an attitude about writing rather than an actual compulsion to write.
While Callie obviously falls under the medical condition part of this definition, it’s interesting to learn that it isn’t always referred to as such. Callie also has black outs when she is writing and during this time has flashbacks to the past her mind has been trying to repress. I looked at several sites and none of them listed this as part of the condition of graphomania, so I’m not sure if this is a realistic portrayal or not. Either way, it made for an interesting read and helped establish Callie’s backstory and mental state.
Callie’s writing episodes are a very big part of the story. The words she ends up writing don’t seem to mean anything but a bunch of gibberish, but by the end of the book we see how much of it ended up being clues leading up to the conclusion of what really happened in Callie’s past. While the blackouts revealed some of the past, they were not always true representations and did not always mean what Callie thought they did. While this all helped add to the creep factor a little bit, it was at times confusing. And when something from Callie’s blackout visions happen in reality, it took me a while to really understand that it was happening, and not just in Callie’s mind.
This book ended up having a much greater romantic theme than I was expecting. It also involved some cheating and betrayal and a very overdramatic teenage girl in Callie’s foster sister, Lindsay. I found a lot of the supporting characters unlikable. I never completely trusted John and why he took such an interest in Callie, but by the end I was ok with him. I also didn’t like that Lindsay’s parents went from being negligent and absent and then her father suddenly turned into Awesome Super Dad.
When Callie’s memories are finally recovered, there were some shocking discoveries. I really liked how everything came together in the end. However, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get much information on the big villain’s past indiscretions, other than how they effected Callie’s life. I also thought the ending was a little more rainbows and butterflies than the tone of the rest of the book called for, but I like when stories don’t end on a completely depressing note, so I was ok with it.
Overall, I enjoyed Oblivion. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was definitely a unique story that included some interesting twists and turns. I would recommend to fans of YA contemporary mysteries.
Rating (out of 5):
Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars