When I picked up Finding Olivia for the very first time in August 2015, I had never heard of that book, that series or even that author before. The blurb, however, sounded interesting enough and why not give another indie author like Micalea Smeltzer a chance? And believe it or not, but this book here made me fall in love with Micalea, her characters and her books. Up until now I have read every single novel she has ever published (apart from her fantasy series, since I’m not really keen on that genre) and I personally think that she gets better with each new release. Some readers may find her stories and characters too lovey-dovey, too silly or too cheesy but I really love them and you might fall in love with her books as well. You might as well start with this novel, which is the first in the “Trace + Olivia” series.
While growing up with a strict preacher father, Olivia was never able to fully live her life. She hopes to accomplish as many things as possible from her Live List during her four years at college. Unfortunately, she was only able to cross off four things up until now. Then she meets Trace and things begin to change in the best possible way. When Olivia tells him about her list, Trace is more than happy to help her out. Plus, he gets to spend more time with the girl he can’t seem stop thinking about. But neither of them expected what was waiting for them along the way.
Finding Olivia became one of my favorite books ever since reading it for the first time. I couldn’t wait to re-read it and I finally had the time to do so. The second time was almost as good as the first time. I knew the plot and the outcoming but there were still scenes I had forgotten over time and I was glad to refresh my memory.
The idea of creating a novel with a bucket list or in this case a Live List was totaly unique. At least for me, since I haven’t read a story that included that feature. It really makes me want to write my own Bucket List/Live List and go on all that adevntures Trace and Olivia went on. Experiencing these major milestones with someone important to you has definitely a different and also higher signifiance as when you do it all by yourself.
But Finding Olivia is not all fun and games. Be aware that the story has a real deep and sad angsty feature.
Olivia was a great character to read about. It was nice to see how meeting Trace and crossing off the things on her Live List changed her. She definitely deserved to have as much fun as possible.
Trace was the total opposite of Olivia: he was confident, cocky and too charming for his own good. No wonder she couldn’t stand his wooing:
‘But you are a forever girl’ […]. ‘You’re not the kind if girl that guys fool around with, Olivia. You’re the kind of girl, that when a guys finds her, he’ll do everything he can to keep her.’
Together they made a great couple.
Olivia’s obvious clumsiness, however, was a little bit too much for my taste. It got old and annoying real quick. I mean, how often does a person stumble and fall?
Since Olivia grew up with a very strict father who didn’t allow her to do anything for fun, she had no clue on how to do things at all. A lot of these things she didn’t know about were not very believable. It was all a little bit too much for my taste.
Also, her best friend Avery was super annoying and way too dramatic. I could never be friends with someone who always bossies you around, knows everything better and cuts you short most of the time. Olivia, seriously, you don’t need to put up with that!
Nonetheless, Finding Olivia is a real sweet story of finding oneself and having fun in life. The story is currently for free on amazon, go check it out!
Also, watch out for my review of Chasing Olivia soon.
UPDATE: Finding Olivia and the rest of the “Trace + Olivia” series underwent a complete make-over. The stories are newly edited and each book were given a new set of covers. As of September 22nd, 2017 the following cover is not available anymore: