Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#ARC Review || I'm Still Here by Clelie Avit || A Modern Sleeping Beauty

I'm Still Here by Clelie Avit
ARC via Publisher + NetGalley
Published August 23, 2016
Amazon || Goodreads

A modern take on Sleeping Beauty, for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Elsa is spending her thirtieth birthday in the hospital bed where she's lain for months after a devastating mountain accident. Unable to speak, see, or move, she appears to be in an irreversible coma, but her friends and family don't know that she's regained the power of hearing.

That day, a stranger named Thibault enters the hospital to visit his brother, who's just been injured in an accident that killed two young girls. He instead seeks refuge in the room where Elsa lies, and quickly becomes intrigued by the young woman, returning day after day to sit beside her, convinced that his words are being heard.

As their connection grows, the doctors deliver a devastating blow to her family. Is it possible that Thibault knows something no one else does, and can he reach her before it's too late?

Once upon a time, a girl who is desperately in love with snow covered mountains takes a fall. For five months she is in a coma. On the fifth month, and young man’s brother enters the hospital to bring his mother to his bother. His brother is currently hospitalized for driving under the influence and killing two children and injuring himself in the process. He does not visit him. Instead, he wanders the hallways and finds his way to the woman in the coma. He sits with her, falls asleep, and talks to her in a way that no one has in a long time: without treating her like she is made of glass.

Well, dear readers, I’M STILL HERE is pitched as a modern Sleeping Beauty. Human falls in love with a sleeping-like-the-dead human and proceeds to wake them up.

(of course, the original tale included necrophilia, rape, pregnancy and birth while in this sleeping-like-the-dead state, as well as a lovely dose of death and cannibalism. The olden days were grand indeed.)

I actually liked this more than I expected. The book follows the thoughts of the two main characters. She’s struggling with hearing the world move on without her, and he’s struggling with the crime his brother committed and where to take their relationship from where it left off. They’re both serving a purpose to the other. For her, he’s inspiration to wake up—to try harder to wake up. For him, it was like a really good therapy/ nap session.

To be honest, I could see how she fell for him. I mean he sat there and talked to her and was a different voice in the bleak. He was a nice deviation from the weekly grind. For him though? I was very questionable. He’s in love with a girl who hasn’t expressed a single though or emotion to him. Hasn’t contradicted a thing he has said. Hasn’t held his hand. Hasn’t met his family. Hasn’t shared her hopes and her dreams.

So, yeah, I can see her falling in love her his oddly placed affection for her. Not necessarily him falling for her. I mean all she did was be in a coma while he figured things out in his personal life.

So while I thought the plot was intriguing, I didn’t quite buy the romance aspect. For a The Sleeping Beauty retelling though, claps. Lots of claps.


  1. This book has an interesting premise. I like a good retelling. I'll have to think about this book. Thanks for the review.

    1. Retellings are some of my favorites!