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18 Things (My So Called Afterlife, #1)
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18 Things (My So Called Afterlife #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  767 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then, Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible for his death.

When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her thera
246 pages
Published January 24th 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,331)
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Jamie Ayres
Nov 30, 2014 Jamie Ayres rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, I did write it . . . :-)
Feb 23, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it
1.5 of 5 stars
Before Olga's best friend/crush died, her biggest problem was her old fashion name. After downing a handful of pills, she's sent to a therapist who recommends Olga make a list of 18 things to do before her eighteenth birthday to reconfirm her commitment to life.
I love the premise if the book, but the execution fell short of my expectations. While much of the writing was above average, the dialogue was sophomoric, not typical of how teenagers I know talk. The characters were one dim
Feb 03, 2013 Angela rated it it was ok
So this book started out with a strong beginning. I really enjoyed it. Couldn't put it down despite the ridiculous language from the teenagers which had me wanting to hide under the table in utter embarrassment for the author. What teen says "word", "tru dat", "dawg", etc?!

I had hope as I read. Even after the Olga/Nate relationship started to stall, I still had hope. I kept reading thinking this is a nice YA fiction about a girl dealing with guilt and grief.

But, I knew this book was classified
(Read using Kindle Unlimited)

Oh dear me this was dull, and the paranormal aspect arrived way too late!

I felt quite sorry for Olga in the way she lost Conner and blamed herself, it would have been a difficult thing to go through, feeling partly responsible for your best friend’s death, and being unable to come to terms with both the grief and the guilt.

The storyline in this just bored me. I was expecting something paranormal, but instead just got this monotony of Olga’s daily life. I mean really?
I don't usually read contemporary YA. Still, I really liked how this novel wasn't afraid to bring up the subject of God. The protag actually prays, which I found oddly refreshing. Way to go Ms. Ayres for writing such a great coming of age story and for not being ashamed of your faith! I'm off to compose my own bucket list.
Read all my reviews on

3.5 stars

During a sailing trip on Lake Michigan, Olga Gay Worontzoff's best friend - and for ever secret crush - Conner gets killed after being struck by lightning and falling into the cold water. Olga blames herself for his death and attempts suicide/takes an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. She's then sent to a psychiatrist who suggests she makes a list of 18 things to help her cope. Hence the title.

I read the second book in thi
Kay Glass
Mar 19, 2013 Kay Glass rated it it was amazing
Olga Gay Worontzoff had a crush we can all relate to. The boy next door (maybe not literally, but figuratively), the best friend, the one who you truly believe doesn't know you exist as anything other than a friend. And is there anything worse than being placed in the "friend box?" Yes- as we learn, it's never getting to tell your friend that you're in love with them. It's the death of your best friend, the person you love, and in a very real way, the death of your future- or at least the future ...more
Nicole Dean
Feb 13, 2016 Nicole Dean rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I just couldn't do it. The writing is terrible. The dialogue is terrible. The main character is annoying. I could only read to chapter 4 and I had to stop. I just can't take anymore. Do yourself a favor and just don't.
Jan 27, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved her debut novel. I really enjoyed the characters and plot twist. Can't wait to read the sequel 18 Truths!!!!
Actual rating: 1.5

Where to even start with this?

Okay, so. I couldn't really give this book only one star, or I could have but I guess I felt like it deserved a star for effort, at least. It started out strong but... took a giant nosedive toward "what is even going on" pretty quickly.

Not even halfway through the book and I was sick to death of hearing how much Olga loved Connor and how they were "soulmates" and how he was going to be the father of her children- homegirl needed to chill, because h
Aug 06, 2014 Deborah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Connie Michael
Jan 27, 2013 Connie Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I was excited to get this book and support a fellow new author and put it on my kindle on its day of release. The book is listed as YA Paranormal. Having that title I read the majority of the book guessing when something paranormal was actually going to happen. When I was at 88% read...finally the paranormal aspect came in. It was a good twist, one I will not spoil here, but I found it distracting that it waited so long to come into play. The theme of the story was interesting, come up with a li ...more
♥ Amanda
Feb 19, 2014 ♥ Amanda rated it really liked it
I received a copy of 18 Things courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.

18 things is the 5th or 6th book I've read from Curiosity Quills, and I have loved every one! As with all the books before it from this publisher, 18 Things is unique and original. Olga experiences her first broken heart, in the form of her best friend dying, and her being unable to save him. And before she gets to tell him that she loves him. Olga goes thru a year of ups and downs, with the saving grace coming in the form of
Apr 09, 2014 David rated it liked it
Olga's character was quite fun thoughout the book, but her character and those around her are exactly what you expect: The "never been kissed" kind of girl who magically finds a guy that is head over heals with her "plain jane look" (Nate). Then lets add in the "dumb pretty girl" (Tammy) .. rock guys (group) and a best friend (Nicole).
The dynamic of Olga and Nate is similar to any other YA novel, but the idea of the "bucket list" was fun to see from the prospective of a youthful character, and
Mar 15, 2016 Tyranteous rated it really liked it
I admit that when I first picked up this book, I was looking for an easy read. This book is exactly that. I wasn't expecting much from it. what I walked away with, however, is an amazing read with a brilliant concept. I am a big fan of books that throw something extra in the last few chapters. This book showed that it is okay to get over death, and it is okay to never get over it, until it eventually kills you. Wonderful job!
Jan 13, 2015 Maureen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two and a half stars because writing a book is a lot of work.

I really enjoyed this book until the middle where it went preachy and Christian Fiction on me. So disappointed, this book had potential. The last chapters turned full fledged Bible study. Add to that all of the slang of youth today and you have painted yourself into a Christian fiction corner where your books will be irrelevant in 2-3 years.
Would I buy this for our library and catalog it young adult? No. It definitely missed the mark.
Emily (Mrs B's Books)
Mar 24, 2013 Emily (Mrs B's Books) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, arc
**Provided by Netgalley and Curiosity Quills Press for an honest review**

OMG i have not had a cry fest with a book since i read If I stay by Gayle Forman.

This book was wonderfully written and had the best twist towards the end i've read in ages. If was also refreshing that the author was not intimidated to have her main heroine pray to God and have a religious background in the story.

The story is very well written and all the characters complimented each other perfectly. You are most certainly t
Mar 04, 2016 Mona rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, pissed-me-off
*1/2....possibly **
Audiobook - At this point, the best thing I can say about it is Eileen Stevens narrated.

I can't rate it any higher because the author violated her story promise - the promise all authors make to their readers - that the story we're reading is actually the story we're getting. In this case, it wasn't. It was a bait and switch.

Here's the story synopsis:
Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend
Roberto Mattos
Feb 24, 2016 Roberto Mattos rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic fist book of a trilogy that promises to be epic!
Nothing in this book is predictable. The author makes us cheer for our heroine Olga in every turn of the pages of this book, hoping that things would be OK for her. When she build her 18 bucket list, I was tempted to build mine as well. And we really get inspired by the progress she makes in having her life back to normal after the disaster that killed her beloved friend Conner, and almost took her life as well. Suffering from
Feb 10, 2016 Mary added it
Shelves: relationships, young
Can eighteen things save a life? Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten. Then Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible. When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things ...more
Bri (The Bookish Dragons)
What I liked: While some of the writing wasn't very prominent or intriguing, the writing for the beginning of the book drew me in very quickly with they way it seemed to ring with me, and other parts did the same. I liked that style, it just really worked with me. Not saying that the rest of the writing was terrible or anything, but some parts just didn't have the magic that the beginning of the book and other parts had for me. I liked Olga, how she was a girl who loved math and she was also a b ...more
Apr 01, 2015 Ranu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, paranormal
Find more reviews on my blog:

*Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

So from what I gathered from the title of the series, I was kinda thinking that this was paranormal. Only the book didn't turn out quite the way I thought it would (in a good way, of course). Here are my thoughts at different stages of the book:

Prologue: Okay... protagonist sounds fun. Snarky, with a cute relationship with her best friend.

Steph Dinning
Mar 30, 2015 Steph Dinning rated it it was ok
I read this so quick because after a while I got so bored and skipped loads. It started out good and promising and I prayed there was a loophole and Conor wasn't really dead but alas he was and Olga grieved for him and struggled to cope,took some pills and started to see a counsellor who makes her write out 18 things she wants to do in the next year.
So she basically turns her life around and even falls in love but I just didn't feel her and Nate,I could never warm to him.
Near the ending your del
Vicki Trask
Feb 12, 2015 Vicki Trask rated it really liked it
Cliff notes version: Olga is your typical nerdy teenager with a huge crush on her best friend. Said best friend dies and she blames herself, spiraling her towards a series of events (including a hot guy, rabid otters, and cantankerous monkeys) that help her not only move on with her life but start to really live for herself.

Seems pretty touchy feely, and normally I would role my eyes but secretly love it. This time, there’s no eye rolling. While there were some clichés befitting a YA Drama, I th
Sarah Briggs
Feb 02, 2015 Sarah Briggs rated it really liked it
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

(This review may contain spoilers).

I did feel the concept of this book was very interesting and although there wasn't anything paranormal until right towards the end of the book, I did feel there were hints and clues left throughout that something was going on.

I empathised with Olga really easily in this book. It was nice to see her perspective (and for the author to just stick to the one first person POV). I could understand the gui
Jan 22, 2016 Kalliste rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Wow, this book went from OK to meh to terrible.

Initially I didn't realise this was paranormal fiction, the blurb doesn't mention it and if it had I wouldn't have picked it up. I find that this new style paranormal YA is usually terrible and try to steer clear.

The problem with this book is it doesn't appear to be paranormal so people who read it for the paranormal element are going to be disappointed and people who read it for the YA element are also going to be disappointed.

It's safe to say t
Feb 18, 2014 Tasia rated it really liked it
ACTUAL RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

18 Things is a solemn tale of death, grief, and acceptance. Jamie Ayres touches on a few darker themes throughout the novel-namely death and moving on when someone close to you passes on with a few other dark tones scattered throughout.

Olga and Conner are best friends-they always have been. Unfortunately, their friendship is cut short when they're out sailing one day when a lightening storm arrives and lightening strikes Conner. In mere moments, Olga loses her best frie
Mary Rowe
Interesting Teen Work

Being a grandmother, I found the plot aggravating in the long run although the story was nicely written and flowed well. Emphasis on the Christian beliefs and values, so this might not be the cup of tea for an agnostic or atheist inclined reader.
Apr 01, 2015 Alexander rated it did not like it
I finished it because I'm haunted by books I've left unfinished, not because I had any interest in doing so.

Firstly, there were way too many preachy Bible messages for my taste. A few is fine, but when they carry the preaching tone it's a bit patronising to say the least. If I wanted God then I would go to church. It's also puzzling to me how any teenager would really listen to a sermon on tape in this day and age. Perhaps people do, but never in my life.

The love interest was hideously cliché,
Mar 03, 2015 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was terrible and blasphemous

I don't know what "jesus" this author believes in, but it doesn't seem to be the Jesus of the Bible. The book starts dramatically with Olga's best friend dying in a freak storm and goes downhill from there.


Olga overdoses on a bottle of pain pills and unless you are STUPID, and I mean really, really, stupid, you know almost immediately that she has died. I mean it's OBVIOUS. Supposedly, this is a twist that the author reveals in the
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Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a Language Arts middle school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. Although she spent her youthful summers around Lake Michigan, she now lives in Flo ...more
More about Jamie Ayres...

Other Books in the Series

My So Called Afterlife (3 books)
  • 18 Truths (My So Called Afterlife, #2)
  • 18 Thoughts (My So Called Afterlife, #3)

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“is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift―which is why it is called the present.” ―Unknown” 0 likes
“we may face numerous problems seeming to contradict God’s plan, these shouldn’t be barriers but opportunities to turn a negative into a positive. It’s” 0 likes
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