Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “18 Things (My So Called Afterlife, #1)” as Want to Read:
18 Things (My So Called Afterlife, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

18 Things

(My So Called Afterlife #1)

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  1,011 ratings  ·  212 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
Paperback, 246 pages
Published January 24th 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 18 Things, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 18 Things

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,011 ratings  ·  212 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of 18 Things (My So Called Afterlife, #1)
Jamie Ayres
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, I did write it . . . :-)
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
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 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
Feb 13, 2016 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.
N.N. Light
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life can be complicated and full of pain, especially when you're in high school. Olga is secretly in love with her best friend and throwing a pity party for herself because she's not going to prom with him. But when he dies in a freak accident, Olga feels responsible. Her life spins out of control. It's when she starts making a bucket list, does she realize she's been given a second chance. Can 18 things save a life? Such a heart-breaking and moving book. You'll need Kleenux nearby. Brilliantly ...more
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Still making my way through some of my Kindle backlog (in alphabetical order) and I'm starting to wonder if I have anything in here that I might actually fully enjoy.

18 Things is a story about grief, learning to move forward, and growing up. It's about tough choices and breaking out on your own. But it's also a story that gets bogged down in its own messages and lessons. Much of it feels like a cliche kind of teen story, with some of the dialogue being too perfect, too cheesy, or just off. In
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
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.
Connie Michael
Jan 27, 2013 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
Kay Glass
Mar 19, 2013 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
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
Mar 30, 2013 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
Sarah Elizabeth
(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?
Emily (Mrs B's Books)
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, young-adult
**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
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. It's a little churchy for me. Not really my thing, but I like the overall storyline. While I ignore the semi-preachy stuff, I fell in love with these characters. There was a hard left turn near the end of the book and then also a sneak peek into book 2, so I obviously need that soon.
Vicki Trask
Feb 12, 2015 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
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
La La
Mar 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was an insult to my brain. The first half of the prologue was okay, but it took a nose dive and stayed down. I have a three chapter rule because several books I have read turned themselves around somewhere during the second or third chapter, but wanting to see how much more absurd it could get kept me going a bit farther.

There were so many things wrong with this book from incorrectly used vocabulary, to over use of cliche sayings, and corny dialogue. This author is supposedly an Englis
Apr 06, 2014 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
Jan 13, 2015 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.
Mar 12, 2016 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!
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book came across as a formulaic teenage novel at first, but I ended up being more than pleasantly surprised when I finished reading it. Shall not elaborate because the “why” will be a spoiler in itself.

This book is the first of a series. Will not recommend it to my elder daughter pending the publication of all its sequels. Just hope the series will not be a long-drawn one.
InD'tale Magazine

Wow, just wow! Being struck speechless and bowled over by a book doesn’t happen often but in this regard Jamie Ayres is a force of nature!

Read full review in the 2014 April issue of InD’tale Magazine.
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.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
A difficult subject (depression and grief, yet well written in a non-depressing way). Fun characters. I was enjoying this novel immensely, I was going to give it a four-stars!, that is until the very last chapter... The plot twist has left me confused and disappointed. It ruined it all for me.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Great until the ending twist them it totally ruined it. Not even going for the next one.
DNF at 29%. It's just not doing it for me.
Katie Hamstead
This book... I'm not sure how to put into words my thoughts without giving away too much. I'll start from the beginning.
18 Things starts out strong; heartbreaking, and powerful. I really felt Olga's grief. That shows real skill. I was hooked, and, since it was on audible, I listened while I worked around my house and in my car pretty much non-stop.
Nate is the perfect match for Olga. He's sweet and kinda goofy and nerdy, just like her. Although, the narrator gave him a ridiculous TMNT kind of voi
Quasi-spoiler ahead...

I may not be the intended audience for this series, but I look for motivation in everything I read, with the hopes of it inspiring my writing style. I loved the first 3/4 of the book. The intelligence of the characters, the motivation Ayres provides to keep Olga looking to the future, there was a lot of sappiness on Nate's part, but that's a whole other issue I have. OH and Conner in the afterlife, boys that's all I can say!

Ayres' faith, and love and knowledge of Star War
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I feel unsure of how to rate this. I see now that I paid no attention to the genre, although I got this book for free, so it didn't matter to me anyways.

This story invoked so many emotions. It was shaping into a wonderful story about dealing with grief, learning to love yourself, enjoying every moment of life....the story is BEAUTIFUL....that is until you get about 90% through. Then a twist occurs. A twist that is so unexpected it makes your jaw drop. BUT it's a twist, that in my opinion, oblit
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • 3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White
  • Firegirl
  • Cracking Open: Adventures of a Reluctant Medium
  • His & Hers
  • Dead Bodies Bite: A Zombie Apocalypse Anthology
  • Find Layla: A Novel
  • The Hungry Thing Returns
  • Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 3
  • 暗殺教室 2 [Ansatsu Kyoushitsu 2] (Assassination Classroom, #2)
  • Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 2
  • Neverness (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #0)
  • The Secret of Seven Oaks
  • Monstrum (Bella Monstrum #1)
  • Spirelli Paranormal Investigations: Episodes 1-3
  • Grumpy Monkey
  • Prince Freya, Vol. 3
  • Fly Me to the Moon, Vol. 1
  • SPY×FAMILY 2 (Spy x Family, #2)
See similar books…
Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a high school English 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 Florida wit ...more

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)

Related Articles

If you love discovering great stories from new voices, then the past few months have been quite a treat in the world of young adult fiction!...
43 likes · 43 comments
“is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift―which is why it is called the present.” ―Unknown” 1 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” 1 likes
More quotes…