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The Secret History of Us

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  2,584 ratings  ·  486 reviews
A near drowning…a coma for days…and then…

Olivia wakes up to realize she doesn’t remember. Not just the accident—but anything from the last four years. Not high school. Not Matt, the guy who is apparently her boyfriend. Not the reason she and Jules are no longer friends. Nothing.

That’s when it hits her—the accident may not have taken her life, but it took something just as
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by HarperTeen
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Jelke Lenaerts It does have some other aspects but romance is a big part of this story, yes.

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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  2,584 ratings  ·  486 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I don’t know who you are.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl with retrograde amnesia following a car accident.

Olivia was an okay character, although I expected her to be a little more frustrated by her lack of memories than she was. She did her best to get on with things though, and it was brave the way she tried to piece together her life after the accident.

The storyline in this fol
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
The Secret History of Us is the type of read you would want with you while taking a long weekend or while relaxing at home in front of the fire place. A read that just lets you get away for a few hours and have no worries about what is going on around you.

It is a quick read that adds an air of mystery along with a coming of age story that will both interest you and keep you reading until the very end curious how the author will tie it all up in the end.

It isn't anything necessarily unheard of o
I don't even look at the synopsis of a Jessi Kirby book. I know they're always going to be good and this was no exception.

Liv is a great MC. Everything about her is so raw and being in her head while things were happening felt so real. I loved her brother and her parents. All three were supportive and added levity to the story. There are a few other characters, but we only got bits of them. It was another effective way to show how Liv was sort of struggling.

Plot wise, I would have liked just a
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book so good and it really shows the importance of memory and knowing who you are. I really enjoyed listening to this it was very entertaining and interesting. I will definitely be checking out more books from this author.
Overall four stars.
Aj the Ravenous Reader

I could always count on Jessi Kirby for a beautiful story of moving forward after a tragic life experience or after a death of a loved one. In The Secret History of Us, it’s very ironic but probably even more painful because Olivia lost hers after a supposedly fatal accidental which she miraculously survived and four years of her life has been completely wiped off from her memory and now she doesn’t know exactly how to live, even more Ironic because here nickname is Liv.

The writing is simple bu
Jen Ryland
I've read most if not all of Jessi Kirby's books and was excited to read this one .... until I started it and found out what it was about. In the past few weeks, I've read (or started to read) four YA books about main characters who've been in car accidents, three of whom had amnesia. If only I had book-amnesia and could forget that I'd read the others, I'd be fine.

That said, I actually liked the amnesia element of this one. Liv wakes up in a hospital and is told she's been in an accident. Good
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Before: I really can't wait to get my hands on this one!

After: 3.5-4 stars
I do like it more than my other 3.5 books, I just felt that I was missing part of the story, it definitely needed a few more chapters, preferably swoon-worthy, and it would have been a strong 5 stars.

The writing is beautiful, I enjoyed the characters and the story-arc. I absolutely loved how the accident and the awakening were described. Her confusion felt authentic, so was how her loved ones tried to make things easier
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-read

I'm so conflicted about writing this review!
I really, really enjoyed this book, even though literally nothing happened!

I guess I liked the characters and premise enough to have a lot of fun reading it, because there was certainly no drive to the plot at all. 

It was really strange actually because at times it seemed like it was really leading up to some big reveal or conspiracy at the end of the book, but no, nothing came! That was more shocking
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it


I won't lie. I had no idea this book even existed until recently. It wasn't even remotely on my radar until I came across the audiobook! The cover and title piqued my interest first, but the synopsis sold me. I loved how mysterious it sounded! I'm really glad I picked it up as I ended up enjoying it quite a lot!

Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!
Leanna Domalik
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting premise, but ultimately I just felt like there was a more interesting story to be told.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a really fast read for me, I just couldn't believe it when it finished. I wish the story had developed a bit further, because I enjoyed it .

An easy and entertaining summer novel to enjoy while sunbathing specially by the sea.
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
The Secret History of Us is a good read and while the ending is lacking; it could still stand on its own as a Good Read.

Gauging from the novel's premise I thought it's going to be a sinister read. I came in expecting to uncover convoluted conspiracies instead the twist is a lukewarm mystery. That's not necessarily a bad verdict, it's just different from what I was expecting. It could've been so much more; in some ways I feel like the potential has been wasted.

The story follows eighteen-year old
Kelly Hager
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Olivia almost died in a car accident; she was even in a coma for days. When she wakes up, she can't remember what happened--which is normal. But she ALSO can't remember the four years prior. Her whole high school experience is gone. So...was her life really as great as her family and friends say?

I loved this book. And, despite the last sentence, this isn't really a sinister book. It's not like someone is deliberately trying to hurt her. Olivia can trust everyone except herself, because she doesn
Paula  Phillips
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
As readers, we all have our list of favorite tropes and themes that we love reading about, for me one of those is Amnesia stories. That is what drew me to Jessi Kirby's The Secret of Us. The book starts off with Olivia being pulled out of the water by Walker James and given CPR as she was found with no pulse. She is then rushed to the hospital where she has been in a coma. Olivia or Liv to her friends wakes up and discovers that the last four-five years of her life has vanished. She has just gra ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Liv and Matt are on the way back from a party and the car they are in is hit by a truck. In turn, the car ends up in the bay. Matt is able to escape the submerged vehicle, but Liv is trapped in the car and is unconscious. Matt tries desperately to get her out of the car with no luck. Enter Walker, who is able to pull Liv from the car and perform CPR on her until the paramedics come. When Liv awakens at the hospital, her family realizes, and eventually her, that her memories of the last few years ...more
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
I don't know why I put off A Secret History of Us. Actually, I do. The reviews were eh so I just let it go for a long time. But in my effort to get to all past due ARCs I listened to this one. I actually really enjoyed it!!It is a story of amnesia, which I know a lot of people don't love, but I liked it here. Following Olivia on her journey to piece back what memories she had lost and try to recapture the life people told her she had helped me connect with her and understand her. There felt like ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Man, this story dragged! Don't get me wrong, despite everything I enjoyed this and wasn't bored (much) but until 50% or so I felt like I was still reading the first few introductory chapters and I was waiting for the story to finally pick up pace and for things to start happening. I also think the blurb is kind of misleading since I expected more romance and some kind of conflict between Liv, Matt and Walker but we don't get to meet Walker until the last third of the book so I felt like I had to ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
I finished this one about a week ago, and I’ve forgotten much of it there’s that. This book was good, not great, but I do recall really liking the “voice” of this novel.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
The Secret History of Us—Jessi Kirby
3.25 out of 5 stars

Contemporary young adult books are often hit-or-miss for me. Strangely, The Secret History of Us , started as the former and ended as the latter. Oliva “Liv” Jordan wakes up in the hospital after being a car accident that leaves her unable to remember the last few years of her life. She doesn’t understand why she and one of her best friends no longer talk, doesn’t remember her boyfriend of two years, and struggles to piece together who she
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
To be completely honest, I had forgotten the plot of this one when I cracked it open to read so the idea hooked me right away. As always, Jessi Kirby managed to write a story that had complications - for the character, in relationships and in situations. But I liked Olivia a lot, and was interested to find out about her and her life. While I do feel like it lacked a little bit of that something that would have made the emotional connection for me stronger, it was still really compelling and a ve ...more
The Secret History of Us is a standalone YA contemporary novel.

The narrator is 18 year old Olivia/Liv.

The beginning was really good. I didn't look up too much info on this book before starting it. All I knew was that Olivia had been in a coma. I'm actually glad that was all that I knew about the book. Because everything that happened subsequently was completely new to me. I really enjoyed how the book started. It made me very interested to see what would happen next.

The book is basically about a
Gray Cox
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh-okay
Very anti-climatic.

This was a quick and easy read, but I found myself thinking "that's it?" when I reached the end.
Shelby (readbytwilight)
The Secret History of Us was a delightful YA contemporary to read (well, listen to), about a girl named Olivia who suffers from memory loss following a car accident. The book proceeds with Olivia waking up in hospital after the accident, none the wiser, and then how she gradually tries to adjust back into her ‘normal’ life. Unfortunately, with not being able to remember what’s happened in the previous 4 years of her life, Olivia doesn’t know what her ‘normal’ is anymore. From initially trying to ...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


This book has quite a few good things going for it, and then a few that kind of missed the mark for me. Overall, it was enjoyable, but let's get to the good versus the not-as-good!

The Good:

Olivia was quite a sympathetic character. How scary must it be to have no idea what happened over the past four years? Olivia is going through this, and she is understandably shaken. Readin
Susan's Reviews
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting love triangle, but Walker's character needed more fleshing out. I liked the "idea" of him, but he was still too much of a "secret" to me, the reader, at the end. This could have been a very sweet story. The really enticing parts of the story were glossed over - hinted at.
I don't want to provide any spoilers here, but this book had the potential to be memorable. Instead, it suffers from the main character's inability to remember her past after a terrible near drowning. Maybe a shifti
Tiffany Ngari
Jun 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I loved the story i thought it was interesting but I wish it was longer. After you find out the whole truth everything feels rushed it seems like it needs a sequel. I love Walker he is my new book boyfriend but i wish he had more time in the book
Julia (BrightBoldAndBookish)
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ever since the first time I heard about this book I was intrigued (which for me is practically unheard of when it comes to contemporary novels). When I got it in the mail I actually thought that I wouldn’t get to read it for ages because university work was taking over my life. Lucky me, I needed a way to take my mind off of school work and needed an easy book to read and this beauty fit the bill. The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby is an awesome book that is both sweet and frustrating and I ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, ya, contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Stars

There are many mixed reviews on this one, and I feel like I am somewhere in the middle. I thought this was quite an interesting story of self identity, and overall, enjoyed the book.

Olivia had been in a horrific accident. She didn't lose her life, but she lost four years of memories. She spends a great deal of the book trying to figure out who she became during high school. I thought Kirby did a nice job conveying Olivia's struggle and the emotional turmoil she was experiencing
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this book - the plot was engaging and I liked Liv and the situation she found herself in was pretty awful and made for a good plot. I listened to this on audiobook while doing some painting and decorating (summer holidays) and it kept me interested throughout. In fact, I found myself looking forward to the next time I got an hour to myself to listen to it (while sanding and caulking).

The only criticism I have is that I just felt itwas a bit short. It could have done with a few more c
Neeshma Nazar Ayyaril
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.9 stars .

Arc received via Kinokuniya Group Dubai from HarperCollins for an honest review.

I just really enjoyed reading this book.
Simple yet elegant .
Decent and meaningful .
It's about finding yourself, it's about lost love without cliche.
FAST pacing story line and i love anything that includes Ocean in it...!!!
The only -ve is that the last 2 chapters was really author really needed to finish before the deadline... So there was possibilities in those chapters for good contents , B
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Jessi Kirby is a former English teacher and librarian. She lives in Orange County, CA with her husband and two kids, where she writes stories and runs the beach every day. Well, almost every day.

You can contact Jessi at

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