Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In an Instant” as Want to Read:
In an Instant
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In an Instant

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  60,635 ratings  ·  5,698 reviews
Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they

Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published March 1st 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
More Details... Edit Details
Featured Notes & Highlights

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In an Instant, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Suzanne Domoracki I agree with that comment. I just felt that was totally unnecessary and out of character for Mo and her mother not going wild with worry when her daug…moreI agree with that comment. I just felt that was totally unnecessary and out of character for Mo and her mother not going wild with worry when her daughter doesn't come home.(less)
Tonja Owens She realized that Finn's mom had taken Finn's clothes off and put them on Mo. Making her realize how much she protected Mo.…moreShe realized that Finn's mom had taken Finn's clothes off and put them on Mo. Making her realize how much she protected Mo.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  60,635 ratings  ·  5,698 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of In an Instant
This book was an Amazon First Reads choice for me and it had me from the moment I started reading it. Finn is such a delightful character, sixteen, happy, athletic, smart as a whip but thinking she messes everything up. Her mother is a shrew of a lawyer and her dad is the full time caretaker of her mentally disabled hulk of a thirteen year old brother. The rest of the family is made up of Aubrey, who is getting married in five months, and Chloe, her goth eighteen year old sister, inseparable fro ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Moving, poignant, and ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is an unforgettable tale about grief, mortality, and what it means to be human. I really don't want to say too much about this story, because it would be a grave sin to ruin a perfectly wonderful reading experience for those wishing to pick up the book, but I'll say this: I cried, I sobbed, and I couldn't put this book down. Seriously, I read it in a single sitting. This is a book I won't soon forget, and as a daddy's girl myself, I most ...more
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In an Instant....thank goodness I had tissues on hand.

In an Instant, lives are changed forever. Sixteen-year-old Finn is dead after a tragic car accident. Finn keeps vigil, watching as those she loves struggle to survive and move on with their lives.

Add me to the list of people who sat down and read this book in one day. Whew! I won’t tell you anything else about the book except that it is a moving, thought provoking look at what loss does to an individual and to a family. The choices and sacrif
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

Oh wow…

I’ve enjoyed Suzanne Redfearn’s previous novels so I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed this one too. Actually, that’s putting it mildly. I thought this was an incredible novel. Both devastating and heartwarming, this novel is now on my favorites list.

Sixteen-year-old Finn Miller is on vacation with her family and best friend when a tragic car accident changes all their lives forever.

Because I listened to this audio so q
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
you know how sometimes GRs recommendations can be a little… off? well, the side bar told me i would enjoy this because i liked a book about mt. everest. this story has absolutely nothing to do with mt. everest, but the high average rating caught my attention. and after finishing this, i can understand why everyone has been loving this.

this is very ‘the lovely bones’-esque. the reader is given a fly on the wall perspective as finn sees how those close to her deal with a horrific accident and the
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best, outstandingly emotional, heart wrenching and extremely thought provoking books of the year!

When I reach the half of it: I put my book down and start crying: I cried for the dead characters, I cried for the ones stumbling between life and death who lost their sanity after the tragic accident, I cried for the characters who suffered to move on and punished themselves with self flagellation! This book is something so intense, raw and realistic that crushes your soul more th
Michael David
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Your whole life can change in an instant.

16-year old Finn is thrilled to be going on a ski weekend getaway with her family and her best friend. There are 11 people in the camper her father is driving. A blistering winter storm slams the roads, and in an attempt to avoid hitting a deer, the camper slides over the cliff of a mountain...and Finn instantly knows she’s dead.

What follows is a harrowing and atmospheric tale as the other occupants try to figure out how to survive in a blizzard, how to
Imagine two couples - long-time friends with teen children going on a fun ski trip to the mountains in an RV, only to end up in a catastrophic accident that strands them in a bitter cold blizzard with one dead and others in serious need of help. Compound this dire situation with two choosing unwisely to leave for help during the worst of the storm.

What happens when you go from never really thinking about your life to suddenly realizing every decision you make could be the difference between life
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was invited to choose from several books offered via Amazon's February "First Reads" and downloaded this for free. Before doing so, I read my Goodreads friend Debra's raving review, which confirmed my choice. On the product page for the book in Amazon it cites that readers who enjoyed the book The Lovely Bones would like this. Therefore, it wouldn't be much of a spoiler for me to reveal that the narrator of this story is a teenager of 16 who dies early on in the book. This sudden death sets th ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WoW! Breathtaking And Mesmerizing!

This is a book that will stay with me for a long time!

The haunting story begins with a family happily planning a a daughter's wedding, teens making plans for their upcoming formal, another thinking of upcoming graduation and college while the father and son excitedly get their huge and old traveling van ready for a ski trip over the presidents holiday weekend bringing their lovable dog and longtime friends and daughter along also for this fun and carefree excurs
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are an Amazon Prime member, and you haven’t selected your book for FEB yet, because you weren’t sure which one to choose...let me help you out!

THIS book should be your choice!


YES, it is reminiscent of “The Lovely Bones” as we have 16 year old, Finn, narrating from the omniscient view, as she is caught between this World and what comes next, but the similarities end there.

Swerving to avoid a deer on a cold, dark night, a camper careens off the road, plummeting over the
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!! I listened to this audio. This just might be the best book I've read/listened to this year. The narrator was outstanding and the story and writing is so moving and incredible!

This is a story of a family who is involved in a tragic car accident on the way to their skiing holiday. The story is told by Finn, a sixteen year old who horrifically loses her life and watches over her family while they grieve and try to piece back their lives.

This is a very touching and powerful story. Extremely th
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Paula by: Ceecee
A real page turner. This heart-wrenching book kept me engaged throughout most of the book. The end was a bit slower. Otherwise I would have rated it higher.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to Amazon First Reads for the ebook.
Elyse  Walters
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
This story makes “My Lovely Bones”, look like a G-rated Saturday morning children’s special.
There is absolutely no comic - or inspiring relief.
It’s simply tragedy, after tragedy, grief after grief, devastating travesties, and grueling details of agony.

It was like pulling teeth, slowly, one at a time, with no Novacaine.

My goodness.... I can appreciate that “In An Instant”, has that ‘can’t look away’ thing going for it.... like one hell of a bad car crash — ( ha, there was a car crash)— but to
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This emotional book broke my heart, and thankfully, it put it back together again. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I read and loved Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn a few years ago and was so excited to be offered her newest book. Isn’t that cover a beauty, and you all know I love an emotional story. In An Instant broke my heart into a million pieces.

Finn is sixteen years old when she’s in a car accident where she is trapped watching as others struggle to keep alive. The accident rips her family apart as dif
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A tight-nit family along with a few friends go on their annual trip to a secluded cabin that has been passed down for generations. Along the way, they swerve to miss hitting a deer. This instant changes their lives forever and their camper falls below the guardrails on the side of a mountain into the snow. Finn, a sixteen year old, is immediately dead, but does not pass through to her next world. She continues to watch her family through survival, rescue, guilt, and grief.

The chapters are short
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
5 thought-provoking stars

I kept seeing 5-star reviews for this one, so I had high hopes it would work for me. It did!! If you’ve read the blurb, you already know that the premise is a 16-year-old who has died but some spirit of her remains to watch her family and friends. If you are a fan of “Lovely Bones” I would recommend this one to you.

This one is thought-provoking because it made me consider what I would do in this situation. Would I protect my own family above others? How quickly does the
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
This was one of the most eerily compelling novels I have read in recent times. I could not put it down for a second and stayed reading it until 5.30am in the morning when I had to give in to sleep.

The novel follows the story of two families who are caught up in a serious, tragic accident high in snowy mountains and the lengths that each individual go to to survive. The book takes the ingenious idea of narrating the aftermath of the crash from sixteen year old Finn's PoV. It's ingenious because
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding Amazon Prime First Read for February! Finn Miller and her family, along with neighbours ‘Aunty Karen’ and ‘Uncle Bob’, their daughter Natalie and Finn’s best friend Mo go on a three day trip to the Miller Cabin in Big Bear for skiing, fun and relaxation. Finn is 16, she’s fabulous, lively, clever, a tad clumsy but a truly wonderful character. Her dad looks after her youngest sibling, brother Oz who has learning difficulties, her oldest sister Audrey is getting married, she has ano ...more
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'You only live once, and no one has any idea how long that once is going to be, so grab on tight and hold on for the ride and don’t worry about it and don’t look back.'

In the aftermath of a tragic and deadly accident, a group of people who came together for a weekend getaway, struggle with their actions and the (sometimes) questionable choices they made. I'll be honest, friends, I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did.

It was poignant, yet lovely.
It was devastating, yet joyful.
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a mesmerizing account of what happens after. There is a horrific accident which changes the lives of everyone it touches. Some rise to the challenge, some do not. In fact, some act in a cowardly and profoundly cruel way which endangers others. It is a fascinating portrait of trauma and loss.

The only reason, I didn't give this 5 stars is the way the author belittles how profound grief is. In this scenario, the ones who "get over it" quickly are the healthy ones and those who can't are se
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, my heart!

I received an e-copy of In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn from NetGalley for my honest review.

A gripping and emotional story of the after-effects that a family and their friends suffer after a deadly accident. We get to learn and understand how each character reacts, how they feel and what they go through during and after the accident.

A story of loss and how each person reacts to the loss. A story that will make you think about how short life really is and to take, appr
Tinichix (nicole)
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I am so aware that I am way on the other end of opinions here. I was really excited for the release of this book this past month. Well, it just wasn't the best fit for me personally. It wasn't the subject matter, I was actually very intrigued by the synopsis. The synopsis on Goodreads will tell you "Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody. Nobody should read this.
Shelves: toxic
CW: car crash (2), explicit depiction of death (view spoiler), blatant ableism, death of disabled character

by the 90% mark of this book, i had an entire review written and ready to go; you’ll see it below the dotted grey line. but this is what you must know before going any further:

in an instant EXPLICITLY states that disabled people—disabled children; particularly those with intellectual disabilities—are a burden on their families and lov
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A family skiing trip has tragic consequences when their camper van skids on the snow and tumbles over a cliff.
Finn their teenage daughter is killed instantly, her father is very badly injured.
This story is about the actions of the others in the group and the consequences of their actions during and after the event which leave the survivors changed for ever.
This was a very powerful story and the first I have read by this author and I will be looking out for more of her work.
Thank you to NetGalle
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and poignant, this was the perfect choice for my February Kindle First Read. The book is told through the eyes of 16-year-old Finn who is unable to move on after a tragic accident on the way to a family vacation claims her life. She follows the lives of everyone involved on that fateful day, needing to see how they came to terms with the chain of events that ensued as well as how they continued on with their own lives.

A tale of survival, this book also asks the question: In the moment
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
“As I watch her cry, I wonder about this, about whether our humanity is determined more by circumstance than conscience, and if any of us if backed into a corner can change.”

In an Instant is a domestic drama about the aftermath of a life altering accident. It is definitely character driven and focuses on how everyone deals with both trying to survive the accident and what comes after it.

I love that the story is told from Finn’s perspective as she remains in limbo between this life and the next.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, poignant, and incredibly heart-wrenching!

In an Instant is a tragic, pensive, moving novel that takes you into the lives of eleven people whose worlds are irrevocably changed in the blink of an eye when a fatal accident causes them to make individual decisions that will have enduring consequences.

The prose is eloquent and intense. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are complex, conflicted, and wounded. And the unique plot, narrated from beyond the grave by sixteen
My timing for reading this was very bad for me. I struggled a bit at the beginning of the holidays, for a lot of reasons. This book was so emotionally painful that I couldn't make myself pick up my headphones to listen, and when I did talk myself into it, I didn't listen for long. But when I finally sat down with the last 4 hours, determined to finish, I couldn't stop listening.

This book is all about the choices we make. Specifically, the choices we make in unimaginable circumstances, that we co
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People love this book! It has a little bit of everything in the story and is a page-turner for a good portion. I liked this one, though it was a bit simply written and had a YA feel to it. Reminiscent of If I Stay and The Lovely Bones but marching to its own beat, this is a story that can be read quickly and rewards those who like a happy ending.
3.75 stars
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Choice ...: In an Instant - May 19th 10 39 May 02, 2021 09:22PM  
Oz 4 55 Oct 01, 2020 12:40PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add page count ASIN B07Y8VDPX1 2 17 May 29, 2020 06:11AM  
Oz 1 22 Apr 27, 2020 07:43AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Date Night
  • Because You're Mine
  • Making Hearts
  • The Confession Club (Mason, #3)
  • Mother Knows Best
  • Saint X
  • Recipe for a Perfect Wife
  • I Wanted You To Know
  • Moral Compass
  • The Second Chance Supper Club
  • The Whispers of War
  • Cilka's Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #2)
  • Finding Tomorrow (Bluebird Bay #1)
  • The Light in the Hallway
  • Followers
  • The Guilty Mother
  • Let It Snow
  • The Sun Down Motel
See similar books…
Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of four novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, In an Instant, and Hadley & Grace. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer. You can find her at her website, www.S ...more

Articles featuring this book

We're halfway through the year that time forgot! Ahem...I mean, 2020. Believe it or not, it's June. Traditionally, this is when the...
184 likes · 171 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“regret is the most difficult emotion to live with, but in order to have regret, you need to have a conscience: an interesting paradox that allows the worst of us to suffer the least in the aftermath of wrongdoing.” 16 likes
“I realize how awful people are to each other, how a pervasive cynicism exists in most of us that stops us from seeing the best parts of one another.” 9 likes
More quotes…