Book Review: Far From You

Posted January 16, 2015 by Lyn Kaye in book review, Lyn / 4 Comments

Book Review: Far From YouFar From You by Tess Sharpe
Published by Disney Hyperion on March 10th, 2014
Genres: mystery-thriller, young adult
Pages: 343
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars

Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her?

Kara recommended Far From You to me when I made a note that I loved the UK cover. I think it was something along the lines of OMG LYN REAZ IT!!! My co-blogger usually steers me in the right direction for novels so I took her word and bought the book when she mentioned along the lines of “splintered souls” and “shattered hearts”.

Kara wasn’t too far off the mark – this book is daring, energizing and agonizing as the author digs into uncomfortable territory such as drug dependency, a confusion love triangle, and the depths of grief and unfair blame as a young person attempts to sort out the disasters in her life, both inflicted and self-made.

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Characters Role Call. I’ll hand it to Sharpe – she creates her abrasive characters to end up quite likable. For a book that adopts a harsher tone, it was pleasant to see the author take a risk and derail from the popular YA female trope. Sophie had her fair share of issues – a set of issues that YA tends to leave out for fear of alienating the core audience. Look, I love my goodie two-shoes YA heroines, since I’m such a coward, but, just like Speechless, I really love to delve into someone else’s shoes and see the world through a different set of polar opposite eyes. Sophie takes up a very small part of the minority of gritty female MCs.

Returning back to Sophie, her alternating voice from before her real rehab trip (before) and the aftermath of the main dilemma of the novel (after) was just impeccable. I absolutely savored the evolution of her drug dependency and how it affected her as a person and a friend. She really puts forward a brave a determined face as she tracks down the suspect that murdered the person closest to her, Mina.

The other characters in the book were pretty good. I have to admit, I did read this a while back, and Sophie was the one that stands out the most in my mind.

Mina was a strong prescience in the book. I she was borderline manic pixie dreamgirl, but I also took this with a bit of salt, since I found that Sophia’s memories of her were skewed due to her death, making Sophia appear to be an unreliable narrator. Pairing Mina’s overly exaggerated qualities and actions allowed me to really see the underlying grief and sense of loss for everyone involved.

The Tangled Web We Weave. To the point: yes, there is a love triangle. However, it is a love triangle that makes sense. It isn’t a gimmick, or a ploy to draw in the readers. Instead, it was utilized to emphasize how same-sex relationships must hide behind a more socially acceptable straight relationship. A bit of realism is always welcomed in stories, even if it is an abrasive, hard-hitting truth.

Just Say No.  According to online sources, teens seem to believe that prescription pills are a safe alternative to “street drugs.”

Ouch.

It seems that there is an audience for the topic regarding prescription drugs and painkillers. Far from You is unapologetic in its approach towards prescription drug abuse, portraying how it affects the user and the people surrounding the suffering individual.

Missing. The only (and largely looming issues) with the story was just the disconnection from the characters.

I really wanted to like this book more, and I did enjoy it, but something was just missing, and I still can’t seem to find what it was. The book almost seemed to pad the feelings and some of the backstory to the point where it was almost inaccessible by the audience.

 

Overall

The story could give us more, but it gives enough for this one to stick out in your head. Humorous and dark, Far From You isn’t the typical read.

 

lyn

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