Title: Far From You

Author: Tess Sharpe  ♥ @sharpegirl

Expected Publication: 
April 8, 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 384

Genre(s): Young Adult ♥ Contemporary ♥ Mystery

Source: NetGalley

Summary from Goodreads: Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.

The first time, she’s fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that’ll take years to kick.

The second time, she’s seventeen, and it’s no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina’s murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina’s brother won’t speak to her, her parents fear she’ll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina’s murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared.

Average Goodreads Rating (as 0f 03/31/2014): 4.01

 

  • Christina thought this title was unexpectedly amazing. It goes on her  top shelf.

**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

“Mina likes to play with fire. 
But I’m the one who gets burned.”
~quote taken from the eARC of Far From You at 52%

Initial Thoughts & Rating: 4.5 stars! Far From You commands the readers attention with its raw approach to relationship and addiction intricacies, and keeps them spellbound while it takes them through a labyrinth of a more sinister plot of deceit and murder. It was easy to connect to Sophie and all the uphill battles she faces in this story. And while I had– somehow miraculously– puzzled out the who behind the mask long before I think I should have, I still couldn’t help turning the pages just a little quicker to get to the why behind it.

The Lowdown: In the life of Sophie Winters, there have been key moments that have shaped her into the person she is. The first is easily when she met Mina at a very young age and a rare friendship blossomed, one where she eventually found herself swept up in a maelstrom of emotions and complicated love. The second was when she almost died in a car accident at the age of fourteen. The doctors put all her broken pieces back together with metal and screws, but she was forever changed by the pain medication they put her on. After a while, Oxy became her go-to for more than numbing the pain in her body and her addiction was slowly pulling her under. But when she had finally kicked the habit, it was Mina’s murder that uprooted her whole life once again.

Because of a few miscommunications, fabricated stories, and planted evidence, all the blame was placed at Sophie’s feet where everyone held her responsible for a drug deal gone horribly wrong. Despite Sophie’s pleas for someone- anyone- to listen, she’s shipped off to rehab and Mina’s murder case is quickly growing cold. So with no one in her corner, Sophie will have to prove them all wrong. She was the only one that was there that night when the killer had thrown out that he warned Mina to leave to it alone right before he shot her a point-blank range.

Now Sophie just needs to figure out the “it” the killer mentioned and what exactly the murderer was trying to keep hidden. It’s up to her to avenge Mina’s death. . . and to do it sober.

My Thoughts: There won’t be very much I can say here plot-wise because there would be spoilers galore. However, I will say that it was handled spectacularly. It was almost like there was parallel stories happening within this one novel: a girl battling addiction, a girl with a very complicated, yet wholly mesmeric love triangle (that’s not really a love triangle at all, so don’t let that scare you off), and finally the murder-mystery/bit of a thriller aspect. Yet, it was the way the author interwove these smaller plots into one huge calculated storyline that keeps the reader wholly invested. Every perspective is of vital importance to the other elements.

As for the main character, Sophie, I really felt a kinship with her. Easily understood her and her struggles. Since the novel is delivered in now and then snippets from before and after the accident that almost killed her, we really get a sense of who Sophie truly is and how her relationship with Mina developed over the years. And, goodness, that was probably the most heart-rending situation in the whole book. I had such a heaviness in my chest the entire time, seeing this love being shut down and locked away repeatedly due to Mina’s fear of giving in because of her family’s religious upbringing. It killed me in the best possible, mostly deliciously angsty way. Not only that, but we journey with Sophie through battling her addiction and the grief of Mina’s murder, and all of it just felt really honest. Sharpe really sticks it to us emotionally. She doesn’t allow her characters to shy away from the true melancholy that saturates the air and experiences surrounding their role in the book. They feel it so much; therefore, we feel it, too. But Sophie comes so far in this book and it was a true joy to see her deliberately face her demons, both mental and physical, and watch her come out triumphant. Though it was a bittersweet victory, my heart was still full.

I would like to note that there were two instances that kept me from giving this a full five stars. While I’ll happily live with both and see how they fit the novel, I can’t help but just to want it differently. One of those instances being the real catalyst behind the whole book, the secret “who” that drove the plot. Like I said earlier, I had somehow guessed the person directly involved with Mina’s death, but when the veil was yanked off the real bad guy, I was completely stunned. Looking back, I still don’t see any foreshadowing or anything that would have clued me in to it. It was almost like it was tacked on at the end for a little extra shocker value, but then we wouldn’t have had a reason for Mina to die, so I get it. Then the other misstep, in my opinion, was how things felt unresolved between Trev and Sophie. I understand that Mina was Sophie’s one true love, but I wanted her to love love Trev. I was honestly satisfied with the final chapters– they were quite beautiful, to be honest– but I can’t help desiring an epilogue of a few years down the road where she and Trev were happy together because I honestly feel like they could have been. *le sigh*

♥ Favorite (Teaser) Quote: 

“Later, I stare at his face in the moonlight and wonder if he can tell that I kissed him like I already know the shape of his lips. Like I’ve mapped them in my mind, in another life. Learned them from another person who shared his eyes and nose and mouth, but who is never coming back.
~ quote taken from the eARC of Far From You at 13%

Rec It? Yes, I would. If you like your books filled with gut-wrenching angst, realistically portrayed characters and storylines, and a little extra mystery-thriller to get your heart pumping, this is definitely a book that you should get your hands on.  It doesn’t hurt that the author has a lovely way with words either.

Plus, look at that pretty, haunting cover! It begs to be displayed on your bookshelf. The way it ties into the book (Thanks, KP, for pointing it out!) is really beautiful.

A very special thanks to Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley for providing me with an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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