Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Far From You - Tess Sharpe

Far From You Tess Sharpe book cover
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thank you, Disney!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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 (from Goodreads)

Far From You is one of those books surprised me... in a good way. It was thrilling, and convoluted, and twisty, and substantial. Three things really stood out about this novel: (1) main character Sophie, (2) the unusual time jump method of storytelling, and (3) the mystery.

Sophie was incredibly likable, in spite of being a slightly unreliable narrator. What really drew me to her was that she was so full of conviction. She knew the facts about her involvement with drugs, and she knew there was more to Mina's death, and her conviction steered her through this entire novel. With her clever mind, her intimate best friend knowledge of Mina and her sheer determination, she accomplishes more for the murder investigation than even the official detective assigned to the case... even though I wouldn't always necessarily endorse her methods.

The time jumps kept me on my toes, as I had to make sure I was keeping track of when we were in each chapter. It was admittedly confusing initially, but grew easier to identify the more I read of the book. Using this method of story-telling allowed readers to get to know Sophie of the past, including her relationship with other characters in the novel. I love that Sophie's character development, the differences between her then and her now really, felt truly organic because of this method.

I really liked the mystery too! I was right alongside Sophie every step of the way, from when she was gathering evidence to when she would interview people who were potential suspects or witnesses. I honestly could not predict what would happen next, nor did I predict that entirely surprising turn of events at the end.

Did I expect to like Far From You? Yes, absolutely. Did I expect to like it as much I actually ended up liking it? No way. It was a solid mystery tale, with Mina's murder and Sophie's investigation being the point which this novel revolved around. But it also had a great contemporary aspect -- Sophie's friendship with Mina and Mina's brother Trev, her former drug problem and what it did to her family , Mina and Sophie's shared secret -- really stood out as well. It was the kind of mystery-contemporary novel that reads well, and it pleases me that I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

10 comments:

  1. I was surprised by how much I liked this one too! The character development and the twisty plot won me over.

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    1. I definitely liked the characters in this one! I also really appreciated the fact that I couldn't figure out the mystery, and was caught off guard by how it resolved itself. Glad you enjoyed this too!

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  2. Yay! I still haven't read this one but after seeing so many good reviews of it I NEEEEED to read it! It sounds so exciting and interesting and and and... :)

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    1. It's really well-written, and I think the mystery is great. The fact that it kept me on my toes is certainly a highlight, but it's Sharpe's mastery of her characters that really shines.

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  3. I'll have to keep my eye out for this book. It sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read a copy, Megan! Happy reading!

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  4. I really enjoyed your review of Far From You. I have not yet come across any reviews on it, but yours makes me want to read it. I love when a book I buy on a whim turns out to exceed my expectations. I am also interested by the time jumping format, I remember tThe Notebook did that, and in that particular novel I was left frustrating by the time jumping. What did you think about The Notebook?

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    1. I'm glad that you want to read Far From You after reading my review! I hope you do end up getting access to this one, and like it as much as I did.

      I really like The Notebook as a film, but I wasn't overly fond of the novel, if I'm being honest. I thought it was very sweet, but I really just liked the part where it focused on the earlier days of Noah and Allie's relationship.

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  5. I typically like when stories are told time-jump style. I'm glad to see this is more than just a murder mystery. This is another one I'll need to read at some point!

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    1. Yes, I hope you get a chance to read it as it's really good! The time jump aspect worked perfectly with this story, and didn't feel too jarring at all past a certain point.

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