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Getting Somewhere

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Four girls: dealer, junkie, recluse, thief.

Sarah, Jenna, Lauren, and Cassie may look like ordinary girls, but they’re not. They’re delinquents whose lives collide when they’re sent to an experimental juvenile detention program on a farm in the middle of nowhere. As the girls face up to the crimes they committed, three of them will heal the wounds of their pasts and discove
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Viking Juvenile
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Every once in a while, to prove that Goodreads isn't the boss of me, I'll read a book that none of my friends have read or reviewed. (Meanwhile, Goodreads is all, Step back three paces. Turn around.) I can't remember how I first came across Getting Somewhere, but I remember that cover. I mean, just look at it! And the simple tagline: "Four girls. A million secrets." Count me in.

Getting Somewhere is about four strangers picked to live on a farm and have their lives monitored. To find out what hap
This book’s first issues arrive early, and continue on from there. The opening is extremely vague and nondescript. Some girls are on a bus, they arrive at some place, and some women greet them. That’s it. There is absolutely no sense of place or setting or causality in this opening, and therefore no reason for the reader to keep reading. Honestly, the only real “answers” I got about Getting Somewhere were found in the book’s jacket copy. ITS JACKET COPY. If I have to read the back of the book to ...more
First, some links:

Giveaway on my blog (ends June 15, 2012):

Interview with Beth Neff:

Now for the review:

Beth Neff has a writing voice that immediately captivated me. I couldn't tell what it was at first and then realized just how relieved I was at not having the story told from the first person perspective for a change. It seems that lately the majority of young adult novels are being told from this perspective. I d
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found this book to be really special. The concept and events fit together perfectly. The author has a very special way with words. Her descriptive capacity is not to be outdone, particularly as far as her individual characters. I realized from reading this book how individual people, including young people in big trouble, can believe they have a right to emotionally attack others who have something real to offer them and who can help the attackers bounce back from their pasts (rather than) con ...more
This was one of the best books I've read in along time--compassionate and inspiring. We all make mistakes and need to move on, learning to find out who we are beyond the labels, the self loathing and any baggage from the past. The book is also about what happens when girls don't have good mothers to nurture them. Women need to learn to love themselves and reach out and nurture each other.

It is just as good as an adult book as a teen read. The chapters alternate between the four girls so you get
Prose poetry.

I spent this entire book getting to know the heart-wrenchingly-described characters, and they became very real to me. They are enchanting even at their worst in this author's deft hands. Pain and joy co-exist. This book is as old as the Bible and yet just as current.

This author has a way with words that whisper to you, sing to you, make your heart pound, reveal inter-human cruelty and love, and show the impact of strife, both from outside in and from inside out of each character.

Inspired Kathy
Jan 17, 2012 Inspired Kathy marked it as to-read
Debut Author Interview & Book Giveaway (ends 2/15/12)
Crystal Holder
In this gritty teen story four girls, who all have secrets and haunting pasts, are put together when they all choose to go to an alternative detention center instead of jail. This alternative center is actually a farm run by three women, while there the girls are expected to work in the garden and help around the house as well as attend sessions with Ellie, the head of the program. I really enjoyed reading this book. The book address hard but realistic issues that many people will be able to rel ...more
OMG! How great can a book be!! I just finished it last night and I already want to start all over again. I am 16 years old and I dunno if that is a YA or not, but who cares. These four girls are so real and they mostly end up thinking for themselves. Maybe this doesn't count, but I am a senior in high school, and there are really a lot of mean people there. I don't know what to do about seeing people be mean and I don't go along. I'm pretty sure I should be doing something about this which I don ...more
OMG! How great can a book be!! I just finished it last night and I already want to start all over again. I am 16 years old and I dunno if that is a YA or not, but who cares. These four girls are so real and they mostly end up thinking for themselves. Maybe this doesn't count, but I am a senior in high school, and there are really a lot of mean people there. I don't know what to do about seeing people be mean and I don't go along. I'm pretty sure I should be doing something about this which I don ...more
Erin Stuhlsatz
This book has been calling to me from the YA shelves for months now. I'm not a hundred percent sure why, in retrospect.

The most interesting part was the intertwining 4 storylines--one timeline, 4 points of view. The four girls sounded very similar; only Lauren was distinguishable for her whining. When the spoke out loud, then the differences were pronounced, but they all had the same internal voice (Beth Neff's, perhaps?). It was also a somewhat improbable ending. I've seen school teachers' car
Courtney Moffett
I can sum this book up in one word - predictable. In fact, the whole story line was a little bland because there were no twists or turns in the plot. I did like the way it interwove four points of view into one. It was simply seamless and told with a distinct personality. My only complaint about that was the ending was only told from one person's viewpoint. I felt the ending, which didn't seem like an ending at all because the story actually ended several chapters prior, should have wrapped each ...more
Sean Kottke
This is four problem novels in one, which allows it to transcend the conventions of problem novel narratives to paint a more comprehensive portrait of the challenges faced by a generation of young women ... and a way out. Four teens learn empowerment and empathy in an alternative juvenile justice program on an organic farm. The mood is thoroughly earnest, the characters well-drawn and the emotions real. If the narrative trajectory is predictable, that is merely the fault of the form used to tell ...more
This felt an awful lot like sustainable farming propaganda disguised as a coming-of-age story, but damn if it didn't make me crave some vegetables.
Very vague. Hard to get a good feel for any of the characters at all. Good story I think it just needed to be fleshed out a bit more.
Really liked this book. It's about four girls who get sent to a farm run by three women as an alternative to prison. Three of the girls begin to enjoy the program, but one hates it. So she makes a plan to expose the secrets of the ladies who run the program, and in the process tricks the other girls into helping her. Definitely worth reading!
An insightful story that dives deep into relationships, motivation, prejudice, and the healing power of empathy and digging-in-the-dirt. If you like Barbara Kingsolver's novels, you'll appreciate this book.
Young women serving time on a farm producing organic produce, which happens to be run by a female couple. While it has the potential to fall into pedantic lessons, it stayed remarkably true and poignant.
You know that list of books you should read before you die? This is one of them. Everyone 14 years and no matter how much older should READ THIS BOOK!
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Youthful cruelty 1 4 Jul 18, 2012 03:15PM  
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My first novel, Getting Somewhere (Viking/Penquin – 2012) is the story of four very different girls who serve juvenile crime sentences in an alternative detention program located on an organic farm. The setting of this YA/crossover story came quite naturally to me since I am a former organic farmer, having raised vegetables and dairy goats on an eight-acre farm for over two decades. I have also wo ...more
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“She prunes the idea away like a faded rose blossom, and quickly discards it as if the thorns might puncture her resolve.” 7 likes
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