When a class full of teenagers find themselves developing telepathic abilities, they start getting to know each other in a much more personal way. Whi...moreWhen a class full of teenagers find themselves developing telepathic abilities, they start getting to know each other in a much more personal way. While this is definitely novel with flaws, I ultimately tried to turn off the inner critic, and enjoy it for what it was, a fun, quirky story with some interesting characters. So I will get those flaws out of the way here. This story is a bit of a mess, with so many main characters the plot goes all over the place. And the thoughts that they hear are not written in a remotely realistic sounding way. This is definitely a book for the younger end of the YA market, so knowing that, I tried to avoid the nit-picking, and just enjoy.
All throughout I couldn't help but be reminded of one of my favourite Buffy episodes, from season three, "Earshot". So really, this review couldn't be complete without some Buffy gifs...
I hadn't heard much about this one going in, so I had the opportunity to be surprised by what is truly an amazing debut. So much goes on in this story...moreI hadn't heard much about this one going in, so I had the opportunity to be surprised by what is truly an amazing debut. So much goes on in this story, that it could make multiple separate novels and still be interesting, yet never does it feel like too much is packed into one.
Sophie has already been through a lot in her life, after a car accident that lead to permanent damage in her leg and a serious addiction to pain killers. After going through all of this, she is forced to witness the murder of her best friend, Mina. Planted evidence causes everyone to believe that it was Sophie's drug deal gone bad that lead to this murder despite the fact that she has been clean for five months, and the case runs cold. This leaves Sophie to find the truth, sorting through the clues left behind by Mina.
The story is told using alternating timelines, in a similar fashion to Dangerous Girls, so readers are able to piece together the mystery surrounding not only the murder, but also other aspects of Sophie's and Mina's lives. Timelines like this can often detract from a story line, but Tess Sharpe executes it flawlessly.
Mystery and crime stories are something I would like to see more of in YA, and Far From You reminds me exactly why. Clues are pieced together, building up to an intense and exciting ending; one that had me holding my breath.
In addition to the murder case, characters' personal lives play a huge role in the story, with an unexpected and far from typical love triangle that showcases complex emotional issues in a real and heartbreaking way. I don't want to give anything away in regards to this, so I recommend reading the book before reading too many reviews on this. It is good, and it is worth reading, and that is all that you need to know.
Far From You is unquestionably a debut novel worth reading. It appealed to the contemporary YA lover in me along with the need for something with a little more edge and suspense. It has so much to offer, and delivers every element beautifully. I cannot wait to see what else Tess Sharpe has in store for readers in the future.(less)
I didn't know what to expect going into this book, but it was clear from the start that it features very heavy subject matter. Me Since You follows a...moreI didn't know what to expect going into this book, but it was clear from the start that it features very heavy subject matter. Me Since You follows a teenage girl, Rowan, who is shown all to closely the impact that depression can have on people. Not just those who are depressed, but everyone with whom they interact. There is a lot of dark subject matter in this story from the start, but what most surprised me from this book is how it features the healing process.
Rowan and her family must deal with the aftermath of a tragic incident in which Rowan's police officer father is at the centre of some public scrutiny for the way he handles a crime. Despite having very little information about what has gone down, people in their small town rush to blame him as a scape goat, and make this blame clear through a number of mediums, including the dreaded YouTube comments. The way these people act is nothing short of bullying, and a really sad reflection of how people react to news. Instead of showing respect for the lives lost, they act in a way that is so hurtful that they ruin another. I would like to hope that this is an exaggeration, and that people wouldn't really be so insensitive in such a situation, but unfortunately it probably isn't all that far off.
One of those people who shows little sympathy through the course of the story is Rowan's best friend, Nadia. Nadia is your classic self centered friend, and really just a crappy person all around. When Rowan is going through an awful time, Nadia shows no amount of empathy, and turns herself into a victim.
It seems like things just continue to get worse. But that is not the ultimate message that comes through in this story. It is fact that no matter how bad things get, they will get better. At a certain point there comes a time for healing, even if it feels like there is no hope. While delivered subtly, this message is very powerful and, despite all the hurt showcased in this story, uplifting.
There is also a sprinkle of romance featured, in a way that is completely true to the characters an story. The romance is exactly what it should be. It doesn't interfere with the main point of the story, but instead is subtle and unobtrusive. It is secondary without being an afterthought, and most importantly, it feels realistic. Rowan's relationship with Eli is age-appropriate and positive. They prove to be a strong match for each other not just in their ability to get along, but in helping each other to grow. It is Eli's presence that allows Rowan to recognize her ability to heal, and in this she shows a lot of character development.
Hope and healing are really the strong features of this story, which makes it a very worthwhile read. Me Since You is probably not a great pick for people who don't like sad stories, but if you appreciate a good opportunity to get in touch with emotions through reading, this is definitely one worth considering.(less)
Best Kind of Broken is everything I look for in a new adult romance. It features a relationship full of emotional history and heartbreak, real love, a...moreBest Kind of Broken is everything I look for in a new adult romance. It features a relationship full of emotional history and heartbreak, real love, and some serious tension and passion. Chelsea Fine demonstrates the quality writing and story telling that is so often absent in this genre, and strikes the perfect balance of displaying dream worthy romance without feeling over the top or forced.
After a year apart following a tragic incident, Pixie and Levi end up living together in the inn they are both working in for the summer. As readers, we enter their story with a lot of mystery, wondering what has happened to the two to leave them in this place. What we can see from the start is that they both have some pretty serious feelings for each other, but are trying to keep their distance due to some shared hurt and guilt.
What this situation allows for is a lot of the good kind of tension along the path to reconciliation. The story is told through alternating perspectives of Pixie and Levi, two characters who are dealing with a lot, but still maintain very likable and authentic voices. The love in this story is perfectly done, enough steamy romance to satisfy, without it being over the top and the only focus of the book.
There is enough of a story behind the book to keep it interesting beyond the smut, and secondary characters do their part to add to the story development. This book is just what I needed to get me out of a reading slump, a quick read with romance and character development. If you have any interest in the new adult genre, this one is not to be missed!