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Start Here

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  381 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leavin
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  381 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Start Here by Trish Doller is a young adult contemporary novel that is a heart warming tale of two teens honoring their best friend's wishes after she had passed away from cancer. Finley, Willa and Taylor had been  friends for years and were thought to be inseparable. Finley was the glue that held the group together and as the outgoing one she had come up with the idea of restoring an old sail boat and after graduating heading to Key West from their Ohio home near the Great Lakes. 

After Finley's
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-physical

Many thanks to Simon Pulse for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodbye Days meets Little Do We Know in this perfect blend of heartbreaking grief and uplifting hope.

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Susan's Reviews
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love Trish Doller's straightforward style. Two girls set out to honour their dead friend's wish to sail to Key West. I enjoyed this story about three young women who were fated to travel in different directions, but who learned something valuable from one another. Finley taught the other two girls to live life fully, believe in magic and follow your heart. Taylor and Willa were Finley's "rival best friends" - the loved Finley, but barely tolerated each other. Their growing friendship and the c ...more
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Heyyy guys! I'm hosting a Giveaway for a signed arc and a fun package! Check it out on my instagram HERE! ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Finley was the glue that kept Willa and Taylor's friendship together. Now that Finley is gone (she unfortunately died from cancer), Willa and Taylor's relationship isn't great. In fact, it's downright stressful. However, one of Finley's last wishes was for the girls to sail the Great Loop, which is the waterway from Ohio to Key West. That's the perfect adventure before college, right? Except now without Finley, how will Willa and Taylor make it work? They can't just blow off their plans though b ...more
I’m a huge fan of Trish Doller, so I was beyond excited to get into her new book. From that cover, I was sort of expecting a sort of fluffy contemp, but don’t be fooled.

I really liked Willa, but Taylor took some time to get invested in. Both girls are dealing with Finley’s death and I really appreciated getting both of their POVs.

Plot wise, it did take me some time to get settled. As the story progresses and the trip gets closer to being complete, I was all in. And the growth of both Willa and
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Trish Doller is one of my favorite authors who writes books that don't necessarily sound like my thing. Emma Mills and Tessa Dare, for example, right books that sound 100% like books written for me. Doller's tend to sound much more intense and darker, so, while obviously they've been interesting enough for me to pick up, it's always accompanied by a frisson of nerves. Start Here unsurprisingly didn't sound totally like my thing, but on the knowledge of how good all her prior books were, I downlo ...more
Jaime Arkin
I’m not going to lie, I was super worried that when I started this book it was going to be another book that had me in tears because of the death of the main character. I’m happy to say that didn’t happen.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some super emotional spots here, especially in the beginning when you meet Finley, but it didn’t completely gut me.

Start Here is a coming of age story of two young girls trying to figure out who they are and who they can become without the one person who held the
Andi (Andi's ABCs)
This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. It’s safe to say I’m a Trish Doller fan girl. I don’t think she could write anything that I won’t love. My love started with Something Like Normal, her debut, and has only grown. So when I heard about Start Here I was so excited. There is something I love about a good friendship book and mixing one of m
Kasey Giard
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You know that feeling you get when you follow an author and read multiple of their books, and then a new one comes out and you feel like it has a special kind of magic the others (while they were great!) didn’t quite have?

I felt that way reading START HERE. The story seemed to come alive as I read it. I connected with the characters immediately. The “trapped on a sailboat with your frenemy to honor your best friend’s dying wish” plot was amazing and unique. I loved all the sailing stuff!

I sobbed
Ginger at GReadsBooks
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading a Trish Doller book never gets old. Each new story she has to tell will always find a special place in my heart. This one is no exception.

Start Here is a book about friendship, grief, letting go, & forging your own path. As three teenage girls made a promise to sail part of the Great Loop, just after high school, life decides to sway their plans. After one dies, the other two grapple with keeping that promise. What begins as a “we have to do this for our dead best friend”, morphs into a
Also reviewed on my bookstagram.

Ugh, I love Trish Doller's writing.

I took a break from romance and read Trish Doller’s Start Here. The story was about two girls Taylor and Willa who were coping with the death of their best friend Finley. Finley was the glue in their friendship and after Finley passed, Taylor and Willa found themselves struggling to maintain their bond. The story was set throughout a sailing trip the girls took as a deathbed promise to Finley. ⁣⁣
I love how this book made me fe
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-copyright
I absolutely adored this book. Don’t get distracted or misled by this gorgeous cover. It IS a book about summer and sailing and two gorgeous girls. But what it is NOT is fluff. It is NOT the story of friends having an easy, breezy summer filled with boys and silly adventures. It’s the story of two girls, maybe more frenemies than friends, grieving over the death of their shared best friend, fulfilling her dying wish by taking a summer-long sailing trip. The actual sailing is extremely difficult. ...more
Start Here is a young adult contemporary novel that includes elements that can be seen throughout John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Morgan Matson's novels. It had friendships, romance, and "summery" vibes that readers of YA literature can enjoy.

This book's a light-hearted read that can include some heavy topics, albeit it does not seem obvious judging by the cover. Grief's a subject that the characters go through and I enjoyed reading both perspectives from the two main characters, Willa and Taylor.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Oh this was excellent and heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Unlikely Duo Goes On Roadtrip is a wonderful trope & I liked the twist on that here where the thing they have in common is their best friend who died. Seeing Willa & Taylor's relationship grow seperate to their connection to Finney was so well done.

This also has shades of The Distance from Me to You & Starry Eyes, but sailing, and I was very into that. The Great Loop was not a thing I knew you could do, so this was t
Grace Gimbel
Jun 23, 2022 rated it liked it
This story was cute and made me want to go on a road trip (or sailing trip?), but there could have been more character development to really leave an impact.
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it

While this may look like a breezy summertime read, don’t be fooled by the vibes of this cover. This isn’t a serious issue book, but it does have a weight to it that most summery YA lit does not. This book follows two girls, Willa and Taylor who are friends, but not. They have been in each other’s lives for years but only because of their shared connection through their common bff, Finley, a young woman who recently lost her life to leukemia. Before Finley’s death, the three girls had planned
Willa, Taylor, and Finley were inseparable friends, though Finley was the glue holding the trio together. When they were young, they made a promise to sail from their home in Ohio through the Great Loop and down to the Florida Keys to celebrate the end of high school. Unfortunately, Finley dies from leukemia before she gets to take the trip but leaves Willa and Taylor with a set of clues for their trip that will honor her memory, as well as allow the two of them to bond outside of their relation ...more
Soooo goooood! Also soooo saaaad!

♥ I got big The Last Wish of Sasha Cade vibes from this one (if you enjoy ripping your heart out, this one is excellent), as both feature a best friend who dies, but leaves a little instruction for her friends to help ease the pain when she's gone. In Start Here, Finley leaves behind a list of clues, leading them to places she hopes they'll stop along the during their sailing trip from Ohio to Key West. The thing is, not only is Finley dead, but Finley was the gl
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

**A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Start Here by Trish Doller was everything I would want in a great teen fiction novel and more. She guided me, the reader, through the emotional ups and downs of two teenage girls dealing with the loss of a best friend, rekindling a relationship, past grievances, and new summer love. I cannot praise it enough.

Taylor and Willa are the two main
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Rosemary
Cover Story: Scrapbook
BFF Charm: Eventually x2
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: She Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Sailing, Scavenger Hunts
Relationship Status: Summer Summer Summertime

Read the full book report here.
Brooke Lorren
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Start Here was a beautiful, sweet, emotional book.

What do you do when you lose your best friend? This was something that Taylor and Willa had to find out for themselves, after their mutual best friend, Finley, died of cancer at age 17. When Finley was still healthy, the three of them had decided to sail from their home in Sandusky, Ohio, to Key West, Florida, after they graduated from high school. One of Finley's last wishes was for Willa and Taylor to make the trip together, leaving them kind o
Jaime Lee
I was really disappointed in this book. The characters were not particularly likeable, which is always a red flag for me. And I feel like there was a lot of surface content, but nothing overly deep. I was getting more details about how to sail through locks than I was about the actual story and I wasn't a fan of that. ...more
Kelly Hager
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've loved Trish Doller since I read Something Like Normal, but all of her books have been amazing. This one, though? This is my favorite.

I love books about friendship or grief or travel, so one that combines all three? YES, PLEASE. Except that's also not really accurate. Finley is all over this book, but it's also not really a grieving book. And Willa and Taylor have known each other for ages, but they were more friends with Finley than they were friends with each other. 

Willa and Taylor make n
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Read with Rachel for Friends with ARCs!

3.5 stars. I don’t get to read books that feature travel by boat very often, and I find the idea fascinating (having never done something similar myself, with the exception of ferried), so you can imagine how excited I was to read Start Here. In true Trish Doller form, this was an enjoyable read! The two girls are fun perspectives to read from, and their sailing journey was definitely compelling. I do wish I’d been a touch more emotionally connected with th
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the perfect summer read and now one of my favorite Trish Doller books. A perfect blend of heartbreaking and hopeful, this book will make you want to sail off on your own adventure asap. Full review to come over at The Young Folks.
Danielle Tebo
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has so much heart and is the perfect summer read.

Full of adventure and friendship, but more than anything, this book is about strength and forgiveness. It is about believing in yourself and the people around you when you are in your deepest feelings.

I loved that each of the girls has her own transformation during their adventures. This journey made me love each girl for her own reasons.

I started out relating the most to Willa and thinking I was going to resent Taylor. The strength s
Colleen's Conclusions
Start Here by Trish Doller is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jen Malone. It had the same friendships and traveling vibes and it's the PERFECT book to read in the summer or if you're just on vacation.

I really enjoyed reading this book and was glad that I have the new Nook Glowlight Plus because PDF's look GREAT on it. At least two out of three PDF's have looked like an actual book.

I wish we could have gotten to know Finley a bit better, though I get that she died and we couldn't really get
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could hear the wind and waves sailing with Willa and Taylor while they struggled to salvage their friendship. Sometimes you just need to read about women supporting each other and finding their own ways in the world. 🦀 🏴‍☠️ ⛵️ 🌮 🚲 ❤️ ☀️ ⛈
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and as soon as I opened the package, I was really excited. First of all, the cover is absolutely gorgeous -- I took so many pictures for Instagram because I loved the font, the colors, the Polaroid pictures...everything about it! *major heart eyes* And then once I sat down on the beach with this book and started reading it, I found myself sucked into the story of Willa and Taylor's epic adventure. I fin ...more
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Hi, I'm Trish! I don't really visit goodreads too often, but you can find me on both Instagram and Twitter as @trishdoller. Instagram is my favorite, so look there first. I don't bite, so come say hello!

(Note: I'm sorry that don't have any review copies for my books. You'll have to contact the publisher.)

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