Published by: Disney Hyperion on April 8, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Source: ARC From Publisher
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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.
Far From You was really, really good! It hooked me in straight away. I immediately loved Sophie as a character. She’s flawed, but interesting and really relateable. Her voice is honest and real, which I think is what makes it really easy to connect with her!
This book appealed to my love for mysteries. I really adore reading books where there’s some big criminal investigation that the police are too stupid/uninterested to solve, so the teenager has to take over. They’re not always realistic, but I adore them, and Far From You fit that bill perfectly! I loved trying to solve the case alongside Sophie by piecing clues together.
So you know how in the synopsis it says, “and about the secret they shared”? I totally didn’t get that. When I read the synopsis I had a few thoughts about what it might be, but none of them were anywhere near the mark. It’s revealed pretty early on what it is, but I have to admit, I didn’t see it coming. But I think it introduced a really unique element into the story that worked REALLY well! What’s in the spoilers below is about this ‘secret’. I don’t think it’s a huge spoiler because everything gets revealed pretty early on (or at least enough of it that you can guess), but I’m putting it in spoiler tags in case you’d rather be surprised.View Spoiler » [I LOVED that Sophie and Mina were actually romantically involved. It’s a bit funny because something early on in the book (before this was revealed) made me think, “They act more like lovers than friends..” And it turns out, they are actually in love! I thought their relationship was so sweet, and it really broke my heart at the end because of what happens to Mina. I thought Tess did a phenomenal job of slowly building up Sophie and Mina’s relationship so that it isn’t until the end that we finally understand how much they meant to each other. « Hide Spoiler]
One of my favourite parts of the book was how it skipped between time periods. The chapters would really jump around, something like this:
- 6 months ago
- 3 years ago
- 3.5 years ago
You get the picture! It was a brilliant way of piecing the story together. The only thing I didn’t like was that it did sometimes get confusing. Take the last few jumps for example (starting at 3 years ago). By the time I got down to the 3.5 years one, the first 3 year jump converted into “A long time ago” in my mind, so I wasn’t able to quite place how they fit chronologically. So I knew that 3.5 years ago was “a long time ago” and I knew that 2 chapters ago I read another one that took place “a long time ago”, but I couldn’t quite place which one came first. I just sucked at keeping it straight.
But it was easy enough for me to get the gist of things and it didn’t make the overall story confusing.
I think the one thing I wasn’t totally sold on was the ending. It wasn’t a bad ending, but it wasn’t great either. I think the problem was that at first I was too confused to appreciate the twist. I wanted that shocked and surprised feeling, but I didn’t get it because I was buried under confusion. View Spoiler » [When we learned the killers were Adam and the Coach, I was confused. I couldn’t remember who Adam and the Coach were in relation to Jackie. How did they connect? I think the problem was that Adam and the Coach were such minor characters that it was easy to forget who they were and what connections they had to the characters/story. So instead of being delightfully surprised and thrilled at the end, I was left struggling to remember how they were connected to Jackie in the first place. And furthermore, I felt like there weren’t that many clues pointing to Adam/the Coach. I mean, I didn’t want it to be obvious, but I like getting that “Ohh, I totally see that now!” feeling at the end when it’s revealed, and all the pieces click into place. That didn’t happen for me in this book. I wasn’t able to look back and see any clues pointing to those two. « Hide Spoiler]
If you like good mystery books and want one with a surprisingly passionate (and unconventional) romance, then I highly recommend Far From You! Even if the ending wasn’t my favourite, this was still a great book to read. I think one of the best things it has going for it is that it’s different. It’s not like anything else I’ve read lately, especially when you find out what that ‘secret’ is! 😉