Far From You
by Tess Sharpe
Expected Publishing Date: April 8, 2014
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Obtained Via: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and this is no way affects my opinion of the book.
Format Read In: E-ARC
View at the Traffic light:
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.
Is it strange to call a book that’s part murder mystery beautiful? Because this book is, and it’s so much more than just the mystery of Mina’s murder. While that plays a role–quite a large one, definitely enough to satisfy mystery fans–it’s not really the heartbeat of this story. The relationship between Mina and Sophie is, and the exploration of that relationship is just done stunningly.
Far From You is very much a character-driven novel. Luckily for us reader, the characters in this book are so complex. I love Sophie for all her secrets, flaws, and bad ideas. Sophie is not your normal teenage protagonist by any means. She’s struggled quite a bit, between the accident that left her struggling with a bad leg and a drug addiction that took her, as the synopsis said, years to recover from. Throughout the book, these struggles really do affect Sophie, and I really appreciated the care that Sharpe took with those issues.
The mystery of Mina’s murder is interwoven with memories and flashbacks. Far From You is not written in chronological order(though every section is dated so you know exactly when it takes place), which is not normally a style I liked but it worked SO well in this book. Using this style, I really did get to see Sophie’s struggles with her addiction, the budding relationship between her and Mina, their fights, their best friendship moments, and all the things than encompass life–parents, love interests, etc.
As for the mystery itself, I LOVED the way it worked out in the end. As I’ve mentioned in earlier reviews, I am someone who can usually spot the ending or the killer very early on in the story, but I was taken completely by surprised in Far From You. While I did have some inkling towards the second half about a certain aspect of the mystery that was correct, there was quite a bit I never even guess at, which always earns a book some points in my books. It’s hard to talk about the mystery and the way it was wrapped up in a larger plot without being spoilery, but I will just say I was hesitant at the beginning when certain things came to light and by the end I was sold.
Also, I really appreciated Sophie’s parents in this book. They’re not always portrayed in the best light, but they’re also not the absent YA parents. And while they do some things I wasn’t such a fan of throughout the book, I really felt for them. Their daughter has gone through a lot, and they react to that. Not always in the best way, but certainly in a realistic one.
There’s a lot of romance and love in this book, as well as confusion and heartache. I think this is one of the better books that deal with teenage love that I’ve read. There’s a lot of confusion about love and choices and life in Sophie’s life, and it’s dealt with all so beautifully and realistically. It’s not romantic in the way that is so often portrayed, but it has its own sense of longing and love. It runs the entire spectrum, from friend to relationship to physical relations and really just deals with everything that can be wrapped up under the word “romance”.
While the mystery in this book certainly satisfies, it’s not your typical mystery book. There’s a lot of coming-of-age elements, a lot of romantic exploration, a love of thinking on the nature of love and life. The relationships portrayed in this book were just done so well, there was no way I was NOT going to like this one. 4/5 cupcakes.