|We still have a foot of old crusty snow in the woods with more snow due tonight.|
The original set up drew me in immediately, and Sophie was a wonderful character, unlike any I've encountered before in young adult fiction. A car accident left Sophie with disabilities and an addiction to painkillers, but she learns to fight the pain and refuses to be a victim. Tough, smart and confrontational, Sophie is not the stereotypical sweet, helpless disabled kid. Her struggle with addiction was beautifully written, including the toll it takes on her friends and her family:
"Dad isn't disappointed in me like Mom is. He doesn't have that mix of anger and fear that's fueling her. Instead, he doesn't know what to do or how to feel with me, and sometimes I think it's worse, that he can't decide between forgiving and blaming me."It was refreshing to read a book with a lesbian relationship that was just a part of the overall story and not the centerpiece. Sophie's obsessive passion and Mina's ambivalence were well rendered. The voice and dialogue were true to teens and sounded fresh, not formulaic.
As much as I loved the characters and their story, I had a hard time following it due to the narrative structure. The book unfolds in chapters alternating between the present day murder investigation and out-of-sequence flashbacks to the past. I got lost and confused and couldn't flip back easily because I was reading a digital galley. There was a lot of plot to follow: the car accident that disabled Sophie, her drug addiction, two rehabs, two possible murders, many suspects and two bisexual love triangles. The backstory was more interesting than the present day murder investigation, which took center-stage.
I'd recommend Far From You to readers aged 14 and older. The ebook will be released on March 27, 2014, but I'd advise waiting until April 8th for the hardcover version so that you can flip back if you get lost. It's worth the extra effort to piece the story together. I'm curious to see what Tess Sharpe writes next.
Reviewer's Disclaimer: I received a free digital galley from Disney-Hyperion via Netgalley but was not compensated for my review.