26/09/2014

Review: Far from You {Tess Sharpe}



Written by Tess Sharpe

Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice. The first time, she escaped a near-fatal car crash that left her with a bum leg and an addiction to Oxy. The second time she wasn't so lucky. The second time wasn't an accident. The second time killed her best friend. After Mina is shot by a masked man in the woods, everyone thinks it's a drug deal gone wrong and the blame falls to Sophie. Nobody believes she's been clean for months and that it was Mina who led her into the woods that night, for a meeting shrouded in mystery. After being forced into rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality where Mina's murderer is free to get away. No one is looking in the right places and so Sophie is left to search for the killer on her on. But with every step she comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina, and about the secret they shared.

 I love the thrill of murder mysteries; the constant guessing and the suspicion that takes over whenever a new character is introduced. Everyone is a suspect, and it makes for one heck of a reading experience.

The thing with this book though, is that there is a murder and, okay, there is a mystery but the real core of the book is not in either of those things. It's in Sophie's recovery. It's in Mina and Sophie's friendship. It's in the parts of the story I never expected it to be.

The book dabbles in flashbacks and does so gracefully, guiding us through Sophie's present-day quest for truth, her struggle to stay clean, and her hurt as the world continues to blame her for Mina's death. Then it thrusts us through the past: the car accident, Sophie's addiction, Mina's murder and the tumultuous friendship the girls shared. We're thrown into a timeline so wrought with pain and love, that it's hard not to feel the grief the characters do.

It was an intense thing for Sophie to manoeuvre through her unsteady relationships to try to get to the bottom of Mina's death, including roping in Mina's older brother who, like most people, believed Sophie was responsible for Mina's death. I felt shaky alongside Sophie as she was forced to approach these people and delve deeper into the tangled web Mina had left behind. It was interesting to see how much Mina kept secret, and about the sides of her not even Sophie got to see.

As I said though, the real story is between Mina and Sophie. I was eager for each flashback between these two, because their friendship was so intense and moving. I loved how the intricacies of their relationship were revealed so slowly, scattered through the pages in tantalising sparseness. It only made Sophie's loss feel that much more real.

The romance in this book was another aspect I thought was amazingly done. It met a surprising end and I was so happy with the direction Sharpe went in. It was unexpected, unique, and just so very perfect for the story.

Though I enjoyed the murder mystery aspects, I found myself craving the character-focused chapters so much more and I was glad that the investigation took a back-seat to the flashbacks of Sophie and Mina's friendship. The reveal at the end was a little predictable, but since I wasn't particularly invested in that side of the story anyway, I didn't mind so much. And the ending itself was brilliant: poignant, beautifully scripted, and splintered with heartbreaking closure.

"Bad ideas are sometimes necessary."

 
 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart
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34 comments:

  1. I never knew that this had a strong friendship aspect--and now this makes me even more intrigued about reading it. I do love mysteries as well so I definitely will consider to pick this one up one of these days.

    Awesome review, Allie! <33

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    1. Oh yeah, it's one of the most intense I've read. I didn't expect it either, but I was so glad about it :D

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  2. Ooh, now I'm super intrigued by this. It vaguely reminds me of Dangerous Girls, which I loved! I'm always up for a good thriller (which might I add is so rare nowadays) so I'm hoping that this one will be a winner.

    Jess @ My Reading Dress

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    1. I get the resemblance, but the friendship in this one is a lot less destructive / sinister and a lot more true :)

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  3. Hey, I'm new to your blog and it's pretty cool - you write really well and your design is really pretty!

    Oh, and do you want to follow eachother's blogs? Let me know :3

    Much love,

    Amy

    My blog, The Blog Hermit
    Twitter
    Instagram
    Bloglovin'

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    1. I'm glad you like the blog, Amy! If you want to follow you can do say via the links in my 'stalk me' section on the side bar.

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  4. I do remember this being a crazy ride. I am so glad you liked it. :)

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    1. It really was an unexpected one! But I loved that I didn't see certain elements coming (even if they weren't the elements I was expecting to be shocked by!)

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  5. I am so excited to read this one and I actually really am excited that the character development was well done! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I can't wait to hear what you think! And whether you're surprised by the direction of certain things hehe

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  6. You've just encouraged and made me want this book even more which I didn't think was possible! The friendship aspects, I never realised they were so big and strong and I think that's great. I'm still glad you enjoyed the murder and mystery aspects, but I do think they would appeal to me more, but still, a wonderful review! :D

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    1. Yeah, I didn't think their friendship would be such a huge thing in the book, since I figured it was going to be more of a focus on the murder. I'm SO glad I was wrong though!

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  7. Oh wow! I had no idea that this book was so character-driven! My goodness, it has completely skyrocketed on my TBR! I love books about friendship (and fine, books that will make me cry!) and the mystery does sound good too, but for me that is usually secondary anyway. Great review, I am SO glad I know this now!

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    1. Me either, when I picked it up! I love when books are surprising like that and really take the time to craft the characters and their relationships :)

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  8. For some reason I put this off, but I am now really intrigued and can't wait to give it a try! :D I love the sound of how this isn't just a mystery, but a story about friendship as well. (Dangerous Girls deja vu - ha!) I am so excited to give this a try because you know how much I love stories about friendship & murder mysteries. ;) Thanks for sharing Allie, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

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    1. Don't put it off, Zo! It's an awesome book. And yeah, it did remind me of DG a bit lol, except this friendship was a lot more caring and genuine :P

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  9. That's awesome you found yourself loving the character aspects the best. I love a good character story, even though I like a nice mystery/thriller too. I think I need to read this.

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    1. Character stories are the best, because they can be about absolutely anything and still be interesting

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  10. This sounds incredible intense! I love an emotional storyline, sometimes you just need that one book that makes you hold your breath for the next page and leave you feeling a mess. I love tightly woven friendships that are realistic, so I'm really glad it focused more on the personal aspects not just the mystery. Brilliant review Allie <3

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    1. Intense is completely the right word to describe this! The flashbacks were so emotional sometimes, it slayed me!

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  11. YAY I am so glad you enjoyed this Allie, I've heard really good things and it's on my wishlist definitely :) It sounds like a great intense thriller.

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    1. Ohhhhh, get it, Jeann! It's such an oddly beautiful book AND I think you'll love the way certain things develop

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  12. I'm glad you enjoyed this book! It sounds pretty great. :)

    Ivana @ Bookish Teens

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    1. It was, it was! And I was surprised by just how much I ended up liking it :D

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  13. I agree with this review 100 percent! While I loved the murder mystery, it seemed almost like a subplot to me - not because it wasn't well-developed, but because I was so invested in the emotional storylines of friendship and overcoming addiction. I'm so glad to see that your comments about the importance of the internal conflict-based plots are getting people excited about the book. :)

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    1. Exactly how I felt! The real story was the relationship and the mystery part was just an extra. It's crazy how well that worked!

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  14. I love that this is more than just a mystery, but about characters - it's always nice to give a story a bit more depth than a who-dunnit.

    Fabulous review! I'll have to check it out :)

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    1. Indeed it is! Sometimes murder mysteries can fall flat on the reveal, but because this book was never REALLY about that, it didn't matter

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  15. I love flashbacks! I'm definitely okay with a mystery taking a backseat if there's really good characters to focus on. I think I would enjoy this one. Great review!

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    1. There are SUCH good characters and such surprising developments!

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  16. Ay! I ADORED THIS BOOK. So, so much! And I'm really glad that you did, too! Mysteries don't usually go the best for me, but there were so many things that just went right during the time when I was reading this! There was suspense at the end of every corner, haha. Great review, lovely!

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it too! Were you at all shocked by the direction of certain things in the flashbacks? That threw me for a loop and I loved it!

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  17. Thanks for such a wonderful review, Allie! This has been on my TBR since it's pre-publication days, but I never, ever knew that there was a strong friendship aspect in the novel - that just makes me even more excited to finally pick up a copy. :)

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  18. I loved this book, it was such a surprise. I wasn't expecting it to have so much depth to the story. I thought it would be a YA thriller and that would be it, all about finding out who the killer was. But it wasn't really about that at all. It was about the characters and the relationships between them. I adored it and it broke my heart so much.

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