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.
My ReviewAuthor: Tess Sharpe
Publication Date: March 27 2014
I've been on a serious fantasy kick lately, and I was not expecting this book to completely and utterly blow me away with how great it was.
Sometimes, you read the first page of a book and you know this book is perfect for you. That was my experience with Far From You. Far From You was fantastic from the start, and I was quickly enraptured by Sophie and her story.
The fantastic part about Far From You is that the story is based on the characters and learning about Sophie, but there is also the intrigue of revealing Mina's killer. I can't stress just how fabulous the character development was for Sophie, Mina, Trevor, and everyone else Sophie knew. It genuinely felt like getting a peek at someone else's life because they all had backgrounds and ties to each other. I particularly loved how many memories Mina, Trevor, and Sophie shared on account of being friends for so long. They went through a lot together and their relationships grew and evolved, quite naturally.
Sophie was a phenomenal character. At the beginning of Far From You, Sophie had been sent to rehab because her parents believed she had relapsed. Sophie had been in a car crash with Mina and Trevor, although she was the only one that was seriously hurt. To treat her injuries, she was given opiates and she eventually developed an addiction to them. This, in addition to some psychological trauma of car accidents, and back and leg issues. There are so many different layers to Far From You, from Sophie dealing with her addiction, to her friendship with Mina, and even the strained relations with her family.Sophie had a very active family and they were very important in shaping her character. It's nice to read a story in which family is active and matters.
The real star of Far From You has to be Sophie and Mina. Their relationship was phenomenal. Mina was playful and stubborn, so passionate and fierce, yet overwhelmingly sweet too. She was always there for Sophie. Though the narration was always in Sophie's perspective, the time often jumped from chapter to chapter (always coherently!) and this allowed Sharpe to develop Mina as a real person to mourn. It also allowed the reader to see the changes in Sophie through the past few years of her life. In effect, the characters and the story became extremely well developed.
I shouldn't have to mention that the writing is also super awesome, but it is. I liked so many of Sharpe's ideas, from the characters she introduced, to the consistency of the character development. The eventual reveal of Mina's killer was part of the climax, but even some very good scenes don't manage to beat out Sophie and the other characters for the absolute best part of Far From You. This is a character driven book, and it is a very good one at that.
I don't read too many contemporaries, but if more were like this, I would devour them all. Far From You is a candidate for being the best book I've read this year.