Sunday, May 11, 2014

Far From You (review)

4/5 stars

Far From You (Goodreads | Amazon) had a lot that could go wrong. The writer made a bold choice by choosing to have a drug addicted heroine, which could veer into Lifetime Original movie territory very quickly but doesn't.  It also tackled the "teen solving a crime" genre in a way that ACTUALLY WORKED.  I often complain that the main characters crime-solving novels put themselves into harms way and avoid the police for completely stupid convoluted reasons.  That's not the case with Far From You.  Sophie actually tried going to the police, trying trusting the system but because she's an addict nobody believes her.

The story follows Sophie, a teenager who became addicted to painkillers after she was in crippling car accident.  Even though she's been clean for over nine months, she's just been released from rehab following her best friend's murder.  Everyone thinks that Sophie relapsed and that the murder was a drug deal that went sour.  Nobody will believe Sophie she says she's clean and the police quickly stop looking for Mina's killer.

That's when Sophie takes the case.  For her, it's a coping mechanism.  She needs the goal, something to help keep her sober and to give her life purpose.  The story shows her guilt about Mina's death, the blame the community forces onto her and her struggles to breakout of the role of "addict" everyone's put her in.  It's about more than solving Mina's murder, it's about Sophie proving herself to those around and proving she's not an untrustworthy addict.

This book is very original - a combination of romance, mystery and overcoming addiction.  The story is told in a split timeline, alternating between the present day and the days leading up to Mina's death.  I appreciated it's gritty honesty and the story it chose to tell.  Sometimes the best stories aren't the easiest ones to tell.  Sophie's story is hard, full of mistakes, distrust, ups and downs, but it's authentic and in the end a worthwhile read.

I received an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

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