Far From You by Tess Sharpe Published: April 8th 2014
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.
I can guarantee this book will rub many readers the wrong way…and it will be the topic of many, many discussions. So, in my opinion—that is a great thing. A book that gets people talking, that is a success. It means it has made the reader feel something; it has struck a chord whether it good or bad, it has at least stirred up feelings.
Sharpe took a lot of risks writing about such heavy content. Content that really needs to be explored in contemporary fiction. Prescription drug abuse is such a critical issue that most authors tend to ignore. Most YA stories that are centered around tragedy don’t even touch on the addiction to prescription drugs. This is a topic that hits home with many readers. It is not something that is openly talked about, and that is one of the reasons this book is so stunning. It is bold. It is raw. It is gritty. The protagonist is not the most like-able character, yet the reader finds their heart aching as Sophie navigates through her journey of pain, grief and addiction.
The love triangle in this story is not the typical YA story of a broken-heart, or heart-breaking decisions. It is much more poignant and original. A very brave and bold story.
The story is not told in a linear timeline, which sometimes can be distracting, however Sharpe writes seamlessly and it is not hard to piece together the events unfolding.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was very honest, compelling and really, quite sad. There are many lessons to be learned from the pages within this book.
Thank you, Hachette Book Group for the review copy.