Far From You

First Lines: It doesn’t start here.  You’d think it would: two terrified girls in the middle of nowhere, cowering together, eyes bulging at the gun in his hand.  But it doesn’t start here.  It starts the first time I almost die.

I grabbed this on my last trip to the library.  I like mysteries and this was the only non-dystopian book I grabbed.  It’s good to vary up what I read.

Sophie has faced death in the face twice and survived.  The first time was a car accident that gave her a bum leg and an Oxy addiction that would take years to kick.  The second was no accident.  Sophie and her best friend, Mina, are attacked in the woods by a masked gunman.  Mina doesn’t make it out alive, but Sophie does.  When the murder starts to look like a drug bust gone wrong, blame falls on Sophie.  No one will believe the truth, that Sophie has been clean for months and has no idea how drugs ended up at the scene.  After a forced rehab stint, Sophie has to deal with a new life: parents who don’t trust her, old friends who are now enemies, life without Mina, and Mina’s brother no longer talking to her.  The police are looking in the wrong places for answers and Sophie is determined to find the real killer.  But only if he doesn’t find her first…

I thought this was an interesting read, especially since it’s different than a lot of books I usually read.  (Even with realistic-fiction, I usually stay away from books involving drugs.  It’s just a lot of drama and denial, which I always got enough of in school.)

First of all, the narration flips between the past and the present after every chapter.  So for a while, we’ll be in the “Now”, where Sophie is dealing with the fallout of Mina’s death.  Then it switches to sometime in the past 3 years, from the time after the accident to Mina’s death.  It was interesting because it introduced a lot of people and incidents in a nonlinear way.  It always kept the action moving, at least.

I liked Sophie.  I wasn’t sure I would, but she’s a flawed character who is still determined to see past her flaws.  She knows she’s somewhat disabled with her bum leg and her Oxy addiction makes everyone around her nervous, but she tries to get past those things.  And the other characters do not treat her like she’s perfect.  I liked this dynamic.  Too often, I think, book characters are portrayed as being perfect or perfect because of their flaws.  Something like that.  But no one is perfect and we have to work hard to live in spite of those things.  Flaws are good.

The mystery is actually really intense once it picks up.  (It takes a lot of set-up for Sophie to even want to solve the mystery.)  I had no idea who it was, and trust me, I was trying to guess.  I was picking unlikely characters and banking on them, only to still be wrong.  You figure it out just a chapter or so before it’s revealed by the characters.

There are lots of twists and turns in this story.  I think some of them were pretty risky for a mainstream novel.  A lot of these I would expect to see in an indie book, but this seemed daring.  I liked that.

This was good.  I’m looking forward to more from this author in the future.  She has a nice writing style.

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