Author: Tess Sharpe
Publisher: Indigo (Orion Publishing)
Summary: Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.
That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.
Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer – but can she track them down before they come for her? (Via Goodreads.)
When I started reading Far From You I expected a mystery/crime book and to an extent that is what I got but as I read on I began to realise that Far From You was really a love story; a messy, complicated, tragic love story and I adored it.
Far From You was far from perfect, there were certain aspects of it that I did not like. For instance, the way the story was structured, every second chapter is a flashback sequence to when Sophie and Mina are between the ages of 14 to 16 and these are not in chronological order (predominately) and while I understand the reason behind this – as not to reveal the full scope of Mina and Sophie’s relationship to the reader – it did get a bit complicated. There were times when I was like, “Wait has the scene at the college happened yet or is what?” This wasn’t overly complicated and it didn’t distract from my enjoyment of the novel but it wasn’t one of my favourite aspects of the book.
Another aspect that let me down a little was Sophie’s back story. She’s in a car accident, damages her leg, walks with a limp and becomes addicted to pain medication – It was a bit too Gregory House for me but Sophie’s character was wonderful. She sees herself, as do others, as very shy girl, very submissive to Mina but she is a force to be reckoned with, determined, strong and fiercely loyal, a total badass. I just adored her.
As I said this book is more about a love story than it is about solving a crime. It becomes obvious very early on in the book that Mina and Sophie were more than just friends and we see from the flashback chapters how their relationship develops and evolves and the obstacles it faces, namely Mina being raised by a very catholic family and fearing being outed and ostracised, and how they constantly hurt each other because of that. It is a well written and very realistic approach to sexuality and hats off to Tess Sharpe on it. It was my favourite aspect of the book.
As for the crime itself, I will say this, I did not guess the killer and I almost always guess the killer. If I make it to the end of the book without guessing the killer I consider that book a success.
Everything else about the book, the pacing, the writing style, the supporting characters and the interrelationships, I loved. I thought it was a sweet, touching, beautiful book and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see lesbian/bisexual relationships done right in YA.