Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: Far From You by Tess Sharpe

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?

Far From You, with it's deceptively simple cover and it's billing as a thriller is a book that's bound to take you by surprise in more than one way.

The first is the beauty of it's language. Sharpe's way with words is beautiful, simple, and sometimes downright poetic. It's an interesting thing to have in combination: Thriller stakes and pace accompanied with literary prose. The simple effectiveness of the language is also bound to help carry you through the books non-linear structure, a device used effectively to reveal the different aspects of Sophie's life and her relationship with Mina.

Secondly, content. With all the talk recently about diverse books, Far From You is not one that should be ignored. One of a very few YA books that has a bisexual character (and one of even fewer wherein the character actually says 'I'm bisexual'), the relationships in the books quickly set it apart. With the book set in a region where being homosexual or bisexual can threaten your life, the stakes of these relationships are even higher, with the payoff being far more meaningful.

Moving through the past and present with characters that are utterly raw, Far From You is one of the best debut novels of the year.

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