Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Genre: Mystery, Romance, LGBTQ
Published by: Indigo
Upon first picking up Far From You, I thought I was about to read another YA thriller mystery similar to all of the ones I’ve read in the past year. (I don’t know how I’ve read so many, it’s just happened!) When I mentioned this book in a library check out haul, someone told me it was so much more than my mystery/thriller assumptions, and I’m really glad I gave it a chance. Because what I was not expecting was the LGBTQ aspect, and without it this would’ve been a very cliche story.
P L O T
Sophie’s in rehab after getting too reliant on the pain medication she has to take as a result of a car accident she was in when she was younger. Her parents put her back in rehab because she was found with drugs in her jacket pocket the night of her best friend Mina’s murder. But Sophie knows something was wrong with the night. Mina was acting strangely, and she did not have the drugs when she left her house. After witnessing her best friend die, Sophie makes it her mission to find out what really happened.
C H A R A C T E R S
Like many stories of this kind, Sophie was the ‘best friend’ character in her own story. Mina was so obviously the star. Sophie’s entire world is consumed by Mina that she becomes a more prominent character than the narrator. (For another example look to I Was Here by Gayle Forman.) So, in actual fact, I couldn’t tell you much about Sophie, apart from he fact that trouble seems to follow her, so do life and death situations.
Mina on the other hand… we know that she’s a little reckless and likes to do what people don’t expect. Sophie mostly follows along because Mina can be stubborn and persistent. The only thing that holds them back is Mina’s reluctance to come out. She’s the kind of girl who dates guys because she doesn’t want people to know that she actually likes girls.
R O M A N C E
Throughout Far From You there are flash back scenes to when Sophie and Mina first met, and they kind of chronicle their friendship from there. So you get to see how their relationship evolved. This was the most interesting part of the story. Forget about the murder. Forget about the mystery. It’s all about their relationship. To begin with it’s quite vague that Sophie and Mina loved each other, but it becomes increasingly more apparent as the story progresses and bit of the past reveal things about the present.
P A C I N G
So, the flashbacks are constantly drawing us away from the rising action of the present. This gives the general illusion of a slow-paced book. The misery part is really slow because Sophie is trying to deal with so many other things and the flashbacks need to give us the context we need to understand things about her rehab experience, her relationship with her parents, and who Sophie is as a person.
I found the mystery element was solved relatively easily, Sophie just needed to get around Mina’s older brother to get what she needed. The ending was also pretty conventional, considering it follows the age old ‘person you least expect’ formula. But I wasn’t mad about it particularly.
V E R D I C T
Maybe if I hadn’t read so much in this genre already then I would’ve enjoyed it more but the romance was something else. So angsty and very touch and go. I would recommend it for this part only!