Book Review: FAR FROM YOU by Tess Sharpe

Photo credit: Goodreads
So I’ve had Far From You by Tess Sharpe on my TBR list for a while, and Twitter’s been telling me pretty much forever to read it, so I was pretty delighted to finally have the chance to pick it up. And now that I’ve read it? I see why Twitter so adamantly demanded I take a look.

But before I go on, the Goodreads summary:

“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.”

Okay. So firstly, I really like thrillers, and I also really like when the protagonist is part of a marginalized group, especially if it’s one I can relate to like a character with chronic pain. And that’s initially what drew me to this book—because trying to find YA with characters who deal with chronic pain? Not so easy.

What I liked: Sophie deals with disability (among other things), including chronic pain that causes her to limp, and she still kicks ass. I want more of this. I want so much more.

Otherwise, Sophie’s chronic pain is very different from mine, largely because hers is caused by an old injury from a bad accident and mine comes from chronic illness—but of course that’s not at all a fault of the book. It just means I still haven’t found a YA with a depiction of chronic pain I can really relate to.

That said, what I really liked was there wasn’t a miracle cure. Not for Sophie’s injury, not for the chronic pain, and not for her addiction, or her trauma. Far From You does a really fantastic job not sugar-coating reality—it acknowledges that long after the book, Sophie will still have a limp, will still have to deal with a lot of trauma, and will always struggle with addiction. And for that alone, I’m giving Tess Sharpe a massive internet high-five.

AS FAR AS THE ACTUAL PLOT GOES, I really enjoyed this. The mystery surrounding Mina’s death was fascinating, and I love books that keep you guessing, like this one. I had a few theories about who was at fault, but the twist got me—that said, I sort of felt like I mostly didn’t guess because I’d pretty much forgotten some people existed. Maybe my fault. Maybe the book’s fault. Eh. Not a big deal. Overall, Far From You is an exciting book that’ll definitely keep you interested.

Finally, it was really great to see a YA protagonist who is explicitly bisexual, but whose sexuality isn’t necessarily the main focus of the book (though coming out books are definitely important, too).

Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and I definitely recommend it to those looking for a fun, twisty YA Thriller.

Diversity note: Sophie, the protagonist, has a limp from chronic pain caused by a car accident years prior, struggles with drug addiction (opiate painkillers), and is explicitly bisexual. Mina, her best friend/sort of girlfriend was not out, but she was lesbian.

Have you read any great YA lately? 
.@Ava_Jae gives 4/5 stars to FAR FROM YOU by Tess Sharpe. Have you read this twisty YA Thriller? (Click to tweet)  
Looking for an exciting YA Thriller w/ a disabled MC? Check out FAR FROM YOU by Tess Sharpe. (Click to tweet)

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