Sixteen-year-old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend, Monica, in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing, and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.
Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he's volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she's been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he's really from.
©2011 Denise Grover Swank (P)2012 Denise Grover Swank
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This is my new low water mark in YA literature. I’m normally pretty fair in my reviews and take into account that other people may appreciate elements of a story (eg the romance) more than I do.
Here, however, is a fundamentally broken story.
I do spoiler-free reviews, meaning I don’t give away anything that isn’t in the audible synopsis. Unfortunately that means I can’t really discuss where this book goes because the mid-point reveal is supposed to be a surprise.
All I’ll say is that the reveal is/requires a complete break in continuity. The setting, characters and story itself have to fundamentally change after the break. This means that most of the build-up in the first half of the book is for naught.
Julia’s story about overcoming guilt, depression and maybe figuring out the mystery around the fatal accident has no real bearing on the story after the break. Likewise, the character relationships we spent so long trying to establish also come to nothing. And I say *trying* to establish because there’s no real ‘development’ – two hot guys come out of nowhere to worship and insult Julia in equal measure and this is supposed to equate to true love in YA literature.
The reveal itself is enormous but there was no opportunity to really play with or explore it because it came so late in the story. This leaves us with a second half full of info dumps, love triangles (there are TWO, I kid you not) and a pointless heroine hell-bent of self-sacrifice that does nothing but collapse to her knees on three separate occasions during the climax.
It kills me to be so dismissive of a book; I truly do try to be fair because I’m an amateur writer who’d hate to read a scathing review.
Honestly, though Here go nowhere, does nothing and is utterly heartless. The whole thing has a paint by numbers, YA cliché checklist feel (High concept – check, love triangle – check,check, heroine with a martyr complex – check) but the wasteful setup, focused story, lack of payoff and poor story structure make it fall even flatter than other generic YA out there.
Don’t waste your credits.
"Amazing narration saves an okay fantasy"
Personally, I have little patience for the sentimentality of YA novels, which is fine: I'm old. Also, I generally demand a little Science mixed into my Science Fiction. All that aside, I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The narration by Bryce Hitchcock, who was only about 14 at the time she recorded it, is outstanding. Most of the credit for my finishing the novel goes to her.
The story is intriguing. Most descriptions of it give away too much, so I'm glad I got the book on sale, without reading much about it. I was genuinely mystified, along with the protagonist, Julia, trying to figure out the bizarre goings-on.
Once the mystery is revealed, the entire theme falls apart to anyone who stops to think about for even a moment. But the characters are real, the passion and loyalty of teens, true to life, and Julia is someone you can really believe in. There's a sequel called "There", and if the same actress gives it voice, I'll probably get that, too.
Great sci-fi read! Cannot wait to see what happens with Julia, Evan & Reece!
I really wish there was an audio book for "There"! Have listened to Here multiple times and it always as exciting to hear what happens next! This book is that GOOD!!
"Can't wait for the next book!"
The contrast between the 2 realities, similarities and differences, and the way person's opposite exists
If you can get through the first 3 - 3.5 hours of this book, it starts to pic up, but there is no ending of the story! Said it was Book 1, looked for book 2, can't find it on audible anyway that is if there is even a book 2. Too many other books in my wish list, wished I would have used the credit on another. hope this helps you out!
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