by Tess Sharpe
Paperback: 352 pages
Release: 27 March 2014
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Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.The first thing you need to know about Far From You is that it is not told in chronological order. The main story follows Sophie, recently out of rehab, as she searches for her best friend's killer. Interspersed with this are moments from the past: Sophie dealing with addiction, falling in love, and watching her best friend, Mina, get murdered. I thought this approach was perfect because it deepened the mystery, adding tension and suspense, but also helped to present the incredibly complex relationships present in the book.
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?
Those relationships made the book for me. Yes, the mystery was good--dark, well-plotted, and with a solution that surprised me--but the characters were what drew me in. Sophie is sober, but she still deals with her addiction every day. It is on every page in a way that feels authentic. It is who she is; it informs her thoughts and actions; it is something she will never escape. More than that, the addiction has destroyed many of the relationships in her life and I liked seeing the aftermath. Her parents love her, but Sophie's addiction has taken away their trust, something that she might never get back.
Most interesting to me is the relationship between Sophie, Mina, and Mina's brother, Trevor. ***Minor potential spoiler*** Sophie and Mina were more than friends, but Mina came from a religious home and afraid of coming out as a lesbian. Sophie is bisexual and completely in love with Mina. What makes this more complicated is that Trevor also loves Sophie. She loves him, but not the way she loves Mina. With Mina gone, Sophie and Trevor have to reconcile the complicated feelings and past that lay between them. It is a situation that could easily be drama-fueled and over the top, but Sharpe handled this complicated love beautifully with a tact that made me feel the pain of loss and of not being able to give those who love us what they want.
There are both violence and sex in Far From You, but they are handled realistically and never feel gratuitous.