Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Where It Began

Goodreads Summary: A teen’s world comes crashing down in this compulsively readable YA debut that’s as literary as it is commercial.Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving—and without a single memory of the accident that landed her there. But what she can recall, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the crash.

As Gabby describes her transformation from Invisible Girl to Trendy Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why has Gabby been left to take the fall?

As she peels back the layers of her life, Gabby begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
Literally just finished reading this book about an hour before midnight when I normally schedule reviews. Its just been one of those weeks...ANYWAY, review time.

I had high expectations for this book. The synopsis intrigued me, sounded like just the right mix of drama and mystery and the first chapter was narrated in what I thought was a great voice. Where It Began had all the right set up for a great read, hence the reason why I had been saving it for Spring Break even though I'd pretty much been wanting to devour it since the moment it arrived on my doorstep ages ago.

Unfortunatly it didn't live up to those expectations. Despite the fact that I read it it in about three days, which may seem fast to some of you but under normal circumstances it would have been the kind of book I read in a day and a single sitting at that. [When I say I devour books, I seriously devour them].

Gabby seemed like a fascinating heroine when I was first introduced to her. There was just enough snark to her that I could relate to her and be entertained by her narration without being annoyed with her, basically she didn't go overboard into bitch-dom with the snarkiness. But it didn't take long for that to wear off and once that happened Gabby just irritated me. She was clueless. Utterly clueless. She is the girl that would wander off on her own and be killed within the first five minutes of a horror movie. She is that girl that you are screaming at the whole time to not go in that room, to not listen to him, to not do whatever it is she is about to do and still she does it anyway. FRUSTRATING BEYOND BELIEF.

Which brings me to my next point; when I read mysteries I like to be baffled. I like to be confused, mesmerized and thrown tons of red herrings that have me thinking several times throughout the book that I've figured everything out only to figure out that I KNOW NOTHING. That, to me, is the sign of an excellent mystery. Unfortunately I caught on a bit too quickly with this one and that I think is a big part of what ruined the book for me. The clues are a bit too obvious and it makes the story fall flat. [At least that is what happened in my case]. I caught on to what was going on and Gabby never did and I spent the majority of the novel wanting to shake her senseless until she faced the truth. I don't think I've ever been quite so irritated with a character as I was with Where It Began.

So basically I wanted to love this book, I really did. The cover was gorgeous, the synopsis was good and the first chapter had a great set up...unfortunately it just fell flat for me after that. 


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