Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Here" by Denise Grover Swank

From Goodreads: "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."

While I was a bit disappointed with the change of pace in Denise's "Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes" (I felt that the novel was going in one direction and during the last bit I felt that it went in an entirely different direction,) I LOVED that that happened in this book. Don't get me wrong, the first half of the book was great, really sweet and cute, but the second half of the book was so engaging, fast-paced and unique (it literally kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it). Now this might sound a bit strange because these books have little in common, but I think that if "Spellbound" by Cara Lynn Shultz, "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis, Imogen Rose's "Portal" series, and "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver were to have a baby- this book would be the end result.

Why this book is so successful is because of the characters- each and every one of them is so well-developed, complex, and frankly likeable. From Julia, a girl who is able to pull herself out of the darkness surrounding her, becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day, to Evan, the boy not afraid to show his emotions and perhaps one of the most hopeless romantics I have ever had the pleasure of reading about before, to Reece, the "bad-boy" of the two, who we cannot help but be drawn to despite the fact that he throws off "playerish" vibes and despite the fact that we know that he is very capable of being breaking our hearts.

Another reason why this book is successful us because it (dare I say it?) has a successful love triangle (which I can assure you is NOT an oxymoron). In my opinion a successful love triangle is one in which the reader cannot choose which character they would like the main character to end up with (as opposed from an unsuccessful love triangle where there isn't any real competition- it is obvious from the get-go who the lead will choose, ie. Clary choosing Jace over Simon) . Both Evan and Reese have such amazing qualities to them and both make Julia a stronger person in their own way that I literally cannot choose between the two of them.

All in all, I have no complaints about this book. Whatsoever. It completely blew away any expectations that I had by tenfold. Therefore I obviously highly recommend it. In my opinion the traditionally published books I mentioned earlier (ie. "Delirium", "Across the Universe", and "Spellbound") have nothing on this book! In fact, I think that I like it just as much, if not more, than the three of them. Combined.



  1. Oh wow this cover is awesome! And if there's something important for me it's well developed characters so I'll put this one on my list for sure! Awesome review Avery!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. Ooh, I'll definitely be going to go add this one to my wishlist, it sounds and looks fantastic!

    ComaCalm's Corner


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