Far From You is a book that I requested ages ago from NetGalley, and then promptly forgot about because the release date was so far away. Then, back in March, I signed up for the LGBT Month and Far From You was suddenly brought back to my attention again, especially after Judith read it and told me I should. So I did.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Far From You at first. I knew very little about it. But what I got out of it was a beautiful story about two best friends, one of whom is murdered one night, and the other accused of being the cause of it. Through a series of flashbacks, Sharpe introduces us to how the characters were before the murder, and she shows their individual struggles.
Sophie was a fantastic main character, with so much trauma and baggage, and yet still so much heart. I could have read about her for a lot longer than 350 pages. She takes whatever life throws at her – a bloody freight train – and by the end of the story she has battled so many different demons, and yet she still manages to come out of it stronger than ever. Honestly, she’s a character I will be admiring for a long time.
You might have noticed that it’s an LGBT read. Sophie, our main character, is bisexual, and a lot of the story does focus on that. However, Tess Sharpe does a great job of balancing the mystery of who killed Mina with the romantic elements of the story. In fact, these two elements are interwoven so tightly with the plot that they don’t feel separate at all, Far From You was a big ball of wibbly wobbly mystery romance-y stuff. And it was wonderful.
As your resident Sherlock of the blogosphere, I am a little bit embarrassed – but mostly thrilled – to announce that I got the mystery completely wrong. I wasn’t able to figure out who killed Mina, although I had plenty of ideas. It wasn’t until the moment before the killer was revealed that I started to question them, and something startled niggling at my brain. I think Sharpe did a wonderful job of keeping everything in the shadows, and I had a lot of fun trying to piece everything together.
Far From You manage to invoke so many emotions in me that at times I was overwhelmed. I adored Sophie, and I wanted nothing more than to help her and be there for her when nobody else was. I loved Mina and felt so bad for her, since we got to know a lot about her through Sophie and the flashbacks, and I just want to cry about how she had her life cut short.
This is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year, and I’m going to go around pushing it on everyone because I think that it contains some very important themes and messages. I really want everyone to love and appreciate this story as much as I did, so go and buy Far From You from your local book store, stock up on tissues, and put on your hunting cap. It’s one hell of a ride, and I would love to be able to experience it for the first time all over again.