Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the HERE Blog Tour! The tour is being hosted by A Tale of Many Reviews. Today, I have my review of HERE, along with an ebook giveaway. Enjoy!
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. ~From GoodReads
Julia is a girl sinking in despair. She was driving the car in a wreck that killed her best friend, Monica. She's plagued by dreams of an alternate reality. She is practically invisible at her school, just the way she wants it. Her family is falling apart. When Julia is at her lowest point, Evan, the most popular guy in school, offers to tutor her. As Julia and Evan grow closer, more questions begin to surface about Julia's new talents since the accident. When Evan offers to show Julia an alternate to her reality, she has no idea what truly awaits.
HERE, in many ways, felt like two separate books to me. The first half focuses on Julia, post-accident. She's emotionally distraught, distant, and broken. The guilt over her best friend's death consumes her. The author did a great job of placing the reader squarely into Julia's thoughts, her mindset. Julia, though completely justified, could have grown annoying with her utter focus on the chaos of her life. But somehow Swank managed to keep her from veering into the whiny territory. Although I do feel the plot did drag a bit in the first half. I was ready for the hook, wondering when the real action was going to start.
But, wow, what a payoff. I purposely avoided reading too much into the synopsis and reading other reviews. I wanted a surprise when I read HERE. I got it. I had no idea what the paranormal aspect of the story would be. I was very pleasantly surprised. I am not going to give it away, but it's not your normal twist. It was quite brilliant, in my opinion. The author did a terrific job of world-building, without making it overly complicated or hard to understand.
And what an ending! It was satisfying, but still left me wanting more. The possiblities for the story are limitless. I can't wait to find out what happens to Julia and Evan in book two in the series, THERE.
Although it gets off to a bit of a slow start, HERE is a suspenseful story with a nice bit of romance, tons of intrigue and a thrilling adventure.
"He hurt me. I should turn around and leave him in my dust, but something about him seals the door of my pain and makes me feel alive again. Being with him is like an addiction, hard to walk away from when freely offered. My resolve begins to crumble." (ebook, 42%)
You can purchase HERE at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Source: Received from author for review.
You can find all the stops, along with giveaways, by visiting the tour page.