Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
Release Date: March 6, 2012 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Author for Review
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.
I will have to say that this book took me forever to read. After dredging through this book, I may need to re-think my "no reviewing review books unless I finish the entire book" stance. A relatively large book, Where It Began has the vibes of Before I Fall yet that is where the similarities end. Where It Began has a drawn out plot, a boy obsessed main character, and too many cliches (and might I mention slut shaming?) to make me enjoy it.

I wanted to like Gabby. I really did. But Gabby was way to judgmental and boy obsessed for my taste. After the accident, Gabby honestly doesn't remember anything yet all she cares about is getting back with popular-good looking-fantastic Billy Nash. When she might be blamed for a serious crime, she still only cares about Billy. When someone tries to help her, she only cares for Billy and says horrible things about these people. She was also a very flat character and like the other characters in this book, I didn't care much for her. Her mother has to be one of the worst YA parents I have ever read about. Does she care that her daughter could have died? No. She cares about the scars and how Billy (who is popular and rich) will not want to be with an ugly girl. 

Another aspect of Gabby that I didn't like was her continuos use of the word "slutmuffin" to talk about girls who have money, wear nice clothes, have many relationships and might just wear their skirts a little too high for Gabby's liking. I will not say anything else but no. Just no!

The plot also didn't help. The majority of it had to do with Gabby and Billy talking about how they were going to get Gabby out of trouble and when they could see each other next. It dragged and like I said, it could not keep my interest! The last few chapters were actually redeeming but the "big" reveal just turned out...wrong. It made no sense and I couldn't help by think that the characters are very, very stupid. 

Overall, Where It Began was not a book for me. I didn't like the characters or the plot or the way anything was executed honestly. I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to but you all can check it out for yourselves! 
Cover Comments: 
Eh. I actually liked it at first and it reminded me of Before I Fall but I've realized that it's nothing special and rather bland. 
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