Author: Denise Grover Swank
Release Date: November 7, 2011
Publisher: Self Published
On the Other Side Book #1
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Teen Book Scene
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.
HERE was an interesting read. I wasn't sure where it was going in the beginning but by about 1/2 way through it makes sense. Julia and her best friend Monica were in a car accident and Julia is the only one who survived. She is racked with survivors guilt and has given up on everyone and everything in her life. When Evan starts paying attention to her she has no idea what to think and has no idea why she suddenly feels connected to him.
Julia was extremely depressed and depressing to watch for a good chunk of the book but she did come out of that and started to become interested in life again. She was a likable character and I had no troubles connecting to her and her feelings. Evan was extremely mysterious. For half of the book you are in total darkness to what is going on but once it hits the halfway point things start to be revealed at a nice pace. The love triangle was a bit weird but I think book 2 will give us a better play out of that.
I cant say some of the things I want to without spoiling the main reveal in the storyline but I felt the first half was well paced and explained in a nice paced fashion. The second half felt rushed and didnt feel as well developed.
Overall the idea behind HERE kept me interested as the story progressed but the ending fell short for me. HERE really ended up being one of those books that is interesting enough that you have to know what the outcome of things are and you don't really get that at the end so you want to read the next book so you have a bit of closure. I'm not sure that I would go out of my way to get the information from book 2 but if I get a chance to review it I will probably do that.
I gave it 3/5 stars