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You Were My Bravehearted Lover

Tess Sharpe's Far From You explores such lighthearted topics as murder, drug addiction and teen sexuality.

You Were My Bravehearted Lover

BOOK REPORT for Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Cover Story: Brightly Subtle
BFF Charm: Nay
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: No Frills
Bonus Factor: LGTBQ
Relationship Status: Keeping It Real

Cover Story: Brightly Subtle

At first glance, this cover is all kinds of festive, which doesn't really match the dark tone of the novel. But if you look closely, you'll spot a bulb that's in the process of exploding. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, COVER DESIGNER.

The Deal:

It doesn't matter that Sophie had been clean for months. When the police found a bottle of pills in her jacket, which was also covered in her best friend Mina's blood, they blamed her for putting Mina in danger just to score some drugs. Her death was chalked up to a drug deal gone wrong, and Sophie was shipped off to a rehab she didn't need.

Four months later, Sophie is back in town, and the masked man who shot Mina, but mysteriously let Sophie live, remains on the loose. With the help of Mina's brother, Trev, Sophie searches for the truth behind her friend's murder, but delving into the past means facing secrets about Sophie's true addiction, one that has nothing to do with pills.

Spoiler Warning: I'm obviously not going to tell you who dunnit, but I will reveal a few things about the main characters below. I personally feel that you should dive into this book knowing nothing more than what I've written above, but if you need to learn more about the story before you're willing to give it a shot, keep reading. I won't give away too much.

BFF Charm: Nay

Sophie has had it ROUGH. Seriously injured in a car accident a few years prior, she's in constant pain, thus the whole painkiller issue. And, after she finally gets sober, her best friend is killed right before her eyes, and everyone, including her parents, assume it's all because Sophie still has a drug problem. That's a shizz ton of baggage thrown on top of the already existing mountain caused by Sophie and Mina's secret attraction to each other. That's right, Mina is a lesbian, and Sophie is bisexual, and Mina refuses to go public about it. Instead, they both date boys and push their desires deep, deep, deep down. Because that's healthy!

So while I feel for Sophie, and I certainly admire her determined spirit, girlfriend just has way too many issues for me to handle. I know, I'm a bad person.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

The whole "Let's pretend we're not in love with each other!" thing really put a damper on any romantic tingles. There's a few scenes between Mina and Sophie that give us a glimpse of their intense chemistry, but those moments are far outweighed by the torturous anguish of keeping that chemistry a secret. And I haven't even mentioned the fact that Mina's brother, Trev, is head over heels for Sophie. WELCOME TO ANGSTOWN, POPULATION: 3.

Talky Talk: No Frills

Initially, Tess Sharpe's straightfoward style felt reminiscent of the paperback thrillers I devoured as a teen. But when her words began to scratch the surface of Sophie's complicated feelings for Mina and her grief over her death, the book grew more complex. The pacing remained quick, almost abrasive at times, while layers of emotion unfolded in potent bursts. Given that the true focus of the book is Sophie and Mina's relationship, the mystery over the killer's identity felt almost like an afterthought, and I wish Sharpe had shelved that plotline completely in order to more fully explore the intricacies of the girls' friendship.

Bonus Factor: LGTBQ

Mina's fear over coming out of the closet felt heartbreakingly authentic, as did Sophie's feelings for her. The most nuanced aspect of the book by far was its portrait of newfound sexuality in a place where homosexuality and shame are intertwined.

Casting Call:

Eliza Taylor as Sophie

Victoria Justice as Mina

Relationship Status: Keeping It Real

Whether it was talking about drug addiction, sexual awakenings or the stages of grief, this book was always honest with me, sometimes brutally so. I respect its openness, although I wish we could have skipped past the mystery bullshizz and gotten to know each other on a more personal level. In spite of its candor, things never felt intimate between us, but I hope that its message reaches the teen readers that need it the most.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Disney-Hyperion. I received neither cocktails nor money for this review. Far From You is available now.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).