11 May 2015

I spy with my little eye: Far From You and Prep School Confidential reviews

Today I’m reviewing two YA mysteries - one light and the other dark - so whatever you’re in the mood, I’ve got you covered.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe
March 10th, 2014 · Indigo
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 343
Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?
Far From You sat on my shelf for well over a year before I picked it up. And considering that it was one of my most anticipated 2014 reads? Well, that’s just quite sad. I put off reading it after hearing how dark and gloomy it was. While true, it was also a breath of fresh air to read; in the way it read and with its’ cast of flawed, interesting characters - along with Sophie, the first bisexual MC I’ve come across. So yes - if you ever think we have enough diversity in books, just read that last sentence again. Quite an eyeopener, huh? It even surprised myself. One thing I admired about Sophie was that she was messy, grappling with an addiction . I feel like a lot of characters these days are clean cut or perfectly perfect

Far From You is a murder-mystery done well; it certainly kept me on my toes. But it’s main focus, and where its heart really lies, is in the darker, deeper side of things, as we watch Sophie struggle with grief, loss and sobriety, all the while, fighting for justice to bring Mina’s killer to light.

Part of the reason I’ve been away is that I’ve been in a book slump. But thankfully, this book is very forgiving. It took me a while to read, but no matter how much time passed, whenever I picked it up, it was effortless to jump back into, which is a rarity. An impressive debut, it was exactly the book I’d hoped for; I look forward to seeing what Sharpe writes next. And if like me, this caught your eye when you first heard about it, but you haven’t got round to it? I think you may want to pick it up!

Prep School Confidential (#1) by Kara Taylor 
July 20th, 2013 · St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 310

In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn't care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.
Another book I was highly anticipating from 2013 and guess what, it’s a murder-mystery. What can I say? I like my mysteries. That, and they also happen to be a great genre when you’re trying to get out of a book slump. Mysterious, engaging and entertaining, what’s not to love? Now, while Far From You was dark and gritty, this was the opposite. Fun and lighthearted, its the kind of book that uses words like shenanigans. Which you must admit, is a pretty great word, no? Shenanigans! Sorry, what was I saying again?

Anne reminded me of Veronica Mars, heavy on the snark, minus the prep. Determined and smart, when she set her mind to something, there was no stopping her. Haters of love triangles beware - there are two guys in the picture vying for Anne’s heart. Story of everyone’s life, right? But to honest, I never came to care for either much. I definitely feel the story led more with the mystery element, which worked in its favour.

Prep School Confidential was a pretty good story, but I felt like it started off stronger than it ended. Or maybe it was to do with my slump and in that case, sorry book for the accusation, my apologies. Either way, it was a quick read and provided some entertainment.

Have you read either of these? Let me know if you have or plan to.
And let me know your fave YA mystery's! Any I should add to my list?


  1. I haven't read either, but I confess, Far From You is the one that catches my attention. ;-) I like funny but I prefer dark and messed up. xD ONE DAY...agh, there are too many books to read, amirite?!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  2. MYSTERIESSSS YESSSSSSS Far From You has been something that I've eyed since FOREVER. And I nearly caved last year but it was on the highest shelf, there was no ladder to be seen and well...being the lazy person that I am, I passed on it. BUT NOW I WISH I HADN'T. We definitely need more diversity in fiction and I'm glad we're SLOWWWWWWWWWWWWLY getting there.

    PREP SCHOOL THING THOUGH. Sounds up my alley. I LIKE ME SOME PREP. And SNARK. Oh god, I live for snark.


  3. Far From You... YES! I can't say I've come across any bisexual characters in YA either. We need more, just to show teens that you fall in love with the person and not their sex. Spread the positive message that love is love. I love mysteries, light and nothing that would keep you awake at night and these both sound pretty good. Prep School Confidential might be a bit too young for me, which is funny considering I read middle grade as well. It might be more of a rainy day read.

    Awesome reviews Bec and hopefully you're starting to pull yourself out of that reading slump poppet <3

  4. I haven't read either of these books, but I own a copy of FAR FROM YOU, which I have been meaning to read for the longest time. I mean murder mystery AND LGBT? I should have been all over that MONTHS ago. I will have to find my copy and read it ASAP, because I don't think I have read one not-positive review for it, which really speaks volumes.

    As for the other one, I am pretty interested since you mentioned the fact that the MC is like Veronica Mars. If that is true, I need to read that book.

    Great mini reviews! :)