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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler (ARC Review)

Genre:Contemporary Young Adult
Publication.Date  March 6th 2012
Pages:384
Published By:  Simon Pulse   | 
WebsiteAnn Redisch Stampler
Where It Began - Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the author in exchange for an honest review
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Chapters






     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.

(Goodreads)




Everyone knows that no matter how much you need to talk to Gorgeous Hot Boy, if you phone him fourteen times between ten and ten thirty p.m., by the time he gets to the third message, he'll hate you, and by message number fourteen, his mother will have a restraining order taken out against you and you'll be in court-ordered Stalker Recovery Twelve Step before you even have time to make call number fifteen.
I am young and entirely cheerless, a bruised repository of random SAT words and fragmented memories that keep flashing behind my closed eyes like stray clips of some lame documentary on Teen life in the Three B's.
Whoever I am, I'm pretty sure that I'm not her.
Apparently it takes more than a eucalyptus tree to bang this particular fact out of your head.

   


     Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler is one gorgeous and unforgettable book! Laced with humor, exceptional wit and powerful insight, this book gets you hooked right off from the start. It's intense, funny, heartbreaking, taut, mysterious and - most of all - so deliciously addictive! Ann Redisch Stampler did a fabulous job depicting high school relationships, with all their flaws and foibles. The MC's extremely amusing sarcastic tone makes for a great narrative voice that is sure to keep you turning the pages until you hit the back cover. It's a wonderful treat for everyone who appreciates a good contemporary novel.



This is how it starts: some helpless girl in a skanky tank top lying on her back in the wet grass somewhere in Hidden Hills. She is gazing at the stars through the leaves of a eucalyptus tree. The trunk of the eucalyptus tree is wrapped in Billy Nash's blue BMW. Midnight blue. The girl is trying to figure out what's going on, beyond the more obvious facts: a mouth lined with a sick combination of beer and stale vodka, a crunched-up car with black smoke pouring out of it, a night sky filled with glassy constellations and a big white moon.
    Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed, wired to machines and clueless as to how she ended up there. Her face is smashed in, bruised and unrecognizable. She has a post-traumatic amnesia and her memory of the last night's car crash is gone. Wiped clean. Non-existent. All she knows is what others tell her: she's been at a party with her super-hot-and-rich boyfriend, Billy, and a bunch of his super-cool-and-rich friends. She drank too much. She got into Billy's car and drove it into a tree. And now she can't remember a single thing. Her face, and possibly whole life, is ruined - she's facing DUI charges, being expelled from school and maybe even some serious jail time. Worst of all? Her boyfriend is missing and no one wants to tell her where he is and why hasn't he come to visit her bruised up and miserable self yet. And that's not the only thing people are keeping from her...
Which is when it happens: when the story of my life starts to show up in mosaic splinter flashes in my head.
     I was totally in love with this book from page one! The writing was beyond amazing. Witty, hilarious, smart and sexy! For me, Ann Redisch Stampler could write a 1000 pg long description of how to make blueberry waffles and I would probably enjoy every single word of it - that's how fantastic her writing style is. Gabby's narrative voice was - hands down - one of the most enjoyable narrative voices ever. I instantly connected with her, although we didn't really have anything in common (at all). Moreover, I genuinely cared about her and wanted everything to work out well for her. She was quite a complex character- strong yet sensitive, ready to work hard to achieve her goals yet sometimes very naive and impressionable. A typical teenage girl, with all her insecurities, hopes and dreams, longing to be noticed, appreciated and loved. It was really heartbreaking to watch her struggle to hold on to the happy little life she worked so hard to live, knowing all along what she didn't yet realized - that this life was never meant for her.
Gabby Gardiner, shake hands with your totally impossible, not-going-to-happen future.
   There were quite a few twists and turns that I never saw coming. The plot line might seem a bit predictable at the beginning, but if you think you have it all figured out after the first 20 pages, well, then you're in for a surprise. All in all, it was a fascinating and compelling read that I thoroughly enjoyed. It got me emotionally engaged, it made me laugh, kept me guessing and frantically turning the pages, and in the end left me very satisfied and pleased with the way the whole thing unfolded. I couldn't ask for more. Make sure to add it to your TBR Pile and 2012 contemporary challenge!





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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing

27 comments:

giddusadik said...

Nice review, now this book has a place on my wishlist :)

P.S. Could you please comment on this post: http://inabookshelf.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/youll-get-infected/

It would mean a lot to me. Thanks!

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

ahhhh, so glad it's as good as expected and not just a uber pretty cover because I have high hopes for this one! "itty, hilarious, smart and sexy!"....= me wants even more now!

sarabara081 said...

Wow, this book sounds amazing!!! And I love witty characters and lots of sarcasm! Can't wait to read, thanks for the review! :)

Amy said...

This book sounds so good. Awesome review! Also, now I want blueberry waffles lol!!

Cass said...

I was just looking at this one on goodreads last night! Thanks for the review because I wasn't sure if I sound get it or not :)

Lisa said...

This looks like a great book. I haven't read a funny book in such a long time. I love that it looks at climbing the social latter and if it's worth it or not. What an important message.

Lexie said...

This one sounds so powerful and gorgeous! I love the quotes. Love love love. I'll have to get my hands on a copy. :)

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

It takes a truly amazing book to catch and hold someone's interest from the very first page. This one sounds awesome!

Bookish in a Box said...

Hooray! I'm glad this one turned out to be good. I love a good amnesia story, especially one that bucks the mold and has some surprising twists.

Wendy Darling said...

I hadn't even heard of this one, Evie, but it sounds amazing. Thanks for the great review!

***

Australian YA author Rebecca shares her favorite romantic book scene at The Midnight Garden!

tellingmelies said...

I had never heard of this book before I saw your review on goodreads. Thank you for once again giving me something to add to my to-read list :)

FireStarBooks said...

Wow such a nice book! The review is amazing as usual! <333

aurora M. said...

That's one of my greatest fears...losing my memory. This review was nice. Thanks for the post.

Aline Tobing said...

Nice review, Evie. I was drawn by the beautiful cover and now your review makes me even more curious. Oh, if only my TBR pile is not so high *sigh

Sara H. said...

Thanks for the review! I was a bit on the fence about reading this book but now that I know it's not predictable and will make me laugh, I will read it!

LisaILJ said...

Thanks for the review. I actually didn't like this one nearly as much as you did. This review did give me some things to think about though.

Gaby said...

I won this book and I am really excited to read it. It sounds awesome :)

Bookie Bee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bookie Bee said...

This book sounds absolutely great!! I wonder why I never read any reviews of this book before. Oddly, I was under the impression that this was the latest book in "The Summer I turned pretty" series and since I hadnt read that, I never even bothered reading the blurb of this book. Maybe its because both of them have similar looking covers with identical looking girls (or is the same girl?). Anyway, thanks for finally making me notice this book. And you have rated it 5!! I definitely need to get this book!

Jaime Lester said...

I keep seeing this book on the shelf at the library, but I never bring it home with me. I am not even sure why. It sounds like it would be a book that I love. I wonder about myself sometimes. :) Now, I think I will go ahead and bring it home with me next time I head to the library. Thank You!

Ligeia Ahgony said...

This book sounds amazing! Can't wait to read it, thanks for the review! :)

Karina A. said...

When I read the blurb, my impression was, it's a book full of drama. And then I read your review, and saw the words "humor" and "exceptional wit". I can't wait to read this! Thanks for the review!

Pop Andreea said...

Oooh, I had my eyes set on this for a while now. Need to read it, especially after I saw your rating ;)

Nana said...

Now I want to read this book. Adding to my wishlist. Thanks for your review.

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

Sounds really cool! I just added it to my TBR pile!

Sara Murguia said...

This review reminds me of the book memoirs of a teenage amnesiac, which is very good, and now i want to read this one too!!

Diana Grace said...

Thanks for the review! :)
I've been thinking about reading the book but I just never came around to it.. now I definitely would give it some time, :)

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