Review: Far From You

Posted: 08/01/2016 in book reviews
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Far From You
Far From You by Tess Sharpe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Content warnings: death mention, blood, bisexual relationship, drug use, drug abuse, alcohol use, attempted murder

Ok I think I’m finally ready to review this. I’ve been sitting on it for a while because I haven’t been ready.

I adored the heck out of this book. For many reasons.

I came across this book because someone on twitter retweeted a thing that the author wrote about bisexual erasure which you can read here. Because coincidentally, my favourite quote of the book, is constantly getting misquoted.

“But my heart isn’t simple or straightforward. It’s a complicated mess of wants and needs, boys and girls, soft, rough, and everything in between, an ever-shifting precipice from which to fall.”

Let me tell you a story that this quote makes me remember vividly. Partly because it’s my own personal story. And partly because of how painful of a time this was for me.

Back in the late 90s early 00s when I was finishing 8th grade up until I graduated high school senior year I was very confused and very shy. As a result, I got teased. A LOT. Vicious rumours went around, none of which were true. And by confused, I mean about who I was attracted to. I knew I liked boys. But I found myself also being attracted to girls and people whose gender wasn’t easily identifiable. I had no word to define it. And it scared the shit out of me. As such even though I never really expressed attraction towards people, my fellow teenagers soon decided that automatically I was a lesbian (which, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that but it’s also not what I was). And that was the worst thing to be at my school. You were very much an outcast. And not just teased but beat up and bullied because of it. Same if you were gay. So a lot of people didn’t come out until after high school. Once I graduated, and the internet started being better (I literally grew up with the internet as it slowly developed and can still remember dialup, how slow it was, and AOL 1.0 AND having to enter DOS commands to start my computer and to run anything. THAT was the computer and internet I grew up with), I came across a geocities page and a yahoo group about bisexual people. And then, suddenly things started making sense. Of course it turns out that I’m just as bad as choosing female partners as I am male partners because my first two girlfriends cheated horribly on me but that’s neither here nor there. I went through 5 years of hell because I was confused as to what was going on with my hormones (amongst a shit ton of other things like 3 deaths during my 10th grade year the first 3 days after my 16th birthday and all drunk driver related) and being teased and bullied for shit that wasn’t true. All while trying to figure out WHY this was happening. And why I was attracted to all these different people and what this urge low in my body was (and getting quite possibly the worst sex education in my state…see the scene in Mean Girls and add in a bunch of pictures of the worst possible iterations of every STI you can potentially catch and getting told you’ll definitely get at least one if not all of them and you basically have my sex ed) and how to deal with it. All while being painfully shy and easily embarassed. Had I this book, or a book like this during that time period, well I can’t say my life would have been easier but I could have at least been a lot less confused and more secure in the knowledge that no, I’m not broken because I like more than just boys.

There’s all kinds of really bad emotions that go with remembering all that. Because my entire school career was hell. Got bullied and teased and beat up. But, it also gave me a lot of insight into what I would potentially become later in life and to who I really was even though I very much lived by “conceal don’t feel” and “don’t let anything show”. But a book like this would have given me a lot of comfort at that period of my life. And that’s something I definitely could have used.

So this book, is definitely a book that is a gift and should be in every school library and public library so people can read it. So that kids and teenagers can learn that they’re not broken. This also deals with the realities of losing people in your life and different ways of coping as well as addiction and recovery. Which is another thing that needs to be talked about more. So that people have places to go and people to confide in that will help them. I LOVE that her aunt unquestioningly believed her and was on her side. Even when everyone else didn’t believe her. That part the most made me start tearing up. Because not everyone has a supportive person in their life like that. And that tears my heart out.

This book felt really real to me. Even the things that have never happened to me. Because of the content it was hard to read. But that doesn’t make me love this book any less. Finishing it was like losing a close friend. I also like that it wasn’t your typical tragic love story. I mean it was tragic definitely. But not because, heaven forbid, they’re not straight. It wasn’t a cautionary tale. It was a dealing with real life issues book.

This was a fantastic book that I would definitely recommend to everyone.

Buy it here:

Amazon(US)|Amazon(UK)|Amazon(CA)|Amazon(FR)|Amazon(DE)|Amazon(AU)|Waterstones|Book Depository|Barnes & Noble|Google Play|iBooks|Kobo

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