• Splintered - AG HowardSplintered
  • A Matter of Fate - Heather Lyons
  •  inescapable - amy a bartol
  •  graceling - kristin cashore
  •  someone to love - addison moore
  •  breaking beautiful - jennifer shaw wolf
  •  the perfect game - j sterling
  •  the edge of never - ja redmerski
  •  independence - shelly crane

Monday, October 8, 2012

{Review & Giveaway} Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Where It Began 
by Ann Redisch Stampler
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Pages:  369
Source:  Gift
Available as of March 6, 2012
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Fishpond
The Book Depository | Books-A-Million

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.


My Review:
I had really high hopes going into Where It Began. I'm not sure if I built it up so much to where it couldn't compare to what I thought it would be or if it was just the book. Either way, Ann Redisch Stampler concocted a great story line that, sadly, fell through for me.

Gabby Gardner had it all, great friends, a hot boyfriend, a new look, until one night put her into a hospital bed. Broken and bruised with no memory of the night leaves Gabby to assume that the evidence form the police report is true. Little does she know that not everything is exactly as it seems.

I had a really hard time getting into this novel. I'm not really even sure I ever got into it. Gabby annoyed me to no end. I have no respect for girls who throw themselves into a relationship and act as a doormat. She had no self confidence. She was insecure and reliant on her boyfriend, Billy Nash. She was there for him and nothing else. 

Where It Began didn't hold my attention well. I was only 132 pages in when I was able to tell exactly how it would end. Yes, I made a note of the page number and my guess. There was no mystery for me. The only reason I continued to read was to answer some personal questions I had regarding the night of the accident and a few other spoilery things that I don't want to share because it would ruin it for you.

Don't get me wrong, the story line was wonderful, but the follow through, for me, was a little lacking. I loved that some bigger, SAT style words were used because it made me think while I read. I also liked that I was able to laugh frequently while reading. 

Overall, Where It Began was an okay read that wasn't able to hold my attention, but may hold yours. Maybe it was my view of Gabby that made me impartial to this novel or maybe my knowing how it would end less than halfway through. Either way, this is only my opinion and you may just need to try this one for yourself.

Because I don't see myself reading Where It Began again,
I'm going to give my hardcover copy to one of my US followers.
Note: Book is in Like-New condition. No cracked spine/bent pages
Ends 10/22 @ Midnight EST


Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

I was curious about the mystery and what happened that night. Sucks that is was so predictable. I get a bit annoyed with clingy females as well but sometimes young girls have a hard time balancing life and boyfriends. Character connection is really important and sometimes I have a hard time getting through he book as well if I don't like the characters.

M.A.D. said...

Same here. Too bad it was easily predictable, because the story line does sound very interesting. I'd still enjoying reading it - and thank you very much for the sweet giveaway! <3
Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

Elisabeth said...

Is it just me, or is the girl-trying-to-remember-after-traumatic-event scenario popular in contemp YA fiction this year?

Emily said...

I'm sorry you didn't like this book. I read it when it first came out, and I thought it was ok. Thanks for the giveaway though

Mona said...

Thanks for your honest review and the giveaway :)

I think sometimes when we have pre-conceived notions about a character or character-type, it affects our enjoyment of the book.

Predictability of the plot early in the novel is unfortunate. I've read a few novels where the plot went in unexpected directions :
. DECEPTION by Jonathan Kellermann
. Any book by Harlan Coben

Stina Butcher said...

It's too bad you didn't enjoy the book. It's not the best in the world, but it's my little cousin's favorite.

Lindy Gomez said...

I'm bummed that you didn't like the book because the synopsis sounds so good. I'm glad that this book uses new vocabulary that I can learn from. I agree that when you dislike a character it can ruin a book for you. That happened recently to me with a Jennifer Echols book I've been trying to get through but cannot seem to finish! Thanks for your honesty. As an avid blog reader I appreciate your book reviews and telling us what you really think without sugar coating anything.

Texas Book Lover said...

It's a shame you figured it out. It is frustrating when books become so predictable. This still sounds like one I or my daughter would like to try out.

Thanks so much!

Holly Smith said...

I'm new to the world of book blogging, not reading, just blogging about it. Although, I didn't really keep up with the "hot new" book list. So, I have never heard of this one before.

It sucks to hear that it's predictable but I think I'd still like to give it a shot. Maybe it will be better now that I won't go into with super high expectations! haha

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