"Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.
Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from." - Goodreads Blurb
*May Contain Spoilers*
Denise Grover Swank really outdoes herself with this spectacular novel, Here. It was absolutely amazing! I literally couldn't put it down. Until I finished it, that is.
Julia Phillips is character that readers will really connect with. She's an average girl who lost her best friend in a car accident and can't forgive herself. Julia's pain and feelings of guilt are understandable, while Swank makes them completely believable. Not to mention she's a typical teenager (a part of life everyone suffers through). She's sarcastic, witty, scared, hopeful, unable to hold her tongue, and down right tough. Swank's writing style takes the reader into Julia's world, without even a backward glance.
Then, the plot thickens and things really heat up... enter more cliches here for added enjoyment, and the reader is swept away with Julia to an alternate world where history doesn't coincide with any textbook. The feelings that Julia has throughout the novel make the reader kin to her. And Swank does an outstanding job at keeping everything in line. With a plot that involves an alternate reality, it could easily become incredibly confusing, but Swank doesn't allow that to happen.
And just when you think everything's going to end up just peachy... the book ends, leaving all readers gasping, fighting for breath, and searching voraciously for the next installment.
rating: 4/5 cups