Thursday, January 26, 2017
Far From You by Tess Sharpe book thoughts
"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?"
I read this for Diverseathon. A readathon centered on reading diverse books, especially own voices, books where the author identifies with the same marginalization that is portrayed in the book. Sexuality, Race, Disability (physical or mental), Gender Identity etc. I had wanted to pick this book up for awhile as the Main character is bisexual, disabled and in chronic pain, like me, and I've never read or heard of another book with a character like that. Disabled? Sure. Bisexual? Sure. Both at the same time plus chronic pain? I'm sure there are other books out there but so far this is the only one I know of. The author identifies as bisexual and also has chronic pain, though for a different reason than the MC in this book.
First I want to get the one thing that is bothersome out of the way. Sophie, the MC, struggles with a drug addiction, to pain medication Oxy. Which is of course something that happens to people, and indeed a story that should be told. However there are plenty of people who do not have issues taking narcotics without getting addicted to them and having problems. The fact that not all people + pain meds = addiction is not unpacked in the book. I have seen the author mention this on twitter, that she messed up there and is sorry. The reason it's a problem that it's not unpacked in the book is because many times doctors don't want to treat people who need pain medicine with what they actually need to help them. I speak from my own experience. I live in chronic pain (for different reasons that the MC) and I refuse to take medicine unless I REALLY need it, especially pain medicine. Not because i'm afraid of being addicted, i've never had an issue with that myself, but because they often DO NOT WORK. The ONLY hope I have of a pain medicine working is with a strong narcotic, the EXACT thing that doctors don't want to prescribe, no matter what! I'm sorry i'm getting angry here but it is personal to me. I have a high pain tolerance due to my medical issues and living in chronic pain my entire life so for me to even think about taking pain medicine, something is wrong.
I do understand doctors and people's concerns with addiction though as it is a thing that happens and it's horrible. Not everyone has issues with it though and many people, especially women, do not get the treatment they need because of this and the fact that women are generally under-treated anyway because of stereotypes. To not unpack this is harmful to people. I do appreciate the author realizing this though after seeing people mention it and really listening. I actually saw her tweet about it (I was already following her) while I was in the middle of the book and wondering when it was going to be unpacked, and honestly already getting annoyed with it. Knowing it wouldn't be but the author saw the problem there did make me feel better. Everyone messes up, it's just important to listen and learn when you do. :)
So onto the rest of the book. The bisexual rep was also great imo. I am only one bisexual person but I can say that personally I loved it! Bisexual is used on the page! That is so hard to find in books and honestly makes me emotional seeing the rep straight-forward like that! Many times it's just assumed in books when characters like boys and girls but never actually said. It's said in this book! It's talked about, her feelings and being bisexual, in the book and I loved it so much <3.
Also while I have different physical problems than Sophie I was also able to relate to her feelings about the chronic pain and disability. I saw myself in Sophie in more ways than one.
I can not speak on her addiction to pain pills as i've never had that myself. I can say I thought it was well done but coming from someone who has never struggled with addiction, that means nothing.
I loved the plot of this book. The writing goes back and forth in time, and it was fun piecing it all together and trying to figure out who did it with it being a murder mystery. I didn't have much trouble keeping up with what was going on in the book and I found it very readable. It kept up a steady pace for the most part and kept me curious as to who did it, trying harder and harder to figure it out before it was finally revealed. And no, I didn't guess it!
I loved the characters. Sophie, Mina, Trev (Mina's brother). All good characters, with their flaws and personalities.
The book may not be 100% perfect but overall I loved it and found many great things in it! It is seriously my most tabbed book and it's wonderful! The colors mean nothing, I just ran out of blue tabs.
I gave it 4 stars out of 5.