Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (November 15, 2011)
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher
Cover: This is such a gorgeous cover. I'm not sure what it has to do with the book as much but I love the longing thoughtful pose of the model and the green and blue in the background with the patches of sunlight. It's enchanting.
First Sentence: You've been sitting by her side for months but she hasn't noticed you.
Mini-Review: A beautifully written and quietly haunting story about the many forms of love.
Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend?
As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?
Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob,Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light.Review:
Wherever You Go is a quiet exploration into love in its many forms and how it keeps us and sometimes binds us to people. Three point of views weave together to tell a tale of loss, love, responsiblity, depression, sickness and more. With well developed and piognant characters and gorgeous prose, Wherever You Go takes it time building something spectacular. Though not without its fault, it is most definitely a novel worth a read.
Holly is the driving force at the root of this story. Told in first person from her point of view, she's been sentenced to play the parent to her younger sister and has had the added responsiblity of taking care of her grandfather as he slips further into the grips of Alzheimer's disease. She's going through all of this while trying to cope with the death of her first love Rob. Holly's chapters were sometimes hard to get through because I felt so bad for her. Her patient and calm demeanor sometimes made her a bit cold to the rest of the world since her capacity to care is being used up so much at home. I really liked the constant power struggle between her and her mother but I wish she would have fought back a little more. It seemed just a tiny bit unrealistic that she simply went with parenting her sister and grandfather so easily. I was definitely happy to see her start to rebel some and fight for her own time as the story went on. I'll also say that I got pretty frustrated with her because she was really intelligent and kind but fell for the same old stupid mistakes halfway through the novel.
Jason's perspective was told in third person which worked well because he was intensely lonely and in a lot of pain, trying to cope with the loss of his best friend. I'm not sure first person would have been bearable. I really did like his character because he wasn't the perfect, smooth guy. He was shy and had a generally good heart. He wanted to believe the best in people. Watching how patient he was with Holly and how supportive he was with Holly's grandfather was so stinking sweet!
The last character and point of view is Rob and he's in second which was really interesting. Nothing pulls you into a story than when the writer is telling you what you are doing. His quest to find the reason he's still hanging out around ever one and his budding friendship with Holly's grandfather are really great additions to this story. The insight he gains really make for some of the most beautiful passages in the novel. I loved the chats he and Aldo had as it revealed a lot about Aldo that we didn't get to see from any other perspective.
Even though there is a ghost in this novel, it is by no means a paranormal romance. This book doesn't question the logic behind the ghost being there or anything but rather, it is about healing after a tragedy and how two people can find each other (and I'm not just talking about Holly and Jason but also Aldo and Rob). The ending is so incredibly beautiful thanks to the painstaking efforts Ms. Davis's puts into the writing. It seriously packs a punch. My biggest compliant with this novel is that it just felt too long. I really feel like I could have come to the same conclusion with a few less pages and it wouldn't have felt so weigh down. I also had a problem with how easily Holly believed the gossip when Jason had worked so hard to prove to her his intentions. It just seemed out of character to me. I guess when it comes down to it, this story might just have been a bit too quiet for me.
Wherever You Go painstakingly works its way from a quiet opening to a quiet crescendo with beauty and charm. The three perspectives really serve to round out the story. While a bit long, it's definitely a gorgeous story about love in all forms. The ending will haunt you with its simple truth and beauty.