Friday, March 23, 2012
Girl Pick: Where It Began
Ann Redisch Stampler
What's not to love about this new ya debut? It has it all: love, hate, anger, resentment, betrayal, lies, deception, revenge...
Where It Began begins with Gabby lying on the ground at the scene of an accident. She doesn't remember what happened or how she got there; then she wakes up in a hospital where she's in and out of conciousness. Vivian, Gabby's mother, never comes across as motherly or loving. Vivian likes to put on airs and show off, she's one of those Hollywood wives who pretends her family is better off than they really are and Gabby can't stand it.
Bits and pieces of memory start to come back to Gabby like the names of her friends Huey, Lisa, Anita, and Billy. Wait, where is Billy? Everyone else has been phoning her and wanting to come and visit her, but why is Billy staying away? He is her boyfriend after all. It was his blue BMW that was in the crash.
Gabby begins reliving the past year in her head. She sees her falling in love with Billy Nash and she knows Billy's mom hates her and doesn't think Gabby is good enough for her son. She remembers being at the party but doesn't remember anything else about that fateful night. Why can't she remember? Gabby heals and is able to go home and back to school eventually. Billy assures her that she's "the one" and they continue to text each other. Billy manipulates Gabby into doing whatever he wants.
Given the fact that Gabby thought that she was a "nobody" before dating Billy and that her identity is linked to the fact that she's "Billy's girlfriend," her behavior is believable. She is so in love with Billy she will do anything to keep him.
Gabby realizes that she was driving Billy's car and she is willing to go to the authorities and take the blame. Huey has other ideas. He helps Gabby understand what really happened and then...BAM! The events unfold in cataclysmic fashion.
Well crafted writing and believable teen dialog make Where It Began a good pick for girls. They will be disgusted by Billy's behavior and touched by Gabby's resilience.
Highly recommended grades 9-up. Sexual situations, drinking, partying, mature themes, language.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.