Thursday, 11 August 2011

Review ~ Wherever you go ~ Heather Davis

Title: Wherever you go

Author: Heather Davis

Published: 14th November 2011

By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Source: Netgalley

First line: You’ve been by her side for six months but she still hasn’t noticed you.

Last line: And that is your last thought as you become part of the light.

Fave line: There are just too many, sorry!

Wherever you go had me gripped from the first line. A YA/paranormal novel it deals with a variety of issues from losing a loved one to teen depression to Alzheimer’s, divorce and the responsibilities that come with being a young carer. Reeling off such a list might give you the impression that this is a heavy read but in actual fact that is far from the case. I found this tale to be both thought provoking and heart warming and the way that Heather Davis writes tugs on the heart strings on more than one occasion!

The story’s main character is Holly who has recently survived a car crash in which her boyfriend Rob is killed. While she is still in the process of coming to terms with her loss, Holly also attends school and acts as main carer for her younger sister whilst her mother who is single works two jobs. She then also finds herself taking on the role of carer for her Grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Enter Jason, Rob’s best friend with whom she starts to strike up a relationship, although their recent loss means they both bring some pretty substantial baggage with them. Both however are oblivious to the fact that Rob has failed to move on from this life and now exists in their world as a ghost. For his part Rob finds himself forced to stand on the sidelines and watch everyone that he cares about grieving for him as well as watching the girl he loves move on to a new life away from him. That is until he realises that Holly’s Grandfather can see him. It is this realisation that sets in motion a chain of events that lead to a beautifully written and emotional conclusion as Rob tries to find his way out of this world and to help everyone around him find some kind of resolution.

The story is told from three perspectives, namely; Holly’s, Rob’s and Jason’s. I liked how each character was written in a different person i.e. Holly is written in the first person, Rob in the second and Jason in the third and I also liked the way that the three plots weave together using the different viewpoints. From the outside looking in you can see the burden that weighs Holly down as she struggles to hold everything together and you get frustrated by her mother’s ignorance to the situation, although perhaps it’s more about denial than ignorance. I also felt really sorry for Jason who had clearly been infatuated with Holly for a long time but who now resides in Rob’s shadow. Most heartbreaking I thought was the struggle that Rob experiences, especially as he watches Holly, Jason and his parents who are still mourning his death. Every line of his broke my heart just a little bit. I felt instantly attached to all of the characters in the story each of which has their own struggle. I also love the parallel between Rob and Aldo whereby Rob is prevented communicating with the outside world because of his current state and Aldo is able to foresee a time when he is in the same position as a result of his progressive condition. The bond that the two forge is really lovely to read. I also love the list that Aldo writes which contains the things he doesn’t want to forget – just beautiful.
I could actually keep on writing about this book forever. There are many other angles to this story but I don’t want to give too much away. I was transfixed from the outset and love the range of emotions that it evokes as you read it. As I said earlier, there are a range of issues that are dealt with and I’ve no doubt that many of these will strike a chord with the readers. I was therefore also impressed at the addition of the helplines at the back of the book. I think these could serve to be very useful.

I love this book completely, even though it left me in mourning for days!! Can’t wait to buy a copy of this for my bookshelf. One caution - It’s a weepie and you’ll need tissues!

5/5 – Just loved it.


Raimy-rawr said...

wow! This one sounds great! I might have to check it out for myself!

Danielle said...

Sounds great! I love Heather's books and can't wait for this one to come out!

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