Release Date: March 6, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
A teen’s world comes crashing down in this compulsively readable YA debut that’s as literary as it is commercial.Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving—and without a single memory of the accident that landed her there. But what she can recall, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the crash.
As Gabby describes her transformation from Invisible Girl to Trendy Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why has Gabby been left to take the fall?
As she peels back the layers of her life, Gabby begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex…and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
I’m not big on reading book summaries. I skim them when I first discover the book to decide whether or not I want to read it then I promptly forget it. So when I opened the pages of Where It Began I was very quickly intrigued. It definitely starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up. The author knows how to hook a reader. I had lots of different emotions while reading, but I never once wanted to put it down.
Gabby isn’t exactly the most likeable girl. She’s pretty self centered and super naive, but that’s just what happens when you have lead the kind of life she has. She may be a little unlikeable but she’s still a very sympathetic character. She’s in this horrible situation and you can’t help but feel for her…even if you want to shake some sense into her from time to time.
I think some readers will take issue with Gabby’s utter devotion to Billy Nash, but it seems perfectly realistic to me. I had an older boyfriend when I was a teen. He was popular and cute but a total jerk. I had that blind devotion too. So that whole aspect of the story was easy for me to relate to. Even if it was infuriating…in a good way though.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story. It was a page turner and very unique. I’m looking forward to more from Ann Redisch Stampler in the future.