on 18 April 2012
To comment on the obvious thing, which is the cover. I have to say that i really like how creepy and spooky it is. It doesn't really match the book, but still it's really nice.
I have to give congrats to the author, for making get out of my mind with guesses on who Even really is. Good thing they didn't mention it at the summary. At first i thought he was some kind of angel, then i though a vampire, etc etc...i'm not telling you who or what he is. It surprised me and gave such an amazing turn to the book, that i literately starting screaming "yes yes yes" aloud. It's one of the best twists i've ever read. My mind didn't go there at all and i loved it. And when the book ended, i wanted even more.
Julia is an amazing narrator as well. I thought i will have problem, with her being all sad and stuff. But everything she did had an explanation. I could understand her. And no matter how bad she was, i liked how she doesn't trust Evan. She asks questions. Wants to know what happens. And at the same time, she sees how her life was and tries with small steps to fix it again.
There is also a triangle which i thought will annoy me. But gosh! It's one of the most beautiful and actually make sense, triangles! So well done..it's not bad vs good guy or something like that. The boys don't even hate each other. It just seems so real.
"Here" is a captivating story and i'm so happy i picked it up. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. I never expected to love not only the characters but the story that much.
on 4 December 2011
While I was a bit disappointed with the change of pace in Denise's "Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes" (I felt that the novel was going in one direction and during the last bit I felt that it went in an entirely different direction,) I LOVED that that happened in this book. Don't get me wrong, the first half of the book was great, really sweet and cute, but the second half of the book was so engaging, fast-paced and unique (it literally kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it). Now this might sound a bit strange because these books have little in common, but I think that if "Spellbound" by Cara Lynn Shultz, "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis, Imogen Rose's "Portal" series, and "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver were to have a baby- this book would be the end result.
Why this book is so successful is because of the characters- each and every one of them is so well-developed, complex, and frankly likeable. From Julia, a girl who is able to pull herself out of the darkness surrounding her, becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day, to Evan, the boy not afraid to show his emotions and perhaps one of the most hopeless romantics I have ever had the pleasure of reading about before, to Reece, the "bad-boy" of the two, who we cannot help but be drawn to despite the fact that he throws off "playerish" vibes and despite the fact that we know that he is very capable of being breaking our hearts.
Another reason why this book is successful us because it (dare I say it?) has a successful love triangle (which I can assure you is NOT an oxymoron). In my opinion a successful love triangle is one in which the reader cannot choose which character they would like the main character to end up with (as opposed from an unsuccessful love triangle where there isn't any real competition- it is obvious from the get-go who the lead will choose, ie. Clary choosing Jace over Simon) . Both Evan and Reese have such amazing qualities to them and both make Julia a stronger person in their own way that I literally cannot choose between the two of them.
All in all, I have no complaints about this book. Whatsoever. It completely blew away any expectations that I had by tenfold. Therefore I obviously highly recommend it. In my opinion the traditionally published books I mentioned earlier (ie. "Delirium", "Across the Universe", and "Spellbound") have nothing on this book! In fact, I think that I like it just as much, if not more, than the three of them. Combined.
on 18 September 2013
This was a fantastic book that had me flipping the pages eagerly to see what was going to happen next.
Julia woke from her car accident with very little memory of what actually happened, except that her friend, Monica, died in the crash and she believes she is to blame for it. She has nightmares where she is the one who died and Monica lived, though doctors say its because of her head trauma. For months after the accident Julia retreats inside herself, hardly talking, hardly eating or bothering with life at all. Her schoolwork suffers, as does her family. One day when she visits Monica's grave, crying and desperate, warm arms hold her and she blacks out, not knowing who comforted her. From that day things begin to change, she becomes more aware of her surroundings and attempts a return to normality, but she believes she is damaged beyond repair.
Evan, the school's Mr. Popular, has started to notice her and offers to tutor her in the subjects she is failing at. Julia can not help but wonder why this boy, a boy who has not said more than two words to her before, has started to talk to her now and why he seems to really like her. All Julia knows is that she is falling for him, drawing his name in elaborate doodles and drawing a Celtic Love Knot that matches a necklace he wears. Evan is a little cryptic and acts strange, nothing like the popular boy he is perceived to be by the entire student body. He insists the car accident was not Julia's fault and that she needs to stop feeling guilty. He gets upset when he sees a bracelet on her wrist, one Julia can not remember owning, but was found at the scene of the crash.
Then things start to heat up. The police are searching for Evan and Julia has no clue why. She hears rumors that there are two Evan's out there, who look exactly alike. Julia is confused, and to be honest so was I!! Much of the time I was like 'What the heck is happening!' but that is the beauty of this kind of plotline, it keeps you reading and biting your nails, hoping to figure it out.
When Evan turns up terrified and desperate, asking her to run away with him, Julia barely hesitates. Her home life is falling apart, as is her school life, and this boy has been the only one to incite any emotion inside her and she is falling for him deeply. Of course, she never realized WHERE he was taking her. She didn't quite expect to be lost to a world she knew and thrown in to another one where she finds herself at the centre of a complicated love triangle, futuristic technologies and an almost destroyed America.
To go in to any more detail would seriously ruin this great book. It had me debating whether I would choose Evan or Reece and honestly just wanted to have both them. Evan is trusting, brave, honourable and sweet and Reece is sarcastic, funny and rough around the edges...plus a genius in disguise. Julia is a heartfelt character and one I warmed to within the first couple of chapters. She is guilt-ridden, brave and broken, but she tries really hard to be the Julia she was before the accident.
I am looking forward to book 2 in this series. Reece has a deeper backstory that is only hinted at, his mother's quick 'disappearance' is suspicious and Reece believes the powerful people of his home town are behind it. Julia is stuck in a place that she doesn't belong in, in the middle of two men who love her and Evan has literally crossed a universe to find her. Something tells me things are only just beginning for these three and I am excited to see how it turns out!
on 7 September 2013
(Source: I won a digital copy of this book. Thanks to author Denise Grover Swank.)
16-year-old Julia is suffering from depression, and her life is falling to pieces following the death of her best friend Monica.
When popular boy Evan volunteers to tutor her to stop her having to transfer to the `alternative' school, she agrees, but never expects for him to seem to develop feelings for her.
Evan seems to have had a bit of a personality transplant over the previous 2 weeks though, and when police show up looking for him, Julia doesn't know what is going on. She knows that she trusts him enough to help him though.
What is going on with Evan? Why does Julia keep remembering things that never happened? And where does he want her to go with him?
I thought this was a great book, I loved the tension and suspense, and I even agonised over the love triangle!
I liked Julia. I totally got why she was so upset over her best friend's death, especially considering her part in it, and I could easily see why she'd been having such trouble concentrating in school, and finding the will to go on.
I liked the storyline in this. It was one of those books where there was so much mystery over what was going on, but just enough breadcrumbs to keep you reading, desperate to find out what was really going on. I thought the tension in this story was built up really well, and it definitely sucked me in.
There were a couple of little niggles in the plot at points, things that seemed a little unlikely, but these didn't really interrupt my enjoyment of the story.
I thought that the romance in this was really good. I know some people might have considered it a bit insta-love-esque, but the way the story then built up the background, it was obvious that it wasn't. I even agonised over the love-triangle, as much as I hate to admit it! I saw it coming, but I also could not see how she could possibly pick between the two boys - feeling almost obligated to one, whilst knowing that she loved the other - just heart-breaking!
There was a big show-down at the end, but this obviously wasn't the end of the story, so we got a bit of a `to-be-continued' rather than an outright cliff hanger. This obviously wasn't the end of Julia's story though, and I'd like to read the next one to find out what happens next!
Overall; a great sci-fi/paranormal romance.
8.5 out of 10.
I REALLY enjoyed this book. I suppose I agree with the reviewer who said the book is aimed at a younger market - but I'm in my 40s and I loved it, so don't dismiss it as being a teenager book. The 'twist' was fairly obvious from quite early onin the book, I thought, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. I was impressed with the storyline, and the characters were great. I can't wait for book 2.
on 10 June 2012
Got this as a "free" Kindle dowmload-was intrigued by the front cover! I have to say I was really hooked and read the whole book in one day-much to the dismay of my kids! I am really looking forward to the next book...........can't wait to see which direction it will go in........any idea when it's due anyone!
on 16 December 2012
Denise Grover Swank
On The Other Side #1
This book is simply brilliant, and I just couldn't put it down. The story is incredibly well written, with amazing character development. Despite the fact that it could send your head spinning with the possibilities, by the end of the book you'll become emotionally attached to Julia, Evan and Reece. I personally can't decide who should win the girl, but I'm sure it's going to be one hell of a roller-coaster of a ride.
This is the start to a phenomenal series.
on 10 February 2014
This is an amazing book which kept me on the edge of my seat. I constantly found myself asking 'what next?' It's a breath of fresh air to read a YA fantasy book which deals so beautifully with concepts such as death and loss without been stale and depressing. You can really relate to the characters, and are so glad that at the end of the day you are not the person faced with such dilemmas as they are. I can't wait until the next book. Well done Denise on writing such an enjoyable read.
on 8 January 2015
This an interesting book, but for me it is a bit science fiction if your into that sort of thing. I don't normally read those types of books. However Denise is such an interesting writer who leaves you always wanting more and always your looking for the next or closure, which you don't get because she leaves everything on hold and you waiting till the next book. Which must means she a terrific writer who transports you into the world of her books.
on 21 May 2015
Having loved the Rose Gardner series, I was looking forward to reading more books by this author. However, I am afraid to say, I didn't really enjoy this book and found it a bit boring. I managed to finish the book but won't be purchasing the next in series. The style of writing was good but I felt the book was a bit lackluster and slow. It was only towards the end it began to speed up. Still a fan of the author but this series was not for me!