Mar 1, 2012

Review: Where It Began by Anne Redisch Stampler

Title: Where It Began
Author: Anne Redisch Stampler
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 3.6.2012
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B

Summary (from Goodreads):
Gabby lived under the radar until her makeover. Way under. But when she started her senior year as a blonder, better-dressed version of herself, she struck gold: Billy Nash believed she was a the flawless girl she was pretending to be. The next eight months with Billy were bliss...Until the night Gabby woke up on the ground next to the remains of his BMW without a single memory of how she got there.

And Billy's nowhere to be found.

All Gabby wants is to make everything perfect again. But getting her life back isn't difficult, it's impossible. Because nothing is the same, and Gabby's beginning to realize she's missed more than a few danger signs along the way.

It's time for Gabby to face the truth, even if it means everything changes.

Especially if it means everything changes.

I love books that begin with a heavy dose of mystery. Anne Redisch Stampler does a fantastic job of throwing the reader in the deep end of the pool, but not drowning them. I love how she begins Where It Began, and the way she builds up the plot throughout the story.

Reading Gabby waking up was a lot like being Gabby. You have no idea who this girl is, where she’s from, or what the heck landed her in the hospital. The more I read about Gabby, the more I just came to love her. I wanted to protect her, but I also wanted to shake her at times. There were a few moments I felt she was being deliberately oblivious. It irritated me to a certain degree, but there’s just this likeability to the character I couldn’t escape.

There were only two negatives to this book: The first is that the writing sometimes lagged in places. I found myself skimming pages to see when things would pick back up. The other was a bit more personal in that I hate to be kept waiting too long for the answers. This book starts off intentionally confusing and broken as Gabby struggles to piece things back together, but as a reader I tend to get bored if I don’t get a conclusion in a timely manner. I felt there were places where the plot could have been sped up a bit.

This is a good contemporary novel, and I’m not sorry I invested the time reading it. I’m curious to see what Stampler will write next. I love her style and the way she pieces words together. Some people have a gift I call “sentence art” meaning they can put words together to create a masterpiece, and I felt that with Stampler’s writing.


  1. Great review! I've happened upon this book on several blogs lately but wasn't sure if I'd like it. After reading you're review I'll definitely be grabbing a copy. :)

  2. First off, I love "sentence art", that's brilliant! I like a contemp with a good mystery, too, and this one seems like a worthwhile read. I've heard a few people say it was slow at times, but I'm still pretty excited to read it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :0)

  3. Gabby has a lot to deal with. Excellent review

  4. Okay so I was a little hesitant to pick up this book but after reading your review, I'll definitely check it out. Awesome review :D

  5. I'm not familiar with this book. I will definitely be looking for it. I think my daughter would enjoy it.

  6. Thanks for the review :) I've heard some mixed things about this book but it seems worth checking out.

  7. Great review! I really want to read this book! The negative points you brought up are things that can bother me in books but I hope it won't be too much of a problem because the positives sound really good! :)

  8. Huh. I haven't heard of this author or book that I recall, yet the blurb sounds familiar. I may have come across it at one point. I don't get a lot of YA reads and have kids entering this genre age group. Thanks for the review. I will check this one out. :)

  9. This book is new to me, too - and I think I'll add it to my TBR list, as I really enjoy these makeover/re-invented story lines. Thanks for an enjoyable review :D

  10. Great Review! I really want to read this book!


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