I’m in one of my “I’d have let my daughter read this when she was 15 or 16, but I’m also one of those parents that shared books with my child (we would read the same titles) to discuss them. What started as a simple ‘read together’ of the Tamora Pierce Lioness series continued through the classics, through more popular titles in high school and even to a list that I could just pick from and send for holidays.
Across the Distance
This debut offering from Marie Meyer is surprisingly well-crafted with solid voices, issues and a nice balance that displays some angst without huge dollops of drama. Across the Distance is about surviving loss and change only to realize that sometimes the friend who was there in the hard times is JUST what you need for now.
Jillian and Griffin have been friends for years: snippets of their lives as children are sprinkled through the story. Now, Jill is away at university and Griff’s band is finally making a splash: Jill’s not sure that she can, or wants to handle yet another loss.
With several issues brought forward including depression, survivor guilt, self-harm and the attacks of 9-11 that took Jill’s parents, there are plenty of issues that could be quagmires for drama, overreach and angst. But Meyer adds these details in with sensitivity, never quite allowing them to be THE defining character traits, but pieces in the larger puzzle that is a person. Interactions and responses are beautifully drawn and develop with a natural feel, you want Jill to find some happiness and a sense of belonging, and it is the progression and growth that she shows that make her a standout.
Jill’s sister Jennifer and their trying relationship goes through changes and hits roadblocks as well, and while they never really find the closeness that I believe they both desire, they are taking steps to work toward those moments, even as Jennifer has her own trials to face. Additionally, Meyer uses the new friendships with Chandra and Sarah to enhance the story, thankfully free from the frenemy sort of ‘support’ that is half-hearted at best, detrimental at worst.
But just when the story could have stood as just Jill’s and her trials and struggles, we have Griff. As Jill’s protector and stalwart friend for years, the gradual reveal of his feelings for her, and the sweetness to which their friendship moved through tentative flirtation through a solidly HEA worthy romance was presented and grew organically and solidly. In some respects, this is a second chance at redefining a life, and making the best of the now, despite what ailed you in the past. Jill’s story is a hopeful and beautiful one, showing that the past will always have an effect on your future, but it needn’t define it, if you are brave enough and willing to take a chance.
A story that dances on the NA line of a YA read, it was a fabulous debut and well worth the time to read.
Title: Across the Distance
Author: Marie Meyer
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Teen Reads
Published by: Forever
Published on: 5 May 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
There’s a drawer I never open. It holds a picture I never look at. It reminds me of a day I hate to remember, but I’ll never forget.
I’d give anything to be like the other girls on campus. Going to parties, flirting with boys, planning for a future. But that’s not me. And hasn’t been since the day my parents died. The only thing that got me through was Griffin. Even though I didn’t have my family, I always had him. Only, now I’m not so sure I do.
It’s not just the eleven hundred miles separating us now that I’m at college. And it’s more than his band finally taking off, and all the gigs and girls suddenly demanding his time. It’s like everything is different—the way we talk, the way we text . . . the way he looks at me and the way his looks make me feel.
Griffin has been the only good thing in my life since that horrific day. I can feel our friendship slipping away—and I’m terrified of what will be left in its place…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.