As the third verse novel written by Lisa Schroeder that I’ve read, Far From You is unfortunately the weakest compared to I Heart You, You Haunt Me and Chasing Brooklyn. Similar to the latter two books where the main characters are being haunted/helped by the ghosts of their beloved, Alice also has a ghost, though one that comes in the form of a guardian angel of sorts—and oh wow, I just realized that all three books deal with the death of a beloved. Okay.
Anyway, unlike the other two that somehow retain some slight bits of ‘newness’, Far From You is unfortunately entirely clichéd and the way it’s been written does not improve it in any way at all. It pains me to write this because I do enjoy reading Schroeder’s works, but this book is one of those that contains a whole bundle of several YA tropes in one and has nothing remotely new to it at all. A main character with only one friend (lovers excluded here) who s/he later gets into an argument with, leaving her/him to eat lunch alone for some certain time? Check. Insta-love? Check. The quirky/near-perfect best friend? Check. Broken family unit(s)? Check. Adult(s) who don’t understand their kid(s)? Check. Step-parent? Check. Super amazing boyfriend who’s from some other world/species/school/race/social status/etc.? Check. Bad boy who is very loving to his lover? Check. Road trip that changes the perspective/life of the main character and whoever else who’s involved? Check. Nearly-dying but definitely survived and suddenly all the previous problems are resolved because OMG, you nearly died!? Check. Teenage angst? Check. Musically-inclined main character? Check. I can go on and on, but thinking about all those tropes just makes my head hurt. It doesn’t matter that I did cry at certain parts because hey, I always cry at those similar parts.
Also, can someone tell me what’s the point of Blaze and Claire? Tropes aside, I find their existences rather meaningless in this entire book. I’m not certain if it’s because this is a verse novel, but all the characters are flat as well. They’re your stereotypical cookie-cutter characters and they just don’t evolve in terms of complexity at all. Moreover, the plot lacks a lot here. I completed this book in under an hour and it wasn’t because it was so beguiling that I couldn’t put it down. It’s because there’s barely anything to this book—it’s like you’ve only been served the bones of your Thanksgiving Turkey and surely the average person doesn’t expect to have bones for a meal, no?