Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Expected Publication: March 6th, 2012
Source: Received from author
Format: eARC
Pages: 369
Goodreads Summary:
Sometimes the end is just the beginning.
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 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.

My Rating: 5.0 / 5

First thoughts:
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2012 and wow, it definitely didn't disappoint. It's one of those books that you expect to be good, but that turn out to be amazing. I fell in love with Ann Redisch Stampler's style of writing, her witty and slightly obsessive main character and the story she created. I think I can already say that Where It Began is one of my favorite books of 2012.

More detailed:
Where It Began is everything I expected to be, and more. Don't let the pretty cover fool you and let me tell you that it's definitely not as light-hearted as it might seem to be. This novel deals with more than just one heavy topic - teen insecurities, alcoholism, crime and betrayal. And while I usually prefer to steer clear of heavy reads, I completely fell in love with this one.

One of the reasons for this is probably the amazing style of writing. The story is told from Gabby's point of view and she has a very unique and refreshing voice: she's witty, humorous and amazingly sarcastic. The mixture of this almost light-hearted narration and the serious subject matter creates a wonderful contrast that made it impossible to stop reading Where It Began.

Gabby has to endure a lot of awful things. Quite soon I was afraid that certain people, who seem to be helpful, are actually having their own agenda, which makes the whole situation even more complicated than it already is. I wanted to slap many characters and, at times, I wanted to shake Gabby and tell her to wake up and see the obvious, which turned Where It Began into a very emotional read for me.

I was told that certain things will be different in the finished version and I can't wait to find out how that will turn out. Even though I would have ordered a finished copy of Where It Began even without any changes, I'm really looking forward to re-read it, hopefully soon, and see what's different. 

All in all, Where It Began is an amazing contemporary debut novel that you should at least add to your to-read lists or even pre-order immediately. Even though I already expected it to be a good novel, I was completely surprised by its awesomeness, which makes it deserve a place on my list of favorite books.

Debut Author Challenge 2012
YA Contemporary Challenge 2012

Interesting links:

Ann Redisch Stampler online:
Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Where It Began online:
Goodreads | Amazon | TBD
Read the first chapters

Have you already read Where It Began? What did you think about it?
Do you plan to read it?


  1. Wow, I wasn't expecting for it to be that good! I think I really have to buy it once it comes out :) Lately I've found myself enjoying contemporaries more and more, and I think this one will be a perfect candidate.

    Great review! :)

  2. I can't wait to read this one & your review has a huge part of that now.(:
    Have a good weekend!

  3. Everyone seems to have loved this. I hope I get to read it soon :) Great review!

  4. You had me curious about this one earlier this week and I can definitely say you've now made it even worse! I'm super intrigued by it and I'm interested to see how the story really is, since it does sound like it would be on the more light-hearted side. :) Great review!

  5. I just learned that she's doing a book tour in Los Angeles in April :) With your glowing review, I'm actually thinking about going now!

  6. Great review! I just started reading my ARC for this book yesterday and I'm loving it so far!!! The concept is very unique and quite serious but the author does a fabulous job adding humour and such to keep it entertaining!


  7. Where It Began is one of my most anticipated books of 2012, too! I'm currently reading and enjoying it so far. Great review, can't wait to dive deeper into the story:)

  8. I couldn't decide if I wanted to read this one but now I'm sold. Adding it to my TBR right now.

  9. Have this one on my shelf and I hope to get to it super soon. It sounds great and you make it sound even more amazing. Plus, Gabby sounds like a fantastic character. Love this review!

  10. This book looks so good, it's been on my wishlist since I first saw the cover a while back. I can't wait to get my hands on it. Thanks for reviewing, it only makes me want it that much more. :)


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