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on January 11, 2009
FAR FROM YOU
LISA SCHROEDER
Contemporary YA
Simon Pulse

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

Alice's life is a mess, even years after the death of her beloved mother due to cancer. She is continually searching for a way to be close to her mom, her angel, because she can't deal with her father's remarriage. All Alice has left is her best friend Claire, her boyfriend Blaze, her faith, and her music. She seems to be just an afterthought to everyone else.

Thanksgiving break comes, and Alice is forced to spend that time with her stepmom's family. She can't even count on Claire anymore since they had a fight, her father is as distant as ever, and miles separate her from Blaze. Alice is as sullen as ever. But when she, her stepmother, and her newborn baby sister are trapped in a ferocious snowstorm, Alice has to confront all her pent up anger and frustration. It's a fight for life and for love that will change Alice's world forever.

FAR FROM YOU is a beautiful story, written in verse, about love and loss. Through each poem and song, it is easy to understand Alice and feel her pain. Readers will be able to relate to Alice's feeling of invisibility within her own family, and Schroeder creates this sympathy by writing in a style that evokes so much emotion. Each poem goes deep into Alice's heart, and I really enjoyed reading from her perspective, especially her songs. There is not much drama or action in this book despite the life threatening storm; instead, FAR FROM YOU focuses on emotion and relationships, especially with family. FAR FROM YOU is a very fast read, disappointingly so, but it is one that will give readers a sense of hope and belief in the power of love.

Lisa Schroeder has written one other novel in verse, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME. She is a member of Author2Author, an online writers' blog, and can also be visited online at her website:[...]
Rachael Stein
Enchanting Reviews
January 2009
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on October 7, 2015
I loved this book with every bone in my whole body. It was compassionate, touching, suspenseful, and it showed that you have to move on when something bad happens, but never forget memories. It also shows that you need to accept what happened, talk about it, and always look back and remember that was sad, but you have so many things to be happy about if you just open up and accept life and know it will go on.
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on April 18, 2011
Alice's mom died of cancer years ago and her father remarried. She dislikes her stepmom and doesn't feel close to her newborn half-sister. She finds solace in writing songs and being with her boyfriend. When she's stuck in a car with her stepmom and half-sister during a snowstorm, Alice reevaluates her life and her rocky relationships with others. When the snowstorm worsens and hours turn into days Alice feels the sensation of someone or something, perhaps a guardian angel, watching over her.

I was bawling by the end of this book--yes I'm a crier, but only if a book is awesome and beautiful and sad. FAR FROM YOU is a verse novel and goes by quickly, but in fewer words than a prose novel the author packed in so much emotion that I marveled at her style.
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on June 2, 2010
Confessions of a Book-a-holic
[...]

This story is about a young girl names Alice, you kind of get the hint that it might have some remincents themes that remind you have Alice in Wonderland. It kind of does, but not like you would think.

This book is the first one I have read by Lisa Schroeder, and probably the only one I would read of hers, not because lack of talent, this book was excellent. Personally, I'm just not of fan of books written in the form of poetry. Honestly I wouldn't have bought it if I had know. But I saw it on amazon, went to borders with my coupon and scored it I think like 3 books, cause I got five dollars off.

When you first meet Alice, you see she has a boyfriends who is awesome. She is still grieving for her mom, although everyone around her including her father has moved on from the subject. Her father, though he deeply misser her mom, has remarried--and has concieved another child with his new wife. Alice is jealous of this, and she takes it out by refusing to be apart of the family. Writing songs for her church, and spending time with her understanding boyfriend. As the story goes in, you see that her gried for losing her mom has consumed her life, and has made her shun out things that she shouldl be apart of. You automatically thinks she's a but selfish, and that she should have already learned better coping meckanisms. Her boyfriend is the only one who seems to not be angry with her, although even he likes her step-mom. She has a falling out with a friend, and then after that she is forced to go on a trip with her family to visit her stepmoms parents. She feels like an outkast only because she makes herself once. Then her and her step mom and the baby get stranded in the snow, after getting lost. They are there for weeks, and in order for them to be saved someone has to go and find help, battling the snow. During the book she mentions shadows and the feeling of someone watching her, and you start to understand it is the presence of her mother. Alice is left with her half sister, while her step mom goes to try and save them. When it gets to this part its really emotional, and all her built in aggression comes out, and she starts to see the bigger picture, the things she missed while closing up, and how she should change.

You have to read the book to figure if they survive or not! Wink, wink
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on June 11, 2014
I've been reading Schroeder's novels since her debut of I Heart You, You Haunt Me. I really like verse novels, and hers are no exception. However, I was a little disappointed with this one.

I go into her novels with high expectations. She's a great writer, and this novel shows that, don't get me wrong. I just feel like you don't get to know the character Alice very well. She is the main character and you are taken through her very scary adventure during this novel, but I never really felt like I got to know her very well, and I never felt like I connected with her. This was my main problem with this novel.

Besides that, this was a good book. It is one that makes you think. If you were in Alice's situation, what would you do? What choices would you make? What would you do differently? I was thinking all these questions as I read this book.

It's also a tearjerker. Be sure to have those tissues ready. It's such a whirlwind of emotion, which I think the verse just brings out more. There's so many feelings in this novel, and Schroeder does a great job of bring them out.

Overall, if I felt like I had connected with Alice more and that I got to know her better, I would've loved this novel. Because I didn't feel that way, it was just an okay novel, but still one to pick up and read.
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on July 20, 2009
This book is a lovely story about a girl trying to overcome the immense pain of losing her mother and her sudden gain of a new step-mom and baby sister. I think this book is beautifully written and the story is so powerful. I love this book in terms that words can't describe how much this book meant to me and how much it helped me to heal the loss of my grandmother. Lisa Schroeder is definitely an author who writes stories deep from her heart.
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on March 4, 2009
Gold Star Award Winner!

Alice's mother died of cancer years ago. Everyone else has moved on. Her father has remarried and is expecting a new baby, but Alice continues to mourn, finding solace in songwriting, attending services, and performing at her mother's old church with best friend/musical soul mate, Claire. And with spending time with her boyfriend, Blaze.

Nothing can shake Alice from her grief - from the birth of a baby sister, Ivy; to the progression of her relationship with Blaze; to her ups and downs with Claire.

It is only when she, Victoria, and Ivy are caught on the road during a freak snow storm that Alice begins to regain her balance and consider the possibility that her mother is closer than she ever imagined.

Author Lisa Schroeder's decision to tell this story entirely in verse is deceptively simple, but the effectiveness of this type of narration quickly becomes clear - cutting through the excess of more straightforward prose to the raw center of Alice's emotional turmoil.

Despite the story being told from a single character's perspective, Ms. Schroeder still manages to drop subtle hints (i.e., her father's pained silence, Blaze's easy interaction with the stepmother his girlfriend has written off, their efforts to remind Alice that they're a family) that let readers know Alice's perspective might be somewhat biased.

It's rare to find a book that moves me to tears, but FAR FROM YOU touched my heart, making it an emotional journey worth taking.

Reviewed by: Cat
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VINE VOICEon February 6, 2009
For years, Alice hasn't been fully living. Ever since she lost her mother to cancer, she has immersed herself in her morose music, has been preoccupied with her boyfriend, and refuses to connect with her stepmother, Victoria. But this becomes harder for her to do when Victoria has a baby, Ivy, and Alice is left with overwhelming feelings of resentment and sorrow. When Victoria, Alice, and newborn Ivy and trapped in a deadly snowstorm and their situation goes from bad to deadly, Alice will discover new perspective and find that maybe her mother really isn't as far from her as she thought.

Far From You is a beautifully written and artfully arranged novel made up of free-verse poems that range from humorous to heartrending to contemplative. The plot moves quickly, and the poems are oftentimes quite short, but the beautiful thing about Far From You is that although it is not very long, it is brimming with emotion. Alice's journey to reconciliation with her mother's death and the fact that her father has found a way to move on is beautiful and touching, and the circumstances surrounding that journey are suspenseful. Lisa Schroeder has created a lyrical and uplifting tale of understanding, love and family.
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on June 19, 2009
Alice's mother died of cancer years ago. However, she has yet to move on. Things worsen when her father remarries, and her half-sister, Ivy, is born. Of course, Alice has a few things in her life: her wonderful boyfriend Blaze, her best friend Claire, her music, and most importantly, her faith.

However, one day over Thanksgiving Break, Alice, Ivy, and her stepmom become trapped in a snowstorm. Now Alice must deal with issues she has long avoided and wait for her angel to save her...

I enjoyed Far From You. The greatest strength of novel is that it is written in verse. I don't normally read books in verse, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I am pleased to say I was not disappointed. Schroeder's writing is engaging, this novel definitely makes me believe in the phrase, "Less is more." I am now more interested in reading Lisa Schroeder's other work I Heart You, You Haunt Me.

The only real criticism of Far From You I have is the cast of characters. I felt that they were underdeveloped. After I finished reading the book, I realized that I knew very little about Blaze, Claire, or even Alice, but this is not something that should detract anyone from the novel. It is worth reading.
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VINE VOICEon March 15, 2010
Once again Lisa Schroeder has blew me away. I loved Chasing Brooklyn and I Heart You, You Haunt Me but I honestly think I loved this one even more than those two!! In this book we get the story of Alice. Her mother died when she was a child and now her dad is remarried with a replacement child on the way. Alice resents her step-mother and her new half-sister but when a snowstorm traps the three of them alone in the middle of no where, she must come to terms with her problems or they just might not make it out.

I'm not going to say that I was shocked that I could love a verse novel so much. I'm not going to say that it surprised me how easily I connected with these characters. Because it didn't. After reading Lisa's other two books, I knew this one would be great. I wasn't wrong.
I was sucked into Alice's story instantly. I loved her relationship with Blaze but unlike Schroeder's other books, that relationship takes a backseat to Alice's family. I loved the journey we took with Alice. I just plain loved this book!

If you have any doubts about reading one of Lisa's books please put them aside and read just one of her books. I know if you read one you will read them all!
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