- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Simon Pulse (March 6, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442423218
- ISBN-13: 978-1442423213
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,560,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Where It Began Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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"A terrific read! Ann Stampler puts you in Gabby's head and keeps you there until the gripping conclusion. A writer to watch!"
--Alex Flinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beastly
–Jenny Han, bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty
"The relentlessly wry and sarcastic tone of this first-person yarn instantly grabs readers’ interest and propels the story forward. Stampler paints a ruthless portrait of wealthy Los Angeles, but she finds the occasional human being there too. Readers will find much cynicism but also humor and insight into a corrupt system not necessarily confined to the rich. Clever and constantly interesting, this is as much a winner as Gabby.” –Kirkus Reviews
"Gabby is a witty and sarcastic narrator, nailing the superficiality of her exclusive high school and wealthy friends... [Readers] will eagerly anticipate the accident’s entire truth revealed, especially through its surprising and gratifying ending." --VOYA
"Stampler’s story of a girl’s obsession with a guy at the expense of all else is powerful, and Gabby’s alcohol problem, her devotion to Billy, and her overall denial are entirely believable. Gabby’s sardonic voice will draw readers into the story immediately, as Stampler delivers a searing portrayal of power, privilege, and betrayal in the hills above Los Angeles." --Publishers Weekly
"Gabby’s voice is bitter and cynical, yet compelling and heartbreaking. [R]eaders will cheer for her when she finally recognizes her own worth." bookpage.com
About the Author
Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, Rick.
This title is one of our Best of the Month in Young Adult selections for March 2012. For more on all of our editors' teen picks check out this list.
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Top customer reviews
Sigh that the Indian girl is the one with caricature-like uber-strict parents, although to be fair Gabby's other friend is a white born-again Christian with the same problem. I really liked the depiction of the stupid, frustratingly dense, but sweet and basically moral Andi and the driven Huey, who finally reveals the brutal truth to Gabby.
Since looks mean everything, Gabby's superficial mother gave her an extreme makeover (minus plastic surgery) the summer before junior year. Now Gabby is dating wealthy, popular, juvenile-delinquent Billy. But he hadn't come to visit her in the hospital since she wrecked his Beemer drunk driving. He hasn't even called. She wrecked her face too, much to her mother's chagrin. Her father doesn't say much, he's too busy drinking. When Billy finally calls, he says she has to stick to the story. And they can't be seen together according to his probation officer. A traumatic closed brain injury leaves her unable to remember anything about the accident. Gabby will do anything to protect Billy, and keep him in her life. Almost anything.
Ann Redisch Stampler gave Gabby a unique voice, one of an insecure girl fighting the urges to be a stalker-girlfriend, because she's so afraid of losing him. She's so afraid she constantly puts herself second or third or fourth because of what she thinks is love. This isn't surprising, considering her parents straight out of the cliché catalog of one dimensional characters. Although none of the characters had many layers Gabby did have positive and negative characteristics. I wish she had recognized her drinking problem, but I can see why she didn't considering Billy, her parents and their alcohol issues.
The resolution bothered me. It was too easy and the "consequences" of the crimes didn't reflect the severity of what transpired. The teenage drinking culture was also never addressed. Stampler should have done better research on the lingering effects of brain injury, that would have added depth and realism to the story. WHERE IT BEGAN shined showing a girl so dependent on her boyfriend for her sense of self that she almost lost herself in the process.
Most importantly, I truly did enjoy WHERE IT BEGAN. I love Stampler's writing and I was glued to this imperfect story.
THEMES: drinking and driving, popularity, dating, brain injury, car accident recovery, friendship
Most recent customer reviews
This book is a little hard to summarize because it is not a typical chronological story line.Read more