Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Title: Where It Began
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary
Release date: March 6th, 2012
Pages: 370 (e-galley)
Rating: 2 out of 5
Source: PulseIt

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 a 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.

I really thought that this was going to be a book I'd enjoy.  I loved the summary because it makes the story sound like it's full of twists and turns, but as it turns out, not everything is what it seems.  I got bored with Where It Began after the first few chapters, which mainly took place in the hospital.  It felt that everything was moving very slowly; much too slow to make me want to read more, so I took a break.  After reading two other books, I decided to come back to it, but this time, it was the same.  Honestly, I just read it to get it over with.

For one, I didn't really like any of the characters mentioned in the story.  Oh wait, maybe Huey's mom, who is mentioned twice, at most.   Other than that, they all got under my skin.  Gabby was so incredibly naive (and not the lovable kind, either) until the very end.  Once we find out what really happened, which wasn't very shocking, the story begins to pick up...and then it ends.

Though there were many things that bothered me about the story, the number one reason I gave this book 2 stars is because of Gabby.  I couldn't relate to her at all and I don't know anyone else who could.  Stampler tried to make her sound sarcastic and witty (which I usually love) but it came off as bitchy and annoying.  She brushes off the fact that Billy's a self-absorbed asshole who tries to control her just because he told her that he loved her.  Gabby wasn't strong.  She just wasn't the main character I'd hope to learn more about.

I feel like the Where It Began could have been done so much better and I do still enjoy the thought that went into the plot of the story, but it didn't live up to my expectations.  That being said, the book was just okay.  I wouldn't read it again and it definitely won't make it onto my list of books to recommend.


  1. This is the first review I've read for this book and I was actually looking forward to reading it. But to me, judging by your review, it sounds like a library read . . . it's hard when you can't connect to any character. Great and honest review!

    1. It was difficult for me to write a bad review because I hardly ever do. If you do decide to read this book, I hope it turns out to be better for you than it was for me. :)