Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Where It Began

Good Reads Summary
Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

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.

Especially if it means everything changes.

My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It started interestingly enough with a sense of confusion and not knowing that was conveyed quite effectively. Except the trip down memory lane was not a pleasant one because in the end all I felt was sorry for this girl who's a bit too used to describing herself as “sub regular.” And lost memory or not, her story was funny~ just not in a funny ha ha way. Her running commentary on being sub-regular and being the moon to Billy’s earth was in simple terms: off putting and quite disappointing. Yet, I finished this, holding (clinging?) to the hope that she’d realize how off she sounded when she voiced what little she thought of herself.

Point one. Props on being normal girl, non AP/academically inclined girl. Props on being sort-of funny and negative. But, and this important: the problem was how the negativity was always directed at her.  She saw nothing good in herself. And from her POV, it seemed like her family was of no help there either. Because aside from being self-directed, the negativity seemed to come from her parents as well.  And if Gabby’s thoughts were to be believed, I was half a mind to go,   Father, meet daughter, not prized horse to wow others over. Mother, meet daughter; she not Barbie.  Get over yourselves and help her! And by ‘help her,’ I don’t mean those vats of make up!  Now, me trying to be less than negative would concede to the fact that maybe, just maybe, her parents might have been saying that she had to make do with what she had. BUT this reverts back to the problem that she didn’t think she had anything going for her! Anyway, the consequence? A girl who refers to herself as “sub-regular” time and again. And, a consequence of that? Me, coming to loathe said term.

Point one and half. Like I said, the first time she made a funny at her own expense, well, it was (funny.) But the next time and the next time and the next time after that? Not so much! If her observations started out as funny- scathingly so,  the repeated references on how non- smart she thought herself or how unappealing she found her looks all simply succeeded in frustrating me. My ‘ha- ha’s’ devolved in to a ‘Please, stop. It’s sad; you’re sad.’

Point two. Props on being aware how utterly sad you actually are, Gabby.  She was all “Billy this and Billy that.”  Again, it was so sad and so utterly frustrating how a good portion of Where it Began was all about her wanting him… because she saw him as the best thing there was about her. She saw herself as an extension of him (and so it seemed, did everyone else!

Point three. Recall how I praised that sense of confusion and not knowing effectively conveyed at book’s open? Well, come the end, I was almost wishing those feelings back. Then at least, this picture of self deprecating girl would not be in my mind. This girl who thought all she had going for her was a hot boyfriend. She’s sad and frustrating. And it's too bad that the good ended to soon because soon all that was what was revealed was a girl I felt too sorry for to even like. No wonder everyone (and I kid you not, when I say, ‘everyone’ was thinking what they were.)

But wait! There is a reason (or two) for those stars you see up there. Namely... Thank you, God Huey! When everyone all could not, it was the one who stood apart who managed to say what was on everyone's mind... then sort of saves the day. Though, dear me, I do wish she’d saved it herself. So, there’s Huey to consider. Plus that one moment that I was in total agreement somewhere maybe two or three pages to the close, with this accurate exchange of,

Gabby: “I am so lame.”

Lisa: “Totally pathetic.”

And my parting shot is best conveyed in Filipino: Ang tanga naman ng batang ito. Nakakainis.

Thank you S&S Galley Grab.

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