Here So Far Away

Here So Far Away

Award-winning author Hadley Dyer’s YA debut is smart, snarky, and emotionally gripping, about a rebellious cop’s daughter who falls in love with an older man, loses her best friend, and battles depression, all while trying to survive her last year of high school. Feisty and fearless George Warren (given name: Frances, but no one calls her that) has never let life get too...

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Title:Here So Far Away
Author:Hadley Dyer
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Here So Far Away Reviews

  • Julie

    oh my heart and so many changes during senior year and in 1992 to 1993. I was a senior back in 1992. older man and a youth in love. loved the friends. loved Rupert

  • Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)

    I've

    I've been trying to figure out what to say, but this one is hard. I was so invested in George's life and how her decisions rippled out and impacted the people around her. She wasn't selfish or insecure, but seemed to be very honest with herself and her thoughts. At the beginning of the book she's full of confidence, but soon learns that you can be lonely even when you're surrounded by people.

    deals with a lot of tough topics. I don't think they were over-the-top and obvious, but the writing was delicate and deliberate. There's an old man struggling to come to terms with his age and not being able to do the things he once did. We have an irresponsible and unadvisable relationship. A father feeling like he's not up to the challenge of being the man

    . A brother struggling to take on more responsibility and dealing with his fears. A mom that feels smothered and underappreciated. A group of friends that are slowly drifting and discovering that they might not want what they've always wanted. A man that wants what he can't have, but still tries to do the right thing. Also, a girl that doesn't know how to mend a broken fence, who does things she wouldn't normally do, and eventually stops being able to deal with reality.

    I don't know how Hadley Dyer was able to squeeze so many important issues into so few pages, but she does it incredibly well. My heart beats for these people. I wanted to comfort them when they were sad, cry when the world punched them in the face, and rage when everything comes crashing down. I know that people have to learn to live with their mistakes, and the things that no one has any control over, but that doesn't mean any of it is easy. Living with lies and half-truths doesn't just hurt one person, and making a decision for someone else doesn't give them strength or courage.

    My one disappointment is that there wasn't more. I wanted to see the person George became. I wanted to know what happened to her friends and family. Rupert. Bobby.

    is filled with witty dialogue that made me laugh-out-loud, and vibrant details that really brought a small valley to life. The story and the characters are so authentic and will forever be real to me.

    I'm still internally crying about the pig and the rock (two completely different things). Life is full of mistakes and regret, but it's how we choose to deal with those two things that help define who we are. Friendships don't always last forever, love is incredibly hard, and people will continue to surprise us.

  • Brenda Ayala

    George is probably the first ever YA protagonist that I’ve been able to connect with. She’s almost ten years younger than me at the beginning of the novel, but I still remember what it was like to be a teenager and I am amazed that I finally found a character to connect with.

    George is called the Enforcer in her group of friends, because she’s the muscle. Nothing fazes her; some boys call her a slut because she had sex, a girl gets catty because she’s upset her boyfriend gives George attention. T

    George is probably the first ever YA protagonist that I’ve been able to connect with. She’s almost ten years younger than me at the beginning of the novel, but I still remember what it was like to be a teenager and I am amazed that I finally found a character to connect with.

    George is called the Enforcer in her group of friends, because she’s the muscle. Nothing fazes her; some boys call her a slut because she had sex, a girl gets catty because she’s upset her boyfriend gives George attention. These are things that would have broken any other protagonist and made her get all humiliated and bright red in the face, and then sullenly hide somewhere. Not George. She kept her head high, dismissed them as unimportant, and moved on with her life.

    My current friends call me BrenDad, because I am no-nonsense when it comes to safety or bullying. A guy is trying to grab my friend’s ass, or someone is trying to fight our friend, or a friend is just too drunk and wanders away. I won’t stand for it, and my friends love me for it but also like to tell me I’m scary as hell sometimes. George seemed precisely how I was at 16. Faking the confidence until I actually had it, not being swayed by cattiness or bullying. I wish this girl was real (although the timeline of the book would dictate that she be several years older than me).

    I think the ending with George and Francis was a little bit too neat, tied up in a pretty bow. Of COURSE it ended that way, because that’s the cleanest ending we could have hoped for. George has royally screwed up in some departments, too, which made me like her less. She wouldn’t just suck it up and apologize to Lisa for what she said, and it made her age that much more obvious. No one fights quite like a teenage girl can, and she seemed very young during that whole exchange.

    George reminded me of my younger days, I (surprisingly) enjoyed the romance aspect, and I loved that this was a group of kids who smoked weed sometimes and drank. Not all of us were angels growing up, okay!? Just because I love books doesn’t mean I don’t go out and do raucous things! The story was a tiny bit flimsy—okay, a lot flimsy—but I enjoyed George so much that it offset all the negatives.

  • Caitlin

    This book is at once a coming of age story, and a story of forbidden romance. The book, as a result, is full of drama, emotional scenes, and romance. I enjoyed seeing a fairly accurate representation of high school friendships and petty drama, though sometimes it felt a little dry. You know, girls fighting over a boy, a boy being a jerk, that kind of thing.

    I mos

    This book is at once a coming of age story, and a story of forbidden romance. The book, as a result, is full of drama, emotional scenes, and romance. I enjoyed seeing a fairly accurate representation of high school friendships and petty drama, though sometimes it felt a little dry. You know, girls fighting over a boy, a boy being a jerk, that kind of thing.

    I mostly enjoyed reading about George and her family. Their dynamic is so, so realistic. I also saw some of my own family reflected in it - my dad was sick when I was about to go to university and it put a lot of strain on the family. We see her dad struggle with his new reality and that he may not be able to go back to the police force. That’s a majour lifestyle change not only for him but also for his family. I appreciated how it was handled. He withdraws, he’s angry, he over-eats. Her mom has her own growth which I appreciated. Her brother is sweet.

    The romance itself is a tricky topic. Without spoiling anything, the way they initially get together isn’t the greatest, and that doesn’t help the romance

    . Don’t get me wrong, they have their share of sweet and steamy scenes which I liked. But the romance was not healthy for either of them, and they knew it. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t hoping for things to workout for them, though. The characters are crafted as so human: flawed, quirky, lonely.

    The family dynamic and the romance is what made me so hooked to the book. The ending is so emotional, and has a twist I didn’t see coming. I’d just like to blame Dyer for needing kleenex nearby.

    is a quick read, though not without its faults. Overall, while I had some issues with the romance, the story is so human and the book is easy to fall into.

  • Girl Well Read

    A special thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    I don't like to give negative reviews, especially to a Canadian author. My mother also taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all. But here is my dilemma...as a reviewer, I am obligated to provide feedback.

    So here goes...I couldn't relate to the main character, George, at all. The dialogue was trite, and the story itself was simply not engaging and

    A special thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    I don't like to give negative reviews, especially to a Canadian author. My mother also taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all. But here is my dilemma...as a reviewer, I am obligated to provide feedback.

    So here goes...I couldn't relate to the main character, George, at all. The dialogue was trite, and the story itself was simply not engaging and at times bordered on ridiculousness. For me, it was a struggle to even finish.

    Dyer really needs to up her game in this genre. There are so many outstanding YA novels out there that are deserving of your time. Here are some of the ones that have left me completely gutted and honoured to have read them: The Hate U Give, All the Bright Places, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, A List of Cages, One Half From the East, and Andrew Smith's Winger and Stand-Off.

    That being said, Dyer is a champion of literacy here in Canada, and I admire her efforts and contributions to the children's book industry.

  • Jasprit

    Lately I've been going into books without re-reading the summary of the book, I've been finding that I've been able to get into a book much more this way, and I like the process of figuring things out as they come along. So, you could say I was intrigued with the unravelling of George's life in Here So Far Away, from her dad having his leg amputated and not sure if he could go back to his job as a police sergeant, to George and her friends drifting away from what used to be a tight knit friendsh

    Lately I've been going into books without re-reading the summary of the book, I've been finding that I've been able to get into a book much more this way, and I like the process of figuring things out as they come along. So, you could say I was intrigued with the unravelling of George's life in Here So Far Away, from her dad having his leg amputated and not sure if he could go back to his job as a police sergeant, to George and her friends drifting away from what used to be a tight knit friendship and to her falling for someone she never expected. It was a lot for George to deal with especially as she didn't really feel that she had anyone she could confide in with her feelings for this guy, and to top it off, when things came into light later on, it was clear that George really couldn't tell anyone with both of them potentially getting into trouble. The time spent with this romantic interest, I really enjoyed, I know people may question how George could fall so hard and fast for him, but for me both of their feelings appeared truly genuine. Also with the obstacles in the way, it would seem the right thing to do would be to break things off, but despite attempting to, it wasn't always possible. One of the reasons for my low rating for this book, is that I felt as if I didn't really get the emotional depth and impact from the story that I would have expected. Several major things happened in George's life, one which even though I didn't see coming, I felt as if I wasn't left as reeling as I would have expected, which is a real shame as I felt this book had the potential to be a great read for me. This aside, I'm sure other readers will go on and enjoy this book a lot more than I did.

  • Kira

    *received an ARC for review*

    Maybe I'm jaded, but I'm pretty over whiny high school girls and the feelings they have. Most of this book was about 17 year old George (the main girl) either drinking, being rebellious, or fighting with her friends. When she wasn't doing that, she was falling in love with *gasp* a 29 year old musician. I don't know, I just wasn't impressed.

  • Teenage Reads

    Plot:

    Maybe when Sid left things were going to be different no matter what. August of 1992, Sid moved with his parents’ to Vancouver, leaving the valley, and his friend group since grade seven, behind. For Frances, who goes by her middle name George, this was the beginning of the end. Planning on partying her way through her senior year, her remaining friend group of Bill, Natalie, and Lisa (whom she was closest too), and then off to Aurora University in the city. As for George, anywhere in life

    Plot:

    Maybe when Sid left things were going to be different no matter what. August of 1992, Sid moved with his parents’ to Vancouver, leaving the valley, and his friend group since grade seven, behind. For Frances, who goes by her middle name George, this was the beginning of the end. Planning on partying her way through her senior year, her remaining friend group of Bill, Natalie, and Lisa (whom she was closest too), and then off to Aurora University in the city. As for George, anywhere in life was better than the valley. During her lighthouse shift, a stranger came by looking for a pig that ran away. Latching onto him in an impromptu kiss, George knew whoever this stranger was, she needs to see him again. Leading him on that she was twenty, attending the local university, in which the stranger said maybe he would see her again at the local bar. Missing out of the second shack party, she goes to the bar to find her “Come from Away” stranger, whose real name is Francis McAdams. Hitting it off straight away, they stayed until last call, and then an early morning walks on the beach, with the feeling being mutual: “I’d still want to stay up all night talking to you” (137). Then the drama starts. With her father, a RCMP sergeant (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) out on leave due to having to amputate his foot, the station had to hire in outside help in the name of Francis McAdams. Greeting the new office for lunch, Francis sat at George’s family table, and realize the truth about her. Wanted to break off their relationship right there, Francis almost succeeded in getting George out of his life. After all, whatever went down between them, cannot happen. With a new job in a small town, his career will be over if they found out that he, age twenty-nine, hooked up with a seventeen year-old. Yet, George was not done with him that easily. The girl every boy wanted, who thought she was above love, was falling fast for a man that no one thought she could have. With drama brewing between her and Lisa, after Lisa told boyfriend Keith, who told everyone in the school, how much of a slut George is, George spends more time hiding out in abandon parking lots with Francis, and less time with her friends. With the drama of her life spinning out of control, George, whom the boys call the Enforcer of the group, may need her own protector, to protect her from herself.

    Thoughts:

    The saying love is love, is true in many cases. But age? That is where Hadley Dyer draws her line. Some will read this book and think about this fantastic Romeo and Juliet storyline, where Francis and George are in love and cannot tell anyone. Others (like me) first response will be “ew”, second will be “Oh George, sweetie, what are you doing?”, and so on through the rest of the story. Dyer clearly did not make Francis follow the “divide your age, plus seven, and that is the youngest you can date.” Because even when George pretended to be twenty (legal drinking age in Canada is 19), it was still crossing the line. Besides the yucky romance, the story was a typical teen drama as George is faced with family issues, friend fight, and the fact she desperately wants to get away from this small town. The ending was visible a mile away, yet Dyer still manages to make you feel the impacts of it like you did not see it coming. This book gives off the stereotypical young adult novel vibe, as it is Dyer’s first young adult novel. This book is a perfect summer read, and one that makes you glad you are not part of George’s life.

  • Sara (sarabara081)

    DNF around 23% in. I just can't connect with the characters or story, which is a huge bummer since it has an interesting premise.

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