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Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving and lacking a single memory of the accident that landed her there. What she can remember, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the accident.

As she takes us through her transformation from invisible girl to on-trend Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby herself does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why is Gabby left alone to take the fall?

Putting the pieces together will take every ounce of Gabby's strength. As she peels back the layers of her life, she begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.

Goodreads Summary

How far would you go to cover for a friend?  Would you allow your reputation to be torn to tatters?  Gabby is the main character of this book.  She doesn’t make the best choices, she is a fairly good student, and she has a boyfriend and friends.  Overall, Gabby is a normal, everyday teenage girl.  One wouldn’t think that underage drinking, suspensions from school, therapy sessions, etc… could happen to a normal, everyday girl. 

One bad decision can lead to a lifetime of regret.  For Gabby, this slightly clich├ęd statement turns out to be true.  She is left with only her most loyal friends, her supposed boyfriend can only talk to her in secret, and her mother doesn’t appear to believe a word she says.  Gabby is a sympathetic character, the reader will be rooting for her throughout the novel.  Gabby can be a little hardheaded, but she is also loyal to a fault, honest for the most part, and likable.  The secondary characters in the book will affect different readers in different ways.  Some of the secondary characters are in the wrong place at the wrong time, others simply make bad decisions, while still others seem to only manipulate the ones they call friends. 

The book was a page-turner; a reader will likely finish this sordid story in less than a few days.  The plot is memorable, the characters are hard to forget, and the ending is unexpected.  This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers, especially those who enjoy Gossip Girl and/or Pretty Little Liars.
4 Stars


  1. roro said...:

    i so hope i read it son
    tnx 4 reviewing

  1. This book sounds intriguing. I hope I can read it soon! I like the synopsis and your review. Thanks for sharing!


  1. This sounds intensely creepy! Should be a good one.

  1. This one is worth reading, make sure it's on your to-read lists!