Saturday, June 16, 2018

Review: The Opposite of Here by Tara Altebrando

The Opposite of HereTitle: The Opposite of Here 
Author:  Tara Altebrando
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publishing Date: June 5th, 2018
Pages: 256
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller 
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC

There's no hiding on a cruise ship-not even from yourself.
Natalie's parents are taking her and her three best friends on a cruise for her seventeenth birthday. A sail-a-bration, they call it. But it's only been a few short months since Natalie's boyfriend died in a tragic accident, and she wants to be anywhere but here.
Then she meets a guy on the first night and sparks fly. After a moonlit conversation on a secluded deck of the ship, Natalie pops down to her cabin to get her swimsuit so they can go for a dip. But when she returns, he's gone. Something he said makes her think he might have . . . jumped? No, he couldn't have.
But why do her friends think she's crazy for wanting to make sure he's okay? Also, why do they seem to be hiding something from her? And how can she find him when she doesn't even know his name? Most importantly, why is the captain on the intercom announcing the urgent need for a headcount?
With her signature, thrilling storytelling, the author of The Leaving and The Possible explores our vulnerability to the power of suggestion and the lies we tell others and ourselves in a twisting, Hitchcock-inspired mystery with high stakes and dark secrets.

I was super excited to read this book. I loved The Leaving and was so hopeful for this book. I love the cover, the synopsis, and I just was sure I would love this book. I did enjoy this book but I didn't quite love it the way I wanted too. There was something missing from this read. I am not sure what... maybe it needed more suspense, more character development, more of a wow ending. It just felt like it could have been a bit more.... but what was there I did enjoy. It wasn't a bad read. 
Natalie has had a recent tragedy in her life, her boyfriend died in a car crash. She has been living on autopilot ever since. It is now her birthday and her parents decided to take Natalie and three of her closest friends on a cruise to celebrate,  hoping this will bring Natalie back to the land of the living. 

The cruise isn't quite what Natalie expected and soon she finds herself involved with a boy that has a past and a secret and possibly trouble. There might be someone missing, gone overboard, there might be a conspiracy, something is going on and Natalie feels she must get to the bottom of this mystery. 

Not only is there trouble on the ship, there is trouble in paradise among her friends. One of her friends has been holding on to a secret that may just be the end to Natalie and their friendship. 

This will be kind of a short review I think, this was a very short read and I don't have too too much to say about the read. As far as mysteries go, I did like this one. It was interesting. What I did like about it, a body was never found, there was a possible overboard and there is a possible crazy boy aboard the ship. There is also the mystery in Natalie's life... what is going on with one of her best friends? There are more little mysteries throughout the read. Some of the mysteries I solved some I had all wrong and some I just had no clue. So there is a bit of everything going on here. It was pretty fast-paced and always kept me interested. There was never a dull moment. 

As far as the characters go. I didn't love or hate them. They were somewhere in the middle. Every single one of them irritated me at some point. They weren't anything rememberable. This may be the biggest issue I had with the book. I can't say I didn't connect, I just didn't connect as much as I like too. Natalie wasn't a bad character. She was troubled and hurting and a little off her rocker, and I did feel for her and understand her but I just didn't FEEL her.

The ending was interesting. It had me going... oh I didn't see that coming. So there was that. I didn't get the entire story though. It felt kind of disconnected for me at times. I was a bit confused in just a few parts. I almost think there was too much going on at times. Those were short-lived though and for the most part, I was very interested in what was going on in the story. 

I enjoyed this book, it was a fast read, it was enough to keep me needing to know what happened. I do feel the characters could have been developed just a tad more, the story could have been less at times. The mystery needed a bit more of a punch... the ending though pretty good. It's more of a good poolside read for the summer. Nothing really deep but still enjoyable. 

It was a good short enjoyable read. Good summer read. 

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Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Her upcoming book, THE LEAVING (Bloomsbury), is a YA thriller that received a starred PW review and is a Junior Library Guild selection. Her other YA novels include ROOMIES, coauthored with Sara Zarr; Dreamland Social Club (A Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens), The Best Night of (Your) Pathetic Life, What Happens Here, and The Pursuit of Happiness.

Tara is a Harvard graduate who lives in Queens, NY, with her husband and children.


  1. The plot sounds like a good one, it's too bad it feel short for you. I think I might try to get this one from the library, thanks for the heads up.

  2. I really enjoyed The Leaving, too, so I'm interested in this one, too bad it didn't all work out!


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