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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

CJ's Aunt Nic is a psychic medium who tours the country speaking to spirits from Far Away, passing on messages from the dearly departed. And CJ knows firsthand how comforting those messages can be -- Aunt Nic's Gift is the only way CJ can talk to her mom, who died just hours after she was born. So when CJ learns that she won't be able to speak to her mother anymore, even with Aunt Nic's help, she's determined to find a work-around. She sets off on road trip with her new friend Jax to locate the one object that she believes will tether her mother's spirit back to Earth . . . but what she finds along the way challenges every truth she's ever known. Ultimately, CJ has to sort out the reality from the lies. National Book Award nominee Lisa Graff has written a poignant, heartfelt novel that explores the lengths we go to protect those we love -- and the power secrets have to change our worlds.…

Far Away

by Lisa Graff

Overall Book Review:

Far Away by Lisa Graff is a coming-of-age story about growing up and letting go. CJ (Caraway June) has grown up with an aunt who’s a psychic, and a mother who’s a spirit.

For as long as she can remember, CJ and her Aunt Nic have toured the country, Aunt Nic giving psychic shows at venues while CJ is homeschooled on the fly. Through Aunt Nic, CJ has been able to speak to her mother from beyond the grave. But then that connection is threatened, and the world as CJ knows it is about to be overturned. So, she sets off on a road trip to change her destiny, and in the process discovers something that will change her life forever.

CJ is a tough heroine, matter-of-fact and full of grits. For the most part, I really liked how the author portrayed her. There was one part near the end where I understood why she was acting in a certain way, but I felt it came off a bit heavy in the “spoiled brat” department. Other than that moment, CJ is a strong girl heroine, and the people in her life are all strong side characters that lend flavor and depth to the story. Far Away is a story that will stick with you.

Review of an Advance Reader’s Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Philomel

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  5 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities. 

Violence/Gore:  Many instances of violence and gore, including but not limited to: a few reports/memories of a person’s death; several instances where a girl and a woman verbally fight and argue; a girl almost gets hit by a truck; report of someone rolling an ATV on their leg; report of a tree falling on a house; a character frequently contacts the spirits of the dead; characters often talk about dead relatives; characters see a car accident; a character suffers from an anxiety condition; report of a woman threatening a girl; a girl breaks into an abandoned house; report of people cutting family members out of their lives; a man accuses a woman of being a fraud; a girl is cruel to her aunt; recollection of a character cracking a tibia; characters are mobbed by a crowd; a woman is unintentionally cruel while telling a story; two women argue. 

Sex/Nudity:  Report of a birth; report of a girl’s confronting a boy for not taking her to a dance; report of a love affair; a girl flirts/teases a boy.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death; unwanted pregnancy; abandonment; paranormal activity.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Fantasy is my bread and butter. I read and write it. I’m obsessed with world-building and fascinated with lyrical prose. I love that I can contribute to the writing community by recommending good books that can actually make a difference in a person’s life.