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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Natalie's parents are taking her and three best friends on a week-long cruise for her birthday--a sail-a-bration! Sigh. It's also only been months since her boyfriend died in a tragic accident, and she wants to be anywhere but here. So she's surprised when she meets a guy on the first night and feels a connection she's never felt before. After a late-night talk on a secluded part of the ship, Natalie runs to her cabin for a change of clothes. But when she returns, he's gone without a trace. And something he said makes her think he may have jumped. . . . What pulled her to him, and what pulled him away? Where else could he go, and. . . was he ever even there? With her signature thrilling storytelling, the author of The Leaving and The Possible dives into the story of a girl coming back from grief, and her struggle to be present in a twisting mystery with a Hitchcock-inspired twist, high stakes, and deep secrets.…

The Opposite of Here

by Tara Altebrando

Overall Book Review:

Get ready for a wild ride.  This page-turner will have you furiously flipping pages until the very last one.  Then it will leave you wandering and wondering for days after, “did he, or didn’t he?”

The Opposite of Here takes place on a six-day cruise and I adored the setting.  A huge cruiser myself, the attention to detail was absolutely remarkable.  It would have been easy for the author to gloss over the details here, but she has done justice to the cruise experience to the point that I could see myself standing in each of her locations, could smell the smells and hear the sounds just as she described them.  A five-star review for scene setting.

The characters are believable as well.  Four girlfriends and a set of twin brothers round out most of the cast.  The interchangeability of the brothers was crucial to the story, but it was a little predictable.  The dynamics of relationships between the girls was completely believable, especially dealing with high school boy woes and wonders.

I am not typically a huge mystery lover, but this one had me hooked.  Admittedly, I finished the book in less than two days.  It’s a quick read with easy prose.  While on the shorter side, I think the author picked the perfect length as I don’t see what could be added to make the book any better.

Grab this one quickly and get ready for a mind bender.  This one will leave you pondering for days!

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury USA

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  9 religious exclamations; 7 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 4 derogatory names; 3 scatological words; 4 anatomical terms.

Violence and Gore:  Teenage character dies in car crash, no graphic detail, but mentioned multiple times; character dreams of falling off bridge and dying; report of various suicides after being hypnotized; man is bound and gagged in potential screen script; teenage character has black eye and facial scrapes; character is hypnotized to walk into traffic and kill self (potentially, doesn’t occur in book, but character says will occur); teenager pushes another from a height.

Sex/Nudity:  Teenage girls have graphic discussion about underwear and potential for having sex; boy jokes about size of another boy’s penis; two instances of hand holding; two instances of kissing; teenagers have sex with no detail; teenage boy pins teenage girl against wall against her will and reaches up skirt forcibly (sexual assault).

Mature Subject Matter:

Racial conflict, death, suicide, sexual assault.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink various alcohol.  Teens drink beer.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.