Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Wherever You Go

Wherever You Go - Heather Davis Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker. I received my copy from the publishers via NetGalley.(Despite the following review, I don't think this is a bad book. Many small factors came together that ultimately made Wherever You Go not work for me personally, but that does not mean it's a bad book overall. Also, I love this cover.)After the death of her boyfriend Rob, Holly has become withdrawn and is now forced to take care of her Alzheimer's-afflicted grandfather Aldo while her mother works to keep their family in an apartment rather than a homeless shelter. She doesn't realize this, but Rob is still around as a ghost, watching her and wishing he could communicate with her. Rob is overjoyed to learn that Aldo can see him and talk to him, but then Rob becomes upset when he sees that his best friend Jason is falling for Holly--and Holly might be falling for Jason too.Oh, Wherever You Go... How do I begin to review thee? You were such a strange book that left me with all sorts of conflicting feelings and confusion over what I did and didn't like.Grandpa Aldo and his disease were the high points of this book. He had a central part in the story as we see Holly's struggle to take care of him when his Alzheimer's worsens, Rob's communication with him and a clear picture of how Aldo feels about all of this, and the way Aldo's list of things he wanted to remember helped bring Holly and Jason together. Making the love triangle the hook for this book is a huge mistake. The real story is in how Aldo's disease affects all three teenagers and the various feelings holding them back.Do you remember how you're taught to write in one tense and one point-of-view type? Well, this book was written in both past AND present tense, along with being in first, second, AND third person points-of-view! Holly's sections were first person point-of-view with past tense, Rob's were second person present, and Jason's were third-person past. It's great the author wasn't afraid to try something different, but this is the biggest reason the book did not work for me. I like continuity in my narrative style and I got irritated when the style is changing in two different ways so often. Having all of this happen at the same time but with Rob's sections in present tense and Holly's and Jason's in past tense does not help. There is a very good reason students are taught not to mix past and present tense in writing.The pacing is dead slow for most of the novel. Towards the end of the book--and I mean the end, as in the last fifth of the novel--it picks up a little and I no longer felt like I had to force myself to keep reading. It was a shame that this ending only came about due to some drama that made absolutely no sense. Holly knows Mark is a douchebag that wants her to break up with Jason and yet she takes what Mark says about Jason's intentions to heart? And she never tries to talk to Jason about it! I thought she trusted him more than that, but apparently not. Call me jaded if a scene like that made me doubt Jason and Holly's big connection.Wherever You Go is supposed to, in part, be about how Rob's death impacted Rob, Holly, and Jason. It's a shame I never had any insight into how they related to one another when Rob was alive. You never get to read about why Holly and Rob loved each other so much and you don't learn much about why Rob and Jason were best friends. I would prefer to be shown this rather than told, especially when it's such an integral part of the story. We see nothing of their past and that makes me not believe what I'm being shown in their present.A minor quibble, but one I feel warrants mention: I know some readers hate headings that indicate a change in narrator because I suppose they feel like they're not being considered smart enough to figure out the narrator themselves, but this is the one area where I prefer to be told something rather than shown. The addition of headings to indicate whether Rob, Holly, or Jason is speaking before publication would be appreciated.Yeah, this a low rating, but as I said earlier, this is not a bad book. It's just one that didn't work for me. The book automatically had three ukuleles because I couldn't emotionally connect to it and when considering the various flaws, it eventually adds two more ukuleles. I'm conflicted on whether or not I should recommend it to anyone, but give it a try if the summary jumps out at you and makes you think "I want to read this book!" or even if my review made you curious about the book and you want to see what I mean.