I Stop Somewhere is a young adult, contemporary fiction by T.E. Carter and is set to release on February 27th, 2018 by Feiwel & Friends.
I absolutely loved this book for the raw honest opinions it put forward to highlight an issue that deserves to be highlighted and might rant about everything that this book made me think, realise or just feel in a possible discussion post later.
I Stop Somewhere is a well developed, well spoken and well written contemporary fiction that makes you think and feel the worst that today’s world can possibly offer.
The story revolves around Ellie, a high school student who goes missing one night but doesn’t actually go missing because she wasn’t very visible before, either. It was so tough to figure out which parts were or weren’t spoilers so I tried to not talk much about the actual story BUT now I’m totally confused because I want you guys to know what’s best in this book but I also feel like you need to find it out for yourselves. Ugh, the struggle is real!
To make it simpler for me to piece together, let’s start with what I loved the most: spotlight on the entire issue of rape culture that has been so long a part of our society that it often—wrongly—feels like just-another-thing. I’m amazed at how the story doesn’t shout Ellie’s opinions nor does it keep repeating what it’s trying to bring the readers’ eyes on; there’s this subtlety woven that makes every valid point about rape culture get attention throughout this book. It’s like a mirror to our world. The story reads like something that we keep hearing about in newspapers, something absolutely common…but that’s the heart wrenching part because every incident in this story resonates with the world we live in. And no matter how far we try to run away, sometimes facing the real issues is the best way to set things right, or at least try to. Books like these make me think about things I tend to read about everyday yet forget.
The characters are developed. And I’m not just talking about the main one, Ellie. There’s a small list of characters in this book but everyone who gets the center stage for a while, marks themselves important enough to read further. Even the bad guys who I grew to hate with all my heart, earned my hatred gradually. The intended emotions for every character gets stacked one by one till it touches the ceiling and you either shred to the core or ignite yourself in anger by the end.
The sadness! Oh my God, I don’t think I read a lot of heart-ripping stories because I can be quite the cry baby but I still couldn’t stop myself from continuing this one. Despite the fact that it drives straight into sorrow from the first page and doesn’t let the sun shine through this dense forest. No doubt, the issue that the book deals with is important and demands a serious setting so the sadness did make sense all through it. Speaking of setting, everything was gloomy. The town, Hollow Oaks, is like the epitome of emptiness and abandonment because the leading, rich people have taken over a number of houses and forced people to flee…without a finger pointing at them. The school didn’t sound like any other young adult’s school campus and the overall atmosphere sounds so boring that it only contributes to the despondency.
Though, this hopelessness gets across all the more clearly because of the writing. The narrative is in first person by Ellie and just about everything that she says sounds like a perfect thing that she would be thinking or she should be thinking. Her take on life, girls, and love is so sweetly, innocently but honestly spoken that despite the sweetness, the raw honesty feels rough and painful. It’s basically a torture but a torture you would be happy to endure.
In addition to these major aspects of the story, I loved the additional bits that it mentioned. For one, the definition of a girl for a girl (Ellie) who seems to be too blended in—to the point that she was almost invisible. Ellie keeps referring to what she always assumed a good girl would be and how difficult she found herself to be that good girl because all the rules and expectations people had from a good girl wasn’t as easy as it was deemed to be. She struggled to grasp the concepts society used to mark what a girl is, and God, could anything have been anymore relatable?
Then there’s the father-daughter relationship that got me in tears. Personally, I’m super close to my dad and seeing Ellie’s father struggle throughout the book, become emotionally drenched, and still wait for his daughter because that’s basically what a loved one does, hits right to my heart. If all this heartache wasn’t enough for a reader, there’s love to be added to the mix. Ellie experiences attention for the first time from a boy and slowly grows up to like him; she loved hearing how pretty she is or how he wants her. And all the while, she wondered if this is what love is. But because she couldn’t bring about herself to share her thoughts with anyone, she had to decide for herself.
Speaking of deciding, that’s another amazing aspect of this story because for the majority of it, Ellie keeps trying to find out where she went wrong—because that’s what usually happens right? The girls calls it upon herself, or at least, that’s what they’re made to believe. But the way she evolves and figures that nothing—absolutely nothing—could’ve done by her to avoid this, because this wasn’t her fault. Being in a relationship, wanting sex, or consenting to someone long before the dreadful nightmare doesn’t mean anything. None of those emotions, feelings, thoughts or dialogues could be a trigger. What’s wrong is wrong and nothing can justify it—nothing should try to, either.
Overall, I loved this! I would recommend this to all those who’re looking for a raw, honest contemporary that focuses on rape culture while simultaneously shredding your heart to pieces.
TE Carter was born in New England and has lived in New England for pretty much her entire life. Throughout her career, she’s done a lot of things, although her passion has always been writing. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found reading classic literature, playing Xbox, organizing her comic collection, or binge watching baking competitions. She continues to live in New England with her husband and their two cats.
Win a hardcover copy of I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter. US only! Ends March 9th, 2018.
I received a digital copy of this via a part of a promotional blog tour but that in no way influences my rating and/or opinions about it. Thank you Fiewel & Friends and FFBC!
You can follow the tour according to this schedule!