FeaturedYoung Adult

Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away

By Trisha Slay

Must read 🏆

A fantastically written read, regardless of your feelings for Star Wars. Fabulous characters and a great narrative with a hook!

Synopsis

When her best friend ran away ...

Erika promised to keep all of their secrets safe.

But how long can she keep lying?

The summer of 1977 is shaping up to be the worst experience of Erika's life. Everybody knows she was the last person to see Cassie before the teen beauty queen disappeared into the night. Now Erika is making false statements to the police, hiding from Cassie's father, and mourning the loss of the only person who ever filled her days with light. She's certain her life can't get any worse. Then the bullying starts.

Under the weight of it all, Erika struggles just to breathe. Until a new movie transforms her lonely existence with new hope.

For Erika, Star Wars changes everything. Safe in the cocoon of a darkened movie theater, she can escape to a galaxy far, far away from her current nightmare. But she can't hide forever. And someone thinks she knows too many of Cassie's secrets.

It's a terrible thing to live under a question mark.

Fans of Rainbow Rowell or John Green will enjoy this quirky page-turner.

Grab your copy today.

Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away by Trisha Slay was a fabulous surprise of a read. I was not expecting to love this as much as I did. The synopsis intrigued me enough to pick it up, but I was expecting an okay read, not a stellar one. Well, I was wrong. Despite the fact that I am not a huge Star Wars fan (sci-fi isn't largely in my wheelhouse), this plot was stupendous. Slay's writing is perfection. She drew me in with her development of an amazing character in Erika and then hooked me so well that I stayed up late into the night in order to finish. I couldn't put it down!


The story was just so great. There were several places where the narrative could have turned in a myraid of directions, but Slay always seemed to pick just the right way to go. My mind was swirling throughout the entire reading. I was on the edge of my seat and excited to know what was going to happen. I was very much surprised by this response to the book, but it was incredibly enjoyable.


Erika is a fabulous protagonist. She is humble and insecure, but she is so powerful when she really embraces herself. I love her as an example for young women. She reminds me something of a cross between E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver and Ann Brashares's Carmen Lowell (both strong and well-created characters). Erika is so well-written that she seems absolutely real. I fell hard for her. I would absolutely love to see more of this character in future reads should the author pursue continuation of this story as a series.


The supporting characters are just as well imagined. They are all very complex characters with distinct personalities, ideas, and motivations. The interactions between them felt real and not in the least contrived. There were flaws to the characters, imperfections in the way situations played out, making everything feel so much more believable. This propelled the narrative in such a natural way. Slay simply seems to have a knack for storytelling.


This will be a book that I purchase for my own library and one that I will be reading over and over again. It's a huggable book. In my literary world, that means a 5-star read.


** Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair review. **

Reviewed by

I am a reader, mother, & farmsteader. I live in rural Minnesota on a small farm where we raise beef cattle & hogs. Books are heaven. I am a lifelong lover of books & enjoy finding new books & authors to love. I blog over at Erratic Project Junkie, where I complete a wide array of projects/posts.

Synopsis

When her best friend ran away ...

Erika promised to keep all of their secrets safe.

But how long can she keep lying?

The summer of 1977 is shaping up to be the worst experience of Erika's life. Everybody knows she was the last person to see Cassie before the teen beauty queen disappeared into the night. Now Erika is making false statements to the police, hiding from Cassie's father, and mourning the loss of the only person who ever filled her days with light. She's certain her life can't get any worse. Then the bullying starts.

Under the weight of it all, Erika struggles just to breathe. Until a new movie transforms her lonely existence with new hope.

For Erika, Star Wars changes everything. Safe in the cocoon of a darkened movie theater, she can escape to a galaxy far, far away from her current nightmare. But she can't hide forever. And someone thinks she knows too many of Cassie's secrets.

It's a terrible thing to live under a question mark.

Fans of Rainbow Rowell or John Green will enjoy this quirky page-turner.

Grab your copy today.

Friday June 3, 1977


Dear Cassie,

Maybe it’s stupid to write this letter. I can’t possibly mail it without an address, but sleep is a million miles away and I’m sick of rolling around in sweaty sheets trying to make my brain stop screaming. So I pulled my daisy bedspread out on the porch roof to look for cooler air and shooting stars. Suddenly, it seemed like a good idea to write down everything that’s happened since you left. 

It’s been four awful days since I last saw you. I miss you so much! Where are you now? Does the sky look different there? Are you wondering what is going on back here?

Don’t worry, I haven’t told your father anything that will help him or the sheriff track you down. I just wish they didn’t know I saw you that night. It was such a stupid mistake!

Walt called my house when he got home from the fire station and found your room empty. 

The Mother Monster hollered upstairs asking if you came over last night and I said, “Yeah.” 

That one little word has changed everything.

Anita yelled, “Cassie, your dad’s on the phone. Pick it up!”

I yelled back, “She’s not here now.” 

Next thing I knew, Walt was pounding on the back door and then he was standing in my bedroom hammering me with questions. Mother Monster stormed in and dragged me out of bed in my ratty old nightshirt. Walt kept yelling at both of us non-stop. Anita yelled back. I know I should have tried to say something to trick Walt, to get him looking in a totally wrong direction, but all I could think to do was grab the sheet off my bed and hug it around my body. 

Anita managed to make Walt back off with promises of helping him find you. When he left, I was almost grateful to her … until the evil witch pinched the flabby place below my bottom and said, “This ain’t baby fat, young lady. Cover it up!”

By 4:00 in the afternoon, Sheriff McCombs himself was standing in our kitchen asking the first round of official questions. Anita kept muttering snide comments about how the sheriff wouldn’t move that quickly for most teenagers, but he jumps right in to chase down the fire chief’s daughter. 

That gave me goose bumps because it reminded me of the time you went camping with Jeff even though Walt said you couldn’t go. I never told you I was standing in our kitchen watching from the window when he yanked you out of his car and dragged you into the house while you screamed and screamed. Anita may be the Mother Monster sometimes, but Walt is just plain scary mean. And he keeps getting meaner every day you’re gone. 

Even though I miss you, I hope you are really far away from Walt by now. 


Your friend forever,

Erika

About the author

Trisha Slay grew up in a haunted house ... now she writes about restless spirits (both the living and the dead). When she’s not hunched over a computer, she enjoys hiking, ghost stories, historic cemeteries, red wine, and flying her geek flag. view profile

Published on May 14, 2019

Published by

90000 words

Genre: Young adult

Reviewed by

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