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Far from You

Far from You

4.6 61
by Lisa Schroeder

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Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.

Alice thought she knew
what solitude was:
Her mother—gone
Her father—remarried with a newborn
in the icy embrace
of a deadly snowstorm
Alice faces the true meaning of loneliness.
But hope
may not be as far away
as she thinks....


Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.

Alice thought she knew
what solitude was:
Her mother—gone
Her father—remarried with a newborn
in the icy embrace
of a deadly snowstorm
Alice faces the true meaning of loneliness.
But hope
may not be as far away
as she thinks....

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Genuine emotion balances unremarkable verse in this tale of healing. Alice is bitter over her mother's death from cancer years ago and her father's ongoing emotional distance. A stepmother and newborn half sister render Alice both scornful and jealous. Soon she's estranged from church and also from her best friend, who finds Ali's song lyrics too gloomy. Readers may simultaneously sympathize with Alice's ceaseless grief and wish she could do more than whimper about it, but nothing shifts until the family (minus dad) is stranded in the snow. Four days in a snowbound car, first with her stepmother and then alone with tiny baby Ivy, slowly reopen Ali's heart. The first-person verse is sometimes quite plain ("After church / we went out / for doughnuts / and coffee"), sometimes cliched and heavy-handed like a real teen diary ("Like the North Star, / ever present in the sky, / regret shines brightly / in my soul"). Despite the sense that Schroeder leans too heavily on line breaks for drama, the accessibility and heartache will attract many readers. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.20(d)
HL640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

here she comes

Muffled voices

outside my door

that October morning

woke me

and took me

from a peaceful place

to one I'd come

to hate.

When one of them

stepped into my room,

the hallway light

landed on my

closed eyelids,

urging them

to open

like a hand

pulling on a


"It's time," Dad said.

I didn't open my eyes.

I didn't move.

I didn't speak.

"Ali, you awake?"

I gave a little grunt.

The event

wasn't worth

wasting breath on.

"We'll call you later.

When she's here."


"I love you," he said

quickly and quietly.

It's pretty sad

when you have to

think about it

before you say it.

just breathe

The clock read

4:13 a.m.

My dog, Cobain,

slept at the foot

of my bed.

I changed directions

and curled up

next to his warm body,

feeling the rhythm

of his breathing.

I stroked his golden fur,

and my heartbeats

s o f t e n e d.

He breathed.

I breathed.

Soon my breaths

were slow and steady,

in sync with his.


My oxygen tank.

He breathed.

I breathed.

The garage door

rumbled open

beneath me.

They were gone.

Gone until

they'd come back

with her.

Then there'd be me.

He breathed.

I breathed.

They knew her name.

But they wouldn't tell me.

It'll be a surprise, Victoria had said,

like a surprise is a good thing.

My stepmom.


She reminded me

of a chameleon lizard,

with her annoying habit

of curling her tongue up

just slightly,

and touching her top lip,

when she was


A chameleon.

One minute sweet as chocolate cake.

The next, sour and possessive,

like an old banker.

Once upon a time

he and I were close.


We'd cook together,

watch basketball together,

and make up silly jingles together,

since advertising

is his line of work.

Things changed.

Victoria moved in.

He changed.

It's like he tried

to move on

to greener pastures,

but the tractor in the barn,

once adored,

became a nuisance

and kept him connected

to the painful past.

I squeezed in closer

to Cobain.

He breathed.

I breathed.

I could see Dad

holding his new

baby girl.



Totally in love.

He'd breathe.

She'd breathe.

Then there'd be me.

the short version

Mom got cancer.

Cancer sucks.

She died.

Dad remarried.

The end.

our time is now

After a while

I got up,


and put on my favorite jeans,

a white shirt,

my black jacket,

and my combat boots.

I grabbed my battered,


guitar case

and headed outside.

The sunlight streamed

through the tree in our front yard,

lighting up the yellow leaves,

creating a brilliant

golden statue

that moved magically

when the breeze blew.


I love fall.

Fall in Seattle.

The season of

warm colors.

I thought about calling Blaze,

to see if I could talk him into going,

but he likes church

about as much

as the queen likes profanity.

It's the one thing

between us

that feels like

a tiny splinter

in your foot.

Painful and annoying,

but difficult to remove.

Blaze and I met

at a concert

last spring.

Our eyes locked

just as Mudhoney

took the stage,

and it was like a rocket

blasting off

into space.

I felt heat

and my body trembled

and forces

beyond my control

pulled me

to him

as the music ripped

through our bodies.

I didn't know his name.

He didn't know mine.

And yet,

it was like

we'd known each other


My best friend, Claire,

was with me,

and she kept trying

to pull me away,

like she was afraid

for my life.

Silly girl.

Nothing to worry about.

If anything,

he sparked

a fire

inside of me,

making me want

to live


the peace I need

I pulled up in my old Nova.

Claire got in

wearing a long, flowing purple skirt

and a silky, smooth black blouse.

She makes

all of her own



is her


I think she

should be a singer.

She's the voice

to the music we make

at church.

Like hot cocoa

and a soft blanket

and fuzzy slippers,

warming you up

top to bottom.

Raspy and sweet

all at the

same time.

I used to envy her,

but then I decided

to just be thankful

for making

incredible music


My music

was complete

because of Claire.

She got in

and threw a CD

in my lap.

"Your turn to listen."

The church we go to,

Center for Spiritual Living,

makes CDs

of the sermons

and the music.

After I backed out,

I looked at Claire,

but my smile

didn't want to come out

and play.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

She knows me

like a druggie knows

his best vein.

"They went to the hospital.

Early this morning."

She gave a nod

of understanding.

I drove

in silence.

That is,

until she reached over

and popped the CD in the player

Blaze had installed for my birthday.

We listened to her sing

the words:

Pain in your heart. You're playing the part of a human in need. You beg and you plead Wash it away. Wash it away. Give me the peace, the peace I need.

I wrote that song.

Funny how

time goes on,

things change,

and yet,

some things stay

exactly the same.

Copyright © 2009 by Lisa Schroeder

Meet the Author

Lisa Schroeder is the author of the teen verse novels The Day Before; I Heart You, You Haunt Me and its companion novel, Chasing Brooklyn; Far from You; and the teen prose novel Falling for You. She is also the author of the middle grade prose novels It’s Raining Cupcakes, Sprinkles and Secrets, and Frosting and Friendship. She lives in Beaverton, Oregon. Find out more about Lisa and her books at LisaSchroederBooks.com or on Twitter at @Lisa_Schroeder.

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Far from You 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Anita Slack More than 1 year ago
I am a big Lisa Schroeder fan and a fan of verse books. This is an amazing read. It took me less than four hours to read it because I couldn't put it down. I recommend you read this and all of Lisa's books!
LadyJai More than 1 year ago
This is my third. I've read reviews I've heard people talk. Some good. Some bad. But honestly, I think this is by far her best of the three. She said, this is her least known. I don't know why. It's not really about the story as much as it is about evoking great emotion. The characters aren't deep but they do grow. The plot isn't thick but keeps you riveted. I sat on my couch reading the last of it, tears streaming down my face, emotion overflowed. Her books are journeys from negative to positive. A common thread in all her works is Death is not the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very sad but good. Deff. Worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Out of all the books she wrote like i heart u, u haunt me, the day before, chasing brooklyn, wintergirls etc i think this was the second best book out of all the ones she wrote my first fav is chasing brooklyn its awesome u guys should read it one day its grrat its by lisa schroder
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a GREAT book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Far fro you is the best book to read at any age i love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luv this book! Just finished reading it! It was sad and makes you thimk about the things you have in life and what others dont have!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book i read it in less than an hour !!!!!!!I also loved this book because it was in verse! BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!
princess_sara More than 1 year ago
Beautiful story about survival and overcoming sadness. All Lisa's books end with a story of hope. This is a quick red you can finish in a few hours. Recommend to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes this book is amaxing and i love iy im in the 7th grade and i enjoy reading all of her books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome i would reccoment all of Lisa Scroeder books,their amazing* im only in the 6th grade &'dd i love reading books, exspically ryhme books^__^
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book and series are great for a quick read. The style of writing is very unique and pulls the reader in. These books are very emotional and deal with touchy subjects such as drunk driving and losing loved ones. However, these books could be used as conversation starters if need be. These books would be great for laying around on the beach!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Far From You was an amazing book!I absolutely loved it! I also like that Lisa Shroeder writes in verse, I think its very creative. The whole story was great. I think that it was very emotional and real. Far From You is an awesome quick read that you wont forget.
K-Z-N-24 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It pulled me in on the first page and i didnt stop reading till it was done. I loved that it wasn't focused around sex like so many teen books are. I cried because I was so happy for the characters in the book.
Dreamer14 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this story. I liked alice's character, and how she acted through out the whole book. I would recommend this book to anyone.
ChucklesGirl27 More than 1 year ago
This story has truth. Everyone will be able to read it and feel like your there. I enjoyed how it was written and how Claire was a normal teenager that found her way by surviving. Its a good book and I know it will be with me forever.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Alice's mother died of cancer years ago. Everyone else has moved on. Her father has remarried and is expecting a new baby, but Alice continues to mourn, finding solace in songwriting, attending services, and performing at her mother's old church with best friend/musical soul mate, Claire. And with spending time with her boyfriend, Blaze. Nothing can shake Alice from her grief - from the birth of a baby sister, Ivy; to the progression of her relationship with Blaze; to her ups and downs with Claire. It is only when she, Victoria, and Ivy are caught on the road during a freak snow storm that Alice begins to regain her balance and consider the possibility that her mother is closer than she ever imagined. Author Lisa Schroeder's decision to tell this story entirely in verse is deceptively simple, but the effectiveness of this type of narration quickly becomes clear - cutting through the excess of more straightforward prose to the raw center of Alice's emotional turmoil. Despite the story being told from a single character's perspective, Ms. Schroeder still manages to drop subtle hints (i.e., her father's pained silence, Blaze's easy interaction with the stepmother his girlfriend has written off, their efforts to remind Alice that they're a family) that let readers know Alice's perspective might be somewhat biased. It's rare to find a book that moves me to tears, but FAR FROM YOU touched my heart, making it an emotional journey worth taking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
I was putting off reading this for a while now and finally, FINALLY, got around to reading this. Pretty sure a lot who read this, wasn't sure about the beginning. But you know what it does pick up and gets better, interesting, but better. The writing was really good, verse and all. Don't know else to say that others haven't said already. So yeah, pretty good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think This was The best Poem book Ive ever Read . :) :)
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