Starting From Here

( 1 )

Overview

Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham’s heart has been broken too many times. Her mother has been dead for almost two years, her truck driver father is always away, her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy, and now she’s failing chemistry. When a stray dog lands literally at her feet, bleeding and broken on a busy road, it seems like the Universe has it in for Colby. But the incident also knocks a chink in the walls she’s built around her heart. Against her better judgment, she decides to care for the dog. But ...

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Overview

Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham’s heart has been broken too many times. Her mother has been dead for almost two years, her truck driver father is always away, her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy, and now she’s failing chemistry. When a stray dog lands literally at her feet, bleeding and broken on a busy road, it seems like the Universe has it in for Colby. But the incident also knocks a chink in the walls she’s built around her heart. Against her better judgment, she decides to care for the dog. But new connections mean new opportunities for heartbreak. Terrified of another loss, Colby bolts at the first sign of trouble, managing to alienate her best friend, her father, the cute girl pursing her, and even her dog’s vet, who’s taken Colby under her wing. Colby can’t start over, but can she learn how to move on?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the two years since 16-year-old Colby's mother died, Colby's grades have slipped, and her father's nonstop work as a trucker leaves her to fend for herself most of the time. When Colby's girlfriend dumps her for a guy, it's the last straw; Colby is distraught and defensive, and she further isolates herself by avoiding the gay-straight alliance meetings at school as well as her best friend Van. Things begin to change for the better when she adopts and forms an intense attachment to a three-legged stray dog. Colby befriends a vet and finds a new love interest, but neither of the girls has come out to her parents, and Colby is reluctant to open her heart again. Debut author Bigelow capably captures a teen's fears of abandonment and judgment, as well as the often wobbly path toward developing a sexual identity, through Colby's pragmatic perspective. This voice-driven coming-of-age story offers a relatable glimpse at the value of honesty in relationships and of showing one's authentic self to the world. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
Colby Bingham is your typical sixteen-year-old girl. She fights with her dad, she struggles with schoolwork and she has a tempestuous social life that involves a devoted best friend, an all too recently ex-girlfriend, and a possible new relationship. Throw in a three legged stray dog that she rescues and names Mo, the dog's vet who takes Colby under her wing, the fact that she is still grieving the loss of her mother and her truck-driving father who is rarely home and you have the ingredients for some major melodrama. The story is told with Colby's endearing voice and though turbulent at times the reader will find it hard not to root for her. Perhaps it is her compassion for the wounded Mo or the way those around her are drawn to her even as she attempts to push them away, there is something lovable about Colby that makes the story a satisfying read. The text is interspersed with dialogue from the Rainbow Alliance Internet Lounge, lending a realistic touch and adding dimension to the plot.
VOYA - Victoria Vogel
Bigelow is a youth services librarian who has written a lovely and moving novel about a girl’s evolution from heartbreak to trusting again. Colby Birmingham is sixteen and is left on her own most of the time. She lost her mother to cancer a year and a half ago. Her father, a truck driver, is on the road for most of the year. She has been rejected in love on numerous occasions, most recently by a girl who broke up with her for a boy. Her best friend, Van, is her ally and confidante. She shares everything with him, but lately she finds herself pushing him away. Her life is shaken up when an injured stray dog wanders into it. Against her better judgment, she decides to care for him. This brings some new people into her life, like a veterinarian who takes her under her wing. There is also a new girl, Amelia, who appears to be crushing on her. Colby is in love with love and just wants that connection, but she is afraid of getting hurt again. When the new people in her life try to reach out to her, she pushes them away. It is Mo, the dog she saves, who convinces her to re-examine her walls. Colby’s angst at both wanting and needing love, but being afraid to receive it is eloquently portrayed by Bigelow. She also deftly portrays the camaraderie among Colby’s circle of Rainbow Alliance friends as a group that considers itself a support system. This is a lovely story that will touch readers’ hearts. Ages 12 to 18.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761462330
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 597,302
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Jenn Bigelow grew up in Southwest Michigan where, yes, there really is a Kalamazoo. She has driven across the United States multiple times — Wyoming is one of her favorites, for sheer beauty — but marvels at how much she has yet to see. When she isn’t writing, she serves as a youth services librarian in the Chicago area.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 9, 2012

    'Starting From Here' is a fantastic Young Adult story. The char

    'Starting From Here' is a fantastic Young Adult story. The characters are believable and they draw you straight into their world. The writing is heartfelt and really tugged at my memories of what it was like to be in high school. Thankfully my life was fraught with less struggles than that of Colby, so it allowed me to have a lot of patience and compassion for her. Which isnt' to say I forgave her for all the idiotic choices she makes, but that is what makes her and her story so interesting to read: I can be completely compassionate and still see her (and myself) learn from her mistakes.

    I highly recommend this book to all people, young and old, who enjoy a good young adult book.

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