The Farther You Run – Davida Wills Hurwin
From the book jacket –
When your best friend is dying, you wonder what life would be like without her – but nothing prepares you for the reality. This past May, Samantha lost her “one and only”, Juliana, to cancer. Now there is no one to share secrets, gossip, and dreams; no reason to go to dance class by herself. The way she sees it, there’s only one thing to do: close that door and try to move on.
Then Samantha meets Mona in summer school. Mona has challenges of her own – her mother is bipolar, and growing up has been a tangle of new schools, an ever-changing roster of “friends”, and neighbors who never understand.
The two of them click right away. Mona can make Samantha laugh, and Samantha never asks questions when Mona needs a break from her mom. By summer’s end they’ve found jobs, boyfriends, an apartment in San Francisco, and a brand new identity – as best friends.
But doors don’t always stay closed, and living across the Golden Gate Bridge won’t guarantee that your past remains on the other side. Just before the anniversary of Jules’s death, things begin to fall apart. Mona’s old self-destructive streak starts to sabotage her new relationships. Samantha’s struggle to be free of Jules has failed – because memories don’t simply disappear. And the distance between them grows. What their friendship really needs is honesty, and a long, clear look at reality. If they truly wish to move on, Samantha and Mona must redefine their relationship, their future – and in the process, themselves.
My thoughts –
When I spotted this book on the YA shelves at my library, I was somewhat intrigued. Then I realized that it is the sequel to A Time For Dancing, a book that I read years ago and loved (didn’t even know it had a sequel!), and of course I grabbed it right away. This YA novel was good, not great. I liked the characters and the story kept me turning the pages… in fact, I finished it in one sitting. But nothing in the book was all that memorable, and I probably will stop thinking about it as soon as I finish this review. I don’t recall specifics about A Time for Dancing since I read it so many years ago, but I do know that it was a novel that grabbed me and stayed with me for a long time. The sequel, unfortunately, just didn’t have that punch. It is a decent book, and if you liked A Time for Dancing and want to know more about what happened to Samantha after Juliana’s death, than this is a good use of a few hours of your time to get through. Otherwise, there are much better YA novels out there, and I’d skip this one.