REVIEW: Wherever You Go by Heather Davis (106)
Title: Wherever You Go
Author: Heather Davis
(Taken from Amazon.com)
A poignant story about making peace with the past and opening your heart to love. Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. But she has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, trying to get close to Holly—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. As their uncertain new relationship progresses, the past comes back to haunt Holly and Jason. Her Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?
Wherever You Go is told from three different views, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Yes, you’ve heard me right and for the most part, although I admire Heather Davis for trying something new, it just did not work for me. In fact, it hindered my ability to really get into the story.
The first person point of view is told through Holly, a teenager with way too much responsibility for her age and not enough friends (it seems like) to even things out. Her boyfriend, Rob, had just died in the car accident that Holly happened to be in the car with at the time of the collision. His friends seem to blame Holly, for supposedly being drunk at a party, and have given her a hard time since Rob’s death.
The second person point of view is done through Rob, who has died. For some reason he has not been able to move on into the other world and he has no idea why. I think this was my least favorite view point and (in my opinion) should not be used unless you are writing a letter. We know it is Rob, but it is being told like we are Rob and we are being told what to do. It is also told in present tense. For example “You are doing this.” and I just didn’t really feel for this point of view or the idea that it was in present tense. After all, every writer learns that it is important to pick a point of view and stick to it (same with tenses). During this view point, however, we get a better look at Aldo, Holly’s Grandfather who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. When I picked up Wherever You Go, my Mom had just lost her best friend from early onset Alzheimer’s. Needless to say, the topic really touched home on that front.
The third person point of view is about Rob’s friend, Jason. His friend’s grave is barely cold when he swoops in for the kill — er, to sweep Holly off her feet. He also, typically as most “good guys in novels” are, attractive and rich. (Oh and you know Holly lives in a small cluttered apartment with her barely there Mother, her little precocious little sister, and now has to babysit her sick Grandfather. So naturally, Holly needed a rich Prince Charming to sweep her out of her “horrible life”.
My favorite character in the entire novel was Aldo, as he had so much depth. A typical Italian grandfather, it was sad to watch his mind go and that he was aware that his memories were fading to disease. To make sure he would not forget certain things, he made a list and asked that his granddaughter, Holly, help him to remember these particular events in his life. I found that aspect of the story charming and memorable. Holly’s dedication to her Grandfather’s care has much to be admired. If only all teenagers showed that much dedication to family (with little complaint) and much maturity so early on in life.
On the other hand, I felt that Holly lacked in character depth. Her boyfriend, who she was supposedly in love with — just died and she really pushes those feelings deep inside her that I often wondered if it really even affected her. Her apathy to her situation(s) really bugged me. Does she not have huge resentment for having to be so heavily relied on by her mother to take care of the house, her Grandfather, and her little sister? Her Mother also did a great job of throwing out the guilt and playing the victim card that it made me feel sorry for Holly.
I was not a fan of the multiple points of view and tenses, and some things (which will be discussed in the spoiler) bugged me about the characters /situations — but some aspects of the story, such as Aldo dealing with his Alzheimer’s were truly charming. Although I am not a huge fan of the novel, it does have it’s warming moments and I know many other people enjoyed the read tremendously. You just may be one of them!