The Opposite of Here
There's no hiding on a cruise ship - not even from yourself. Natalie's parents are taking her and her three best friends on a cruise for her seventeenth birthday. A sail-a-bration, they call it. But it's only been a few short months since Natalie's boyfriend died in a tragic accident, and she wants to be anywhere but here. Then she meets a guy on the first night and sparks fly. After a moonlit conversation on a secluded deck of the ship, Natalie pops down to her cabin to get her swimsuit so they can go for a dip. But when she returns, he's gone. Something he said makes her think he might have . . . jumped? No, he couldn't have. But why do her friends think she's crazy for wanting to make sure he's okay? Also, why do they seem to be hiding something from her? And how can she find him when she doesn't even know his name? Most importantly, why is the captain on the intercom announcing the urgent need for a headcount?

The Opposite of Here Details

TitleThe Opposite of Here
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 5th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury YA
ISBN-139781681197067
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Mystery, Thriller

The Opposite of Here Review

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    So, holy crap. There is something to be said for really interesting books that had you expecting mediocrity. The Opposite Of Here follows four friends on a cruise ship journey when the lead believes she has seen a boy fall off the ship. This hit a lot of my criteria for thrillers I can love. It is very eerie. It plays quite well off innate human fear - in this case, claustrophobia and the fear of losing your mind. It has actual plot twists and a sense of I-don't-quite-know-where-this-is-going So, holy crap. There is something to be said for really interesting books that had you expecting mediocrity. The Opposite Of Here follows four friends on a cruise ship journey when the lead believes she has seen a boy fall off the ship. This hit a lot of my criteria for thrillers I can love. It is very eerie. It plays quite well off innate human fear - in this case, claustrophobia and the fear of losing your mind. It has actual plot twists and a sense of I-don't-quite-know-where-this-is-going. And okay, yeah, this is not exactly the most objectively high-quality book ever published, but we know that. As vaguely mediocre YA thrillers go, this is just about the best you can ever do. I read this in an hour. I got chills down my spine. I did not predict everything, for once. And I adored all the characters.But I think what sets this book apart from other YA thrillers in this vein is the subversiveness. If you're expecting a simple story, you will not get it. This story explores a lot of darker themes than I was expecting [I've put trigger warnings below] and is very much a she-did-that thriller.The Opposite Of Here really stuck out to me because of its feminist undertones and subversion of tired tropes. Not going to lie, I started this book expecting a huge element of girl hate. Group of friends in a cabin, possible conflict, this will be a thriller with the normal stereotypical “bitchy” drama to top it off. Booooooring. And then… it becomes a story about the strength of friendship between girls. A major conflict between two leads that I thought would have been shitty and boring end up being about some really deep and awful things in the girls’ past. Similarly, the book sets up a generic love triangle and then subtly does... exactly what you don’t expect out of it. There are some really significant feminist themes in general; one of the major themes ends up being - yes, this is a spoiler - (view spoiler)[the lead character’s sexual assault. (hide spoiler)]Something I really appreciated was the devotion to Hitchcock references and aesthetic . So many callbacks to Vertigo. And assorted other movies that I have not seen. So. Much. Aesthetic. Altebrando’s main method of showing her character’s current state of mind is through little tiny two-line Hitcockian sketches written for a film teacher’s assignment. These sketches starts out super funny and end up super creepy as the book progresses. I feel like this kind of device could end up gimmicky, but it’s not - it’s SO effective in making you love the lead. Some of the sketches are sad, some are amusing, some are horrifying, some amazing. [this is a very real spoiler, but - (view spoiler)[ you sexually assaulted me at a party. SHE REALLY DID THAT. (hide spoiler)]Anyway. If you're looking for an actually-good YA page turner that will give you something a little different, this is absolutely recommended. TW: sexual assault [which I thought was handled quite well], claustrophobic scenes. ✨ buddyread with the fact that this is only 200 pages and therefore will conquer my slumpBlog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, so this book is wackadoodle.I'm sitting here wondering just what I've read because it is all over the place. I'll be the first to admit that I'm an old fart who is so out of touch with teenagers that I couldn't pretend to be cool if my life depended on it. That said, even I could sense that something felt off here. I hate that I didn't love this more, because I've been anticipating this release for months now (I mean gosh, just look at that gorgeous cover!) but it didn't work for me. I'm 100 Ok, so this book is wackadoodle.I'm sitting here wondering just what I've read because it is all over the place. I'll be the first to admit that I'm an old fart who is so out of touch with teenagers that I couldn't pretend to be cool if my life depended on it. That said, even I could sense that something felt off here. I hate that I didn't love this more, because I've been anticipating this release for months now (I mean gosh, just look at that gorgeous cover!) but it didn't work for me. I'm 100% aware that it may work for other readers, and I completely recommend you picking this one up for yourself to give it a shot and see if maybe I just read this one wrong.I generally like a fair amount of wackadoodle dandy in my reading repertoire, but it was just a bit too much for me. I can't really give any specifics, because 1) there's no way you would understand what I'm talking about without a 300 page explanation and 2) spoilers galore. Aside from the plot being a bit over the top and unbelievable in every sense imaginable, I found the dialogue to feel a bit valley girl and choppy due to all the "likes" scattered in every sentence formed by a female. That, coupled with a feeling of wondering what I just read, settled my 2 star verdict.I'd like to end this on a positive note, because I'm hoping this book will find the right reader after coming here, but I did really appreciate all the positive relationships portrayed between the girls on the trip. There was one cliche trope of (view spoiler)[girl's best friend and boyfriend cheating behind her back (hide spoiler)] portrayed, but otherwise this novel gave a very different, and uplifting feel to teenage girls' friendships instead of taking the easy way out and making them all be catty and back stabby toward one another.The author definitely has a creative, unique feel to her writing, and despite my low rating I'm intrigued to read something else from her, so that has to count for something. I received a copy for review from the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    This book is...bonkers.I kind of expected and/or hoped that this book would be totally full on bonkers, because it’s a thriller and thrillers are more thrilling if they’re bonkers.Everyone knows that.This book wasn’t all that creepy. Or scary. Or thrilling, I guess. But bonkers? Yes.It might actually be bonkers because it’s not any of those things.I will back up.Natalie’s boyfriend died a couple months back in a car accident and she’s been, understandably, a liiiiiil mopey ever since. So her par This book is...bonkers.I kind of expected and/or hoped that this book would be totally full on bonkers, because it’s a thriller and thrillers are more thrilling if they’re bonkers.Everyone knows that.This book wasn’t all that creepy. Or scary. Or thrilling, I guess. But bonkers? Yes.It might actually be bonkers because it’s not any of those things.I will back up.Natalie’s boyfriend died a couple months back in a car accident and she’s been, understandably, a liiiiiil mopey ever since. So her parents decide to take her (and three of her closest friends!!!!!) on a birthday extravaganza cruuuuuuuuise!!!!They’re not rich or anything. At one point Natalie’s dad is like, Omg lol the cruise is practically cheaper than staying home at this point!!!! To which I say: Unless you’re in some sort of strange Suite Life of Zack and Cody situation, minus the getting the hotel room for free because your mom sings at the hotel, then you stay at home FOR FREE.Are they...are they paying six people to take a cruise?I just do not understand the financial mechanics of this story. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Entirely.They get on the cruise, Natalie is a big ol’ meanie to her friends, she meets and plays shuffleboard with a hottie, she presumes said hottie jumped ship immediately after taking a sexiiii shirtless selfie on her phone.Usual cruise hijinks.No, I’ve never been on a cruise before. Why do you ask?This book can be un peu annoying. Natalie is not the best person alive (I love that fun trope of being like I’m not hot lol!! But I do have shiny blonde hair that falls to the middle of my back, clear blue eyes, smooth tan skin…...etc etc). There’s kind of a romance plotline. Which, bleh. But here are the things that I like:1) Kind of diverse??? Not overwhelmingly. But a little. I will take what I can get because wow holy sh*t everyone in every thriller of all time is white.2) Fun friendship stuff about ~healing~ and ~growing~ or whatever. Again, there are so rarely strong female friendships ever in YA that it’s like,,, just gimme.3) AT THE END OF THE BOOK, NATALIE JUST DECIDES SHE’S NOT REALLY THAT INTO LOVE INTEREST NUMERO UN. AND JUST DROPS HIM.I’m sorry if that’s a spoiler but it is truly the best thing I have ever heard in my entire life.Bottom line: This book can be kind of boring, and it’s like...not my favorite ever? But I like the things it does differently a whooooole hell of a lot.thank you to bloomsbury for the arc <3
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  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    This book is the opposite of chill. I seriously have questions to ask all the characters and they are: CAN YOU GET HELP MAYBE. It features a cruise where things are...odd. And there are some weird passengers, some hidden trauma, and some complicated relationships. And by "complicated" I mean boys ughhhhh. Why do they.I've read a 3 books by this author now and I really liked The Leaving, was confused by The Possible, and am dubious about The Opposite of Here. I kind of struggle with rich kids on This book is the opposite of chill. I seriously have questions to ask all the characters and they are: CAN YOU GET HELP MAYBE. It features a cruise where things are...odd. And there are some weird passengers, some hidden trauma, and some complicated relationships. And by "complicated" I mean boys ughhhhh. Why do they.I've read a 3 books by this author now and I really liked The Leaving, was confused by The Possible, and am dubious about The Opposite of Here. I kind of struggle with rich kids on cruises where they hate everything and are rude to their parents ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I thank my parents profusely for letting me use a cereal bowl. BUT ANYWAY. My biggest issue was that the "mystery" elements seemed more dramatic than they turned out to be. So a little anti-climatic? Ya.Buuut it was addictive, and there were no definite chapter-ends, so I ended up reading the whole frikkin' thing in one night and I was quite keen to know how it would end. If anyone would DROWN or turn out to be a mass murdering hellion on a cruise ship. (Spoiler: it's actually not that kind of story?!? But one can have interesting expectations when one doesn't read blurbs.)
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    For a young adult thriller / mystery this isn't too bad. Natalie, Lexie, Nora, and Charlotte are BFF's. Natalie's boyfriend, Paul, was killed several months earlier in a fatal car accident. Natalie has been in a funk since it happened and is unable to laugh and have fun as she once used too. Her parents think that booking her and her friends on a cruise for her upcoming birthday, a sail-a-bration, will be just the thing to bring her back to life. The first night on the cruise while in the teen l For a young adult thriller / mystery this isn't too bad. Natalie, Lexie, Nora, and Charlotte are BFF's. Natalie's boyfriend, Paul, was killed several months earlier in a fatal car accident. Natalie has been in a funk since it happened and is unable to laugh and have fun as she once used too. Her parents think that booking her and her friends on a cruise for her upcoming birthday, a sail-a-bration, will be just the thing to bring her back to life. The first night on the cruise while in the teen lounge Natalie meets a handsome stranger. The connection between them is instant. She can't believe that she is already attracted to this stranger. They banter easily back and forth as if they've known each other forever. He asks her to meet him at the hot tubs. She returns to her room to fetch her bathing suit. As she makes her way to the hot tub it is clear the handsome stranger isn't there. Why didn't he show? Did something happen to him? Her friends try to convince her to forget about the guy. Who needs a man that's going to blow you off on the very first night? Natalie can't let it go. They hit it off so well that she makes it her business to find out what happened. Now the mystery begins. This book is fast paced and easy to read. Short chapters will have you breezing through the pages. One thing I appreciated about this book is that these teenage girls seemed genuine in the way they spoke and their actions. I didn't necessarily like all of them all of the time but I believed them. I also enjoyed all the nods to Hitchcock movies. What I didn't love is the reasoning behind the mystery. It was just a bit too far fetched to me. On a positive note I do think at the end of the book a very strong message is made about the strength of female friendships and why we shouldn't allow men to define us. Be strong, be brave, and most importantly...BE YOU!!! 3.5 stars! Thank you to Bloomsbury/YA for sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Marla
    January 1, 1970
    Natalie and her family go on a cruise with three of Natalie’s friends to celebrate her 17th birthday. On the very first day, Natalie meets a guy in the teen area and they hit it off. But then he disappears and because of the things he said to her, she thinks he jumped. She then meets another boy who is his twin named Michael. Together, Michael and Natalie try to find the twin before he does something bad to someone or himself because according to Michael, his brother is not a nice person. Natali Natalie and her family go on a cruise with three of Natalie’s friends to celebrate her 17th birthday. On the very first day, Natalie meets a guy in the teen area and they hit it off. But then he disappears and because of the things he said to her, she thinks he jumped. She then meets another boy who is his twin named Michael. Together, Michael and Natalie try to find the twin before he does something bad to someone or himself because according to Michael, his brother is not a nice person. Natalie pretty much ignores her friends, only spending a short amount of time with them. Instead she is obsessed with finding a guy who she barely knows. Also, they are on this cruise because Natalie’s boyfriend had recently died in a car crash and her parents wants to help her cope. There are a few surprises, things come to light about Natalie, Natalie’s relationship with her boyfriend, one of her friends who was a little bitchy and the twin brothers. A little bit of Hitchcock was thrown in literally and figuratively. This was an okay story, not one of my favorites. Natalie was a well-developed character but I think her parents showed up maybe three times and you don’t learn too much about her friends. I didn’t care for any of those characters. It seemed like Natalie was putting a lot on the line for a guy she had just met. I wanted to say wake up and just enjoy your vacation, he isn’t your problem.
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  • Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Bloomsbury. I blame Christopher Pike and Sweet Valley for my weird fondness for potential shipwreck stories.It’s only been a few months since Natalie’s boyfriend, Paul, died in a car accident. To celebrate her seventeenth birthday, her parents take her on a cruise with three of her friends. The first night aboard, she meets an enigmatic boy, and they make plans to go swimming together. When she returns, he’s vanished. Natalie can’t I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Bloomsbury. I blame Christopher Pike and Sweet Valley for my weird fondness for potential shipwreck stories.It’s only been a few months since Natalie’s boyfriend, Paul, died in a car accident. To celebrate her seventeenth birthday, her parents take her on a cruise with three of her friends. The first night aboard, she meets an enigmatic boy, and they make plans to go swimming together. When she returns, he’s vanished. Natalie can’t help thinking he may have jumped or that something even more sinister is at play, and her suspicions are heightened when the captain calls a headcount the next day. Just what is happening aboard the ship, and what does this boy have to do with it?I don’t like to give two-star ratings to lesser known books/authors, but I’m having difficulty finding things to like about this novel. Its interesting premise isn’t particularly well-executed, and what little suspense Altebrando manages to build quickly frays. Paranoia is such a difficult emotion to capture on the page; like her friends, I was urging Natalie to let it go and enjoy the trip long before she did. The actual plot turns out to be much less interesting (and much more ridiculous) than we’re led to believe, and the Hitchcock references are more incidental than anything. The writing is littered with clunky metaphors, bad dialogue (“Don’t even talk to me!”), and extremely abrupt transitions, both between scenes and between past and present. There were a few times I had to flip back to make sure I wasn’t missing a page or something.A flimsy plot can be redeemed by its characters, but that isn’t the case here. Its depiction of teenagers isn’t very charitable, as Natalie is perpetually ungrateful and turns up her nose at the many opportunities for entertainment on the ship. Hating everything on principle just isn’t a nice way to live, and I don’t recommend it for any age. She’s also constantly ditching her friends to search for some random guy, and there’s a long-standing in-fight between Natalie and one of her friends over Paul. Just… why? There are a lot of female characters, but the book is still mostly about guys.The backstory of Natalie and Paul’s relationship is poorly handled. She’s understandably distraught over his death, but Altebrando pulls a weird switch where Natalie realizes her feelings weren’t what she thought. Which, fine, that happens, but she takes it a little too far. Throw in a poorly timed underage sex scene and Natalie acting wildly out of character toward the end of the book, and I’d pretty much given up. There’s a meager attempt to make this into a Learning Experience for Natalie, but it isn’t enough to save a book that ultimately has zero thrills, a bland plot, and no redeemable characters.I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    Wow - that was actually a lot of fun. Though the ending was a little WTF in the "seriously?" way, it was also WTF in the "WTF-I-did-not-see-that-coming way, which I loved.Full review to come next week on Jen Ryland ReviewsRead more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Check out my Bookstagram! Or check out my Jen In Ten reviews on Youtube - get the lowdown on current books in 10-30 seconds!Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
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  • Kristina Reads - Books. Blogs. Memes.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warning for sexual assaultSo yeah this was another weird one that just didn’t quite do it for me.This started out with an interesting premise and just kind of went way off the yellow brick road into Wonderland and left us behind.None of Natalie’s actions made sense to me. She meets this guy the first night of the cruise and, after some light flirting (during which he never even tells her his name) she decides she might be falling in love and becomes hugely concerned for his well-being. I Trigger warning for sexual assaultSo yeah this was another weird one that just didn’t quite do it for me.This started out with an interesting premise and just kind of went way off the yellow brick road into Wonderland and left us behind.None of Natalie’s actions made sense to me. She meets this guy the first night of the cruise and, after some light flirting (during which he never even tells her his name) she decides she might be falling in love and becomes hugely concerned for his well-being. It’s not really that big of a mystery why her friends want her to let it go – he blew her off.When she finally does figure out his endgame, I was left shaking my head and STILL so confused. It just came out of nowhere for me. And I couldn’t really suspend my disbelief enough to get invested.Some people will probably like this book. The writing’s not bad, I just think the overall plot could have been cleaned up a bit. There’s also a nice ending there about the importance of friendship, honesty, and not defining yourself according to another person. So, if the premise sounds interesting to you, you might go ahead and give it a try anyway.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of twisty mysteries that have a touch of unreliability and with that synopsis, I was eager to get to this one. I liked Natalie well enough. There are definitely some things going on, some fairly obvious and some not quite as obvious right away. As the layers peel back, her actions make sense and yet I was still bummed at how she was treating her BFFs. Plot wise, the story moves, but it’s repetitive. At first I thought it would add to the trickery, instead it was sort of annoying. I am a huge fan of twisty mysteries that have a touch of unreliability and with that synopsis, I was eager to get to this one. I liked Natalie well enough. There are definitely some things going on, some fairly obvious and some not quite as obvious right away. As the layers peel back, her actions make sense and yet I was still bummed at how she was treating her BFFs. Plot wise, the story moves, but it’s repetitive. At first I thought it would add to the trickery, instead it was sort of annoying. There are a lot of moving parts here and I’m not entirely sure all of them were needed Overall, I loved the idea of a cruise ship location and there are some things at the very end that I am borderline obsessed with. However, it was definitely lacking some tension that I was expecting.**Huge thanks to Bloomsbury for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Lily (latestreads)
    January 1, 1970
    The Opposite Of Here pleasantly surprised me! Going into the book, I knew that there would be a mystery/suspense element, while on a cruise ship, with some Hitchcock-inspired moments. It sounded great from the start, and I was so excited to dive into the story.The first part of the book that I noticed was how the main character loves and pretty much always thinks about movies, especially some Hitchcock moments. The book starts with "Fade in on me. I'm in my attic bedroom...". I enjoyed how this The Opposite Of Here pleasantly surprised me! Going into the book, I knew that there would be a mystery/suspense element, while on a cruise ship, with some Hitchcock-inspired moments. It sounded great from the start, and I was so excited to dive into the story.The first part of the book that I noticed was how the main character loves and pretty much always thinks about movies, especially some Hitchcock moments. The book starts with "Fade in on me. I'm in my attic bedroom...". I enjoyed how this movie theme played out throughout the whole book it is something that I have never seen done before. The little two liner movie scenes also added so much to the book! They were able to provide little background moments and scenes that the main character, Natalie, doesn't get to see. In general, I loved how in the book, the pamphlets for the cruise along with the daily plan were included. I also enjoyed how there were time-jumps. They helped to give a background to Natalie's relationship with her boyfriend and just essential pieces of information that help to explain why she acts the way that she does. Tara Altebrando also does a great with showing Natalie's character. When Natalie and her friends gather for the muster drill, they are assembled in the theater. She quickly starts to imagine water filling the area as the actors continue to speak their lines while treading water and holding onto curtains. I think that this shows how her mind thinks, always jumping to the worst-case scenarios.Another thing that I enjoyed about this book was how relatable and relevant a lot of things were. I loved how Natalie had the coordinate necklace with the coordinates where she and her boyfriend first kissed. That's what keeps her attached to him, even after he died, and she uses it as a reminder of what happened and what she lost. Then, I relate to Charlotte, one of Natalie's friends, so much! She has this mom-like, "protect the others" sense to her that I associate to so much. She leads the group in what activities they are doing and tries to make sure that everybody is happy.There were such great moments and quotes in this books. "You can't go through life in a daze, it turns out. You need to kick and claw and push and pull and scream. You need to stand yo for what's right--or even just for yourself." The quotes about standing up and being wholly present continue for about like five more lines, but I feel as if these are some of the most important ones. Other quotes talk about how you want to believe that people are good, even with all that you know is going on. These quotes also show how Natalie is growing after her boyfriend's death, how she is learning to be her own person, making her own decisions and being independent. There were only a couple of parts that I didn't enjoy about the book, but some of them were pretty major. The first part was how quickly I solved the mystery/suspense part. I was only held in suspense for a couple of chapters after the mystery was introduced. It became pretty obvious what had happened and what was going to happen. Typically, I would be okay with that but this was marketed as a suspense book, and I felt kind of let down. That being said, there was one last part at the end of the book that I didn't see coming. There was such a perfect full circle moment, and it was just done so excellently that I couldn't believe what had just been revealed. The next part that I wish could be improved were the characters. Unlike my other recent reads, the side characters didn't stand out to me as much. Natalie and one of her friends and like two other characters were the only ones I cared and knew anything about. I understand that the others were filler characters, but I just wished for more interaction with them/ to know more about them. In fact, the only person that I maybe thoroughly knew was Natalie, and still, I didn't know a lot about her.The one part that greatly bothered me were the relationships. I feel like Natalie is moving past her boyfriend rather quickly, especially seeing how she has been handling it and that the relationship that she had went way too fast. I understand how one of her friends mentioned that she wants this week to be "different," but the relationship just felt too strained and unreal.Overall, I did enjoy this book. It was relatable, had a new, exciting format, and significant character development for Natalie, the main character. The parts that I didn't like of includes the relationships, the lack of distinctness in the characters, and the lack of suspense in a book marketed as a suspense book. *Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing me with an ARC. Please note that all of my thoughts are my honest opinions and that some parts that I quoted may have been changed as I did read the ARC version of this book.___________3.5, review to come
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  • Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak
    January 1, 1970
    This book promised more than it could deliver, and therefore I am kiiiiinda pissed off. As my rating, you know, shows. RTC.
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    So many twists and turns I did not see coming! If you're a thriller fan, you won't be able to put this one down.
  • Emilie Hendryx
    January 1, 1970
    My rating: 3.8*I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I initially thought that it was general fiction, but the protagonist is turning 17, and I feel the book itself fits more in the YA category.I enjoyed the premise, especially the setting of a cruise ship, and felt the story moved along at a good pace. One thing to note is that there are no chapters in this book. Just divisions by scene sometimes involving memories. It’s labeled as a mystery and I would say that is accurate, along with th My rating: 3.8*I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I initially thought that it was general fiction, but the protagonist is turning 17, and I feel the book itself fits more in the YA category.I enjoyed the premise, especially the setting of a cruise ship, and felt the story moved along at a good pace. One thing to note is that there are no chapters in this book. Just divisions by scene sometimes involving memories. It’s labeled as a mystery and I would say that is accurate, along with the exploration of friendships and grief.As for my thoughts, I was curious to see what would happen, to the extent that I read this in two days. I enjoyed the discovery process, though at times I felt like the solutions were a little too easy. Toward the end (without giving anything away) I found myself slightly dissatisfied. I didn’t like the conclusions the main character came to with regard to a certain character she had met on the cruise ship. I felt like it made her a shallower character than she could have been. All in all, I would say it is a good book for those who enjoy a little bit of creepy mystery as well as a book with contemporary YA a feeling.*For clean readers: There are some mature conversations as well as language present in this book.——I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to review it. I do so under my own volition!
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  • The Blonde Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    The Opposite of Here follows four friends on a cruise for the main character Natalie's birthday. Right from the beginning, I had this eerie feeling that something terrible was going to happen at the turn of every page. It was such an exhilarating feeling while reading because it left me constantly on the edge of my seat. I loved that the characters were on a cruise ship because it added to the thrill factor of the novel. What is worse than being cooped up on a cruise ship when something suspicio The Opposite of Here follows four friends on a cruise for the main character Natalie's birthday. Right from the beginning, I had this eerie feeling that something terrible was going to happen at the turn of every page. It was such an exhilarating feeling while reading because it left me constantly on the edge of my seat. I loved that the characters were on a cruise ship because it added to the thrill factor of the novel. What is worse than being cooped up on a cruise ship when something suspicious is going on right outside your door? NOTHING! There were a few times where the story line was a little bit unbelievable or the characters were a little too teenager-y for my taste, but all in all it was a fun and fast paced read that kept me guessing. I liked that the young girls had a good relationship and it didn't have the gossip and back stabbing dialogue often found in YA novels. All in all, The Opposite of Here was an entertaining read and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy YA thrillers. *Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury YA for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. Rating 3.5/5
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely LOVED! this book. It took me till the third page (ish) before I was hooked. I will admit I’m usually picky when it comes to the hook. If I’m not pulled in within the first chapter I usually won’t finish it. So I was getting a little worried. But from page 3 on I couldn’t put the book down. Took me 4 hours to read and I wish there was more. (Because I’m now attached to the characters not because it ended in a cliffhanger)Since it’s a thriller it’s hard to explain the plot without giv I absolutely LOVED! this book. It took me till the third page (ish) before I was hooked. I will admit I’m usually picky when it comes to the hook. If I’m not pulled in within the first chapter I usually won’t finish it. So I was getting a little worried. But from page 3 on I couldn’t put the book down. Took me 4 hours to read and I wish there was more. (Because I’m now attached to the characters not because it ended in a cliffhanger)Since it’s a thriller it’s hard to explain the plot without giving anything away so I’m going to try and be as vague as possible while still convincing you to GO AND GET THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY THE DAY IT COMES OUT! (subtle enough?). I love how Tara Altebrando keeps you guessing the whole time but not in an unrealistic way. Each character had their own personality and part to play in the overall story and they all tied together really well. I love how each of Natalie’s friends were unique and they weren’t meant to be “the same, that’s why they fit together”. It was more realistic considering they were on a week-long cruise and they didn’t get along the whole time (teenage girls NEVER get along all the time even if they’re best friends – let’s be real).Natalie’s struggle from the beginning of the book is easy to understand. Her boyfriend was killed in a car accident a couple months before her birthday and she has been struggling to get her life back in order. So when she meets this handsome stranger on a cruise ship, she’s not sure what to do. Is she betraying Paul or is it time to move on? I only gave it 3 stars on romance, but I'm a little greedy that way. I always want more :PThe pace of the book was constant without getting confusing. I was interested the whole time without having to go back and re-read from fear of not catching something. I also love how everything was connected.The only thing that would have made this book perfect was a slight change in the ending but I won’t spoil anything so you’ll have to read it for yourself. And when you do let me know so we can talk about it! It's a thriller, so it's not a book I will likely read again and if I do it won't be for a couple years so I won't remember the ending but it is definitely a book I will recommend to any Ya, Thriller reader. Also, Tara Altenrando (looking at you), the last page was… <3 <3 <3
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  • Sionna
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*DNF @ 24%This is such a shame since I really enjoyed The Leaving by the same author. I started to wonder if things would be different if I was reading an official non-ARC copy, but I don't think the formatting was at fault, mostly. See while trying to read this, there felt like a veil between the characters and I, keeping me from getting too close. I couldn't connect, I couldn't understand actions, I couldn't feel *I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*DNF @ 24%This is such a shame since I really enjoyed The Leaving by the same author. I started to wonder if things would be different if I was reading an official non-ARC copy, but I don't think the formatting was at fault, mostly. See while trying to read this, there felt like a veil between the characters and I, keeping me from getting too close. I couldn't connect, I couldn't understand actions, I couldn't feel them. It is weird to feel so disconnected from a book and my mind kept wandering. Other times I'd re-read a page and realize I hadn't let me mind wander the book literally just switched from present to flashback or detailed background out of nowhere -- this might have been ARC formatting, perhaps there will be more of a divide or marker that things are switching. Then again, I didn't think all the background or details were needed... I might have also stopped caring by then. See, the main character is depressed. Totally understandable since her boyfriend died just months ago. What I don't understand is the need to not hang out with him instead hanging out with a guy whose name you don't know and is kinda a dick. Friends even ask to meet him and she says she'll being him only to totally not truly consider it when she is with him again. So, I'm not sure if I dislike the main character flat out or just her while she is depressed... yet she mentions that whether the boyfriend died or not, she wouldn't want to be on a cruise and acts annoyed the whole time, acts like her friends should flock to her. So, I'm thinking I wouldn't like the main character either way, which makes a book like this very difficult for me to read. 20% in there is no thrilling aspect, I think I left just as things were going to get interesting, but I didn't like the dude either so... I don't think it would have been thriller material for me. Might recommend to people who like mysteries more than thrillers... but, again I'm not sure how often I would recommend this one.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this book certainly is the opposite of what you think it's going to be.For one thing, there is the teenage girl friends aspect. Natalie's parents decide to help her celebrate her seventeenth birthday by taking her and her three (!) best pals on a cruise (a "sail"-a-bration, as Natalie's mother puts it). You go in expecting the girls to bicker and squabble but then realize that they are BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. While there is some squabbling, it's largely due to Natalie being almost entirely i Well, this book certainly is the opposite of what you think it's going to be.For one thing, there is the teenage girl friends aspect. Natalie's parents decide to help her celebrate her seventeenth birthday by taking her and her three (!) best pals on a cruise (a "sail"-a-bration, as Natalie's mother puts it). You go in expecting the girls to bicker and squabble but then realize that they are BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. While there is some squabbling, it's largely due to Natalie being almost entirely insufferable. Like to the point that you wonder why these girls are friends with her to start. There is another sort of bombshell that isn't all that surprising, given what you know about Natalie and the other people involved by the time you get to the shocking twist.You also expect a little romance at sea. There kind of is one, but it is so secondary to everything else that you almost forget it's there. Instead, Tara Altebrando uses a mystery to keep you hooked: did a guy who Natalie met for shuffleboard (!) jump off the cruise ship?Even this central suspense doesn't follow its trope brethren. But here is where you start to think that this sandwich could have a little less stuffing. I never fault an author for taking the unexpected route. Here, though, Tara Altebrando seems so determined to keep you off-base that she keeps throwing different pieces of meat at you. By the time the book ends, you feel as if you were on a tilt-a-whirl.Will teens enjoy this? Yeah. Maybe. There is a particular subplot that some will connect with, and they may see parts of themselves in some of the characters. The best part about this book is that it's written on a higher level. Tara Altebrando does not dumb down her story, and that is most refreshing indeed.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    I expected to breeze through this book and feel detached from the characters and lack of mystery, but I was wrong. This mystery takes place on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean while Natalie, her parents, and her three best friends celebrate Natalie's 17th birthday. Natalie's boyfriend unexpectedly died months prior so she’s stuck in this stoic slumber with the past on repeat. On her first night of the cruise she meets an energetic guy who breaks her out of her stupor. Fast forward 24 hou I expected to breeze through this book and feel detached from the characters and lack of mystery, but I was wrong. This mystery takes place on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean while Natalie, her parents, and her three best friends celebrate Natalie's 17th birthday. Natalie's boyfriend unexpectedly died months prior so she’s stuck in this stoic slumber with the past on repeat. On her first night of the cruise she meets an energetic guy who breaks her out of her stupor. Fast forward 24 hours and this guy has vanished, leaving clues that lead Natalie to believe that he jumped overboard.There wasn’t any character development other than Natalie. Her friends and parents weren’t included much. Things became interesting when Natalie spies this mysterious guy again and asks why he stood her up, and this guy says that his name is Michael and his twin brother was the one who interacted with Natalie.From there the mystery unravels as Natalie and Michael attempt to locate his missing twin brother and figure out the clues he has left behind. The big shocker happened right on the last page. I never put two and two together so once I finished I had to go back and read the last chapter just to make sure what I read was correct.My only wish was that I was hoping for a specific reveal between Michael and his twin. I’m not going to go into details since I don’t want to spoil anything, but the story would have been more interesting with this specific twist.I received an ARC from NetGalley.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Grade: CAn ARC was provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. I am now an intern at Bloomsbury, but that in no way has affected my opinion of this book.The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I had no idea what to expect from The Opposite of Here. In fact, it's going to be hard to summarize it and my feelings without spoiling too much. But I'll try.Tara Altebrando balances several key plot threads in TOoH - Natalie's friendships, the mystery, Natalie's burgeoning romance, her former boyfr Grade: CAn ARC was provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. I am now an intern at Bloomsbury, but that in no way has affected my opinion of this book.The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I had no idea what to expect from The Opposite of Here. In fact, it's going to be hard to summarize it and my feelings without spoiling too much. But I'll try.Tara Altebrando balances several key plot threads in TOoH - Natalie's friendships, the mystery, Natalie's burgeoning romance, her former boyfriend's death and its impact, an interest in film, and a secret that comes to light part way through the book. I will say most of the plot threads worked pretty well, especially the film one since it was used to enhance the other plotlines. However, the reveal of the secret came about a bit too suddenly, in my opinion. I wasn't sure what was happening, and if it was real or just an imagined scene because it is first presented as one of the many short screenplays in the novel. Afterwards, though, when I realized it was real, I think it was handled a bit better.I will say, the romance was one of my least favorite parts; thankfully, the way it wrapped up was great.I really enjoyed the cruise setting. I liked the friendship dynamics. Each of the three girls besides Natalie - Nora, Lexi, and Charlotte - felt distinct. Content warning: I think I remember a little foul language? There's also sexual assault, underage drinking, and implied suicide/death.The Verdict: Interesting and entertaining.
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  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a bit of a struggle to get through. It was neither thrilling or mysterious. I never connected to the plot or the characters. I did finish but I am disappointed with what I read.FRTC.**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for honest review**------------Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...The premise of this story sounded amazing and I could not wait to start reading! Once I started, I quickly discovered that this was not going to be my cup of tea. Weak This was a bit of a struggle to get through. It was neither thrilling or mysterious. I never connected to the plot or the characters. I did finish but I am disappointed with what I read.FRTC.**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for honest review**------------Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...The premise of this story sounded amazing and I could not wait to start reading! Once I started, I quickly discovered that this was not going to be my cup of tea. Weak plot and flimsy characters kept me from connecting to the story or caring what happened.Short recap: Natalie lost her boyfriend in a terrible accident almost a year ago. Her parents believe she needs to finally get on with her life so they take her and her friends on a cruise for her birthday. Natalie had no idea what mysteries were waiting for her on that boat.See, that blurb sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? I found this story to be far less mystery and a metric ton more confusion. The plot itself had holes so large you could drive a truck through them. The author attempted to connected everything but in doing so with events/things that were just too convenient. You want me to believe that this girl that lost her boyfriend and has been moping for 10 months (a fact that she constantly repeats so it is never lost on the read exactly how long since she lost her boyfriend) was suddenly ready to move on because a cute mystery boy starting talking to her? Break out the crayons and color me Confused. The mystery boy disappears and she was the one who had to find him based on “clues”? Peddle that somewhere else because I’m not not buying.On top of that unbelievable plot, other little details sprinkled throughout the story did not sit right with me. Natalie’s family talked early on about how they were making just enough to get by living in Florida but suddenly they have enough money to buy cruise passes for their family of four AND Natalie’s friends? DOES NOT COMPUTE. I know that is such a small thing but I’m the type of reader that pays attention to details because they all add up in the end.Now let’s talk about the characters and the severe lack of development. Natalie lacked any type of personality. I get that she was devastated at the loss of her boyfriend, but I just cannot get on board with her magically coming out of her coma-like-trance because a cute boy talked to her. She never came across boy-crazed until she got on the boat. Maybe this was a magic boat that we were never told about… Hmmm… someone write a story about THAT. *cough* Sorry, got distracted with my idea for a new story. Natalie’s friends felt forgettable and interchangeable. I don’t remember any of their names but it doesn’t matter. They could have been replaced with cardboard cutouts and the story would have read the same. Her parents were absent as well. Sure, they are on the boat but who cares since conveniently one of Natalie’s friends turned 18 and they don’t need no stinking parent!I cannot stress enough how not mysterious or thrilling this story was for me. I found myself skimming the story just wanting it to be over. I can tell you that the “big shocking twist” happened on the last few pages. When that happens, it feels like a huge cop out because there is no resolution nor does the story properly wrap up. I walked away disappointed.
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  • Reading Teen
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun fast read. The mystery wasn’t quite as exciting or intriguing as I was hoping but I still flew through the book. You can tell by my updates that I wasn’t really a fan of any of the characters. The MC, Natalie was such a downer. I mean, I know there are people like this in the world, and I know she kind of had her reasons, but they just don’t make interesting characters to read about. Her friends were jerks, the love interest(s) were jerks, she was kind of a jerk. I stayed engaged This was a fun fast read. The mystery wasn’t quite as exciting or intriguing as I was hoping but I still flew through the book. You can tell by my updates that I wasn’t really a fan of any of the characters. The MC, Natalie was such a downer. I mean, I know there are people like this in the world, and I know she kind of had her reasons, but they just don’t make interesting characters to read about. Her friends were jerks, the love interest(s) were jerks, she was kind of a jerk. I stayed engaged the whole time and just kept on reading, which says something. But in the end, the reveal was more like, “Oh, huh, interesting.” Not, “Woah that’s crazy!”
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  • Estelle
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn’t stop thinking about this book when I was reading it - a great sign. The mystery is a good one, but I also think the story would have benefited from more detail and not that exact ending. Although with the Hitchcock inspiration, maybe this would have worked better on screen? I’m not sure. I liked all the film buff stuff a lot and the cruise setting... this is also exactly the kind of read you want on vacation. It’s a fast one and you will want to enthusiastically pass it on to someone I couldn’t stop thinking about this book when I was reading it - a great sign. The mystery is a good one, but I also think the story would have benefited from more detail and not that exact ending. Although with the Hitchcock inspiration, maybe this would have worked better on screen? I’m not sure. I liked all the film buff stuff a lot and the cruise setting... this is also exactly the kind of read you want on vacation. It’s a fast one and you will want to enthusiastically pass it on to someone else next.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this mysterious young adult thriller but I didn't love the pacing. I did enjoy reading it and I was interest to see exactly where the author was going to take it but it didn't grab me and hold on to me as much as I had hoped it would. Over all I do believe a lot of my students will enjoy it.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    that was trippy!
  • Cocktails and Books
    January 1, 1970
    What did I just read??? This book was a trip, but not in a good way.
  • KatieLMae
    January 1, 1970
    It's been awhile since I read a mystery (okay my journal says it was last month but that was like 10 books ago so that qualifies as awhile ) and this did not disappoint! I burned through it one day and a couple of sittings because much like our main character Natalie I had questions and I needed answers! It takes a little bit for things to get going but once the story gets settled in the pacing is great and keeps things moving right to the end- as in literally the last page.. I don't want to giv It's been awhile since I read a mystery (okay my journal says it was last month but that was like 10 books ago so that qualifies as awhile ) and this did not disappoint! I burned through it one day and a couple of sittings because much like our main character Natalie I had questions and I needed answers! It takes a little bit for things to get going but once the story gets settled in the pacing is great and keeps things moving right to the end- as in literally the last page.. I don't want to give away anything with this one but I will say that the final reveal was a total jaw dropper!
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Well I didn’t enjoy this book. It was very choppy and I didn’t connect to any of the characters. Natalie was ridiculously foolish. I think the mystery part of it was supposed to be intriguing. But I honestly didn’t care what happened. Disappointed. I was provided an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher.
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  • Pauline
    January 1, 1970
    Full review on release
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    A page turner of a verse novel. Maybe not as good as some of her other books, but one I couldn't put down--and passed on to a teen who was sitting across from me at La Guardia waiting for our plane.
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