Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book in Review + Giveaway: Getting Somewhere by Beth Neff



Viking Juvenile


Four girls: dealer, junkie, recluse, thief.

Sarah, Jenna, Lauren, and Cassie may look like ordinary girls, but they’re not. They’re delinquents whose lives collide when they’re sent to an experimental juvenile detention program on a farm in the middle of nowhere. As the girls face up to the crimes they committed, three of them will heal the wounds of their pasts and discover strengths they never dreamed they had. And one, driven by a deep secret of her own, will seek to destroy everything they’ve all worked so hard for.

Why I Read This:

There was something that really intrigued me about the farming aspect of this book.  I wanted to know how that could help the girls.


Beth Neff has a writing voice that immediately captivated me. I couldn't tell what it was at first and then realized just how relieved I was at not having the story told from the first person perspective for a change. It seems that lately the majority of young adult novels are being told from this perspective. I do enjoy that first person a lot, but find it difficult to try and get inside the characters' heads every time I start a new book. Getting Somewhere opened up a new avenue for me where I was able to see both what the characters were thinking in the moment and what was going on as a whole. Being told from the perspective of four different girls, this seemed to work really well for me.

As for the girls I was excited to find out what their secrets were. They were incredibly complex characters. I liked that even though they could have come off as stereotypical and flat, they were anything but. Each of them had those unique criminal records and yet at the same time possessed a rich background that got them to where they are.

The farm was so wonderful. I don't know how, but I finished this book days ago, and I am still living on that farm. I enjoyed every aspect of the farming and how the simple act of picking produce to sell at market could help heal those girls. It was like being in a different world for them but that was exactly what they needed. The women running the farm were wonderful characters. Three women who really wanted the program to work but may or may not always have had the best of intentions. They were flawed just like the rest of them but that didn't mean they couldn't all grow together.

The drama was slow moving. There seemed to be only glances of how the one girl was attempting to bring down the program. I wanted more of that, for the others to not be so clueless about it. It would have made the book feel a little faster moving for me. On the other hand what they all found out about themselves from not noticing all the things she was doing and inadverdently contributing to the mess that occurs at the end of the book - that was powerful as well.

A marvelous book. If there was a category in Y.A. for "literary fiction", I would put it there. It read somewhat like an adult literary, but it was most definitely for the younger audience. It was a smart book and one I recommend to someone who wants to read something a little more introspective.

My Rating:


I received a free copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion, and for giveaway.


I have one copy of Getting Somewhere by Beth Neff for giveaway. This is my personal review copy, but depending on shipping costs I will opt to buy a new copy from The Book Depository.

You must be 13 or older to participate.
Open internationally.
Ends June 15, 2012 at 11:59 EST

Extra entries can be earned. Remember to check out Beth Neff's interview post to learn more about her and this book.

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


  1. I want to read this book because you make it sound so unique. I like how at the end, you claimed that you would put it in a section entitled "literary fiction." Books that can't really fit in an already created genre intrigue me. Not to mention, I love books that read like adult novels but are meant for younger audiences. Generally, novels such as these are written better than the average young adult novel.

  2. I've read YA with delinquents, but never one currently set in juvie. Interesting!

  3. +JMJ+

    I want to read this book because I love stories of people who are at rock bottom, ready to give up on themselves as the world already has, and then start to heal in their own time. I think the farming makes a great metaphor for that (with shades of The Secret Garden?). There's some added intrigue in your hint that the programme is actually shadier than most of the girls suspect at the beginning, and I'd love to see how that works out, too.

    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

  4. Rehabilitation on a farm through good old hard work, and dealing with a unique set of challenges sounds intriguing. Thanks for throwing this give away open internationally. Best Lubna

  5. I'm curious to meet these girls and see where they have come from and what the future will be like for them. Stories with secrets are interesting and considering the backgrounds on the girls it's even more intriguing.

  6. Firstly i would like to thank you for an apsolutely increadible book giveaway, that looks completely facinating and intreguing! I adore this particular genre and from the eye-catching, vivid front cover to your review on the book i am now more interested, as it sounds truly origonal and unique and something *new* by means of the plot. The storyline seemed totally inspired & something i have not read before, hence i would love to be able to read it. Thank you once again x
    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

  7. Great review - this book sounds wonderful! What a relief that it's not in first person. I live in an area of England that is surrounded by farms, but I've never actually got involved in any of them - I find farming very intriguing though! I too would love to discover how that helps to rehabilitate these girls.

    Thank you for making this international! :)

  8. This just sounds really different to anything I've read before. I also come from a farming community, and criminal rehab programs like this do actually happen!

  9. Like you I want to read this because it looks interesting to get this kind of a take from four different sides. It's a rougher deeper contemporary then a lot of them and so It kinda appeals to me BECAUSE of that.

  10. This does sounds interesting! My husband grew up n a farm and he has incredible work ethics. When you are responsible for certain chores it becomes something bigger than just all about you which I think a lot of young people could learn from.

  11. This cover catches your attention right away. I love anything on a farm so sounds good to me.