I was truly suffering from a brain funk after finishing Where it Began. It wasn’t that the book was complicated, so I had a lot to get my head around. But it was just the long winded path the book well more specifically the main character Gabby took to finally discovering the truth! Seriously Gabby kind of made your head spin in exasperated circles.
Gabby wakes up near the remains of her boyfriend Billy’s battered car with no recollection of how she got there, when in hospital she still can’t remember a thing, it takes her a while for things to slowly make sense. She was driving and ended up slamming into a tree and smacking her head. Her blood level showed she was way over the limit and consequently the smack to her head has left her with retrograde amnesia. The only thing that she remembers was that Billy Nash her boyfriend was with her in the car, but she doesn’t know what happened to him after that. Did he manage to escape? Is he hurt? Is he still alive? No one’s telling her anything, her mum just flips her off, and she won’t let her friends come to visit her either. She’s more concerned with making sure Gabby’s looking perfect physically, not the least concerned about her mental state. On top of all that Gabby also has the police breathing down her neck.
I really enjoy reading books dealing with memory loss, I’ve come across some okayish ones in the past but Where it Began started really well. You’re thrown head first into Gabby suffering from a head trauma, and you have all these questions flying all over the place, what are they not telling Gabby? Where’s Billy? Is the fact that he’s not got in contact with her and everyone’s tight lipped about him mean he’s dead? Why’s Gabby’s mum so selfish? Will we ever find out what really happened? Would Gabby get her memory back?
Despite starting off well, I had several problems with this book and thus my 2 star rating. Initially the book had the constant need to flit back and forward between time spans, so one minute you’re in hospital with Gabby, the next she’s recalling a memory of when she first started dating Billy and then you’re thrown back into the hospital and then back into the past, and so on, at times it was utterly mind boggling. I know it was there to establish the back story about Gabby’s huge make-over; finally becoming noticed, becoming part of the popular crowd and everything she remembered up until the accident. But at times I really wanted to shout would you please get on with it! I really didn’t give a toss about the back story; I just wanted to know what really happened. It was also hugely frustrating when Gabby kept constantly yammering off the point.
However what truly grated me about Gabby’s character was her infatuation with Billy. It’s like she had blinkers on throughout the entire book he was loving, caring, good-looking, everything he said was right, he was doing everything for her, basically she thought he was perfect. I don’t know if when Gabby banged her head that she knocked the part of her head which was for common sense too, but ugh some of the drivel she spouted about Billy I really wanted to slap some sense into her. Gabby’s parents were also another major annoyance in this book, like seriously does no child have decent parents anymore? Gabby’s mum Vivian honestly made my blood boil, first her daughter has suffered a major head trauma, she’s lucky to be alive, but all she’s concerned with is how she looks, instead of remaining by her bedside, she goes shopping whilst she’s in hospital for make-up so she can spruce her daughter. Obviously because that would be Gabby’s number one concern right now her appearance?
“You were so beautiful, you were”
“It kills me to see you like this.”
What a way to boost her daughter’s confidence, whilst she’s lying in bed cut off from her friends and the outside world, not having a clue what’s going on and suffering from a head trauma. Gabby’s dad was just the invisible parent, wandering aimlessly in the background making occasional appearances or just drinking himself away.
Basically Where it Began started off as a highly anticipated read but ended up being a big disappointment. The book went around in maddening circles and frustrated me to a no end with two faced and pathetic characters.
“I thought she knew” argghh!!”