Monday, December 29, 2014

Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards: Prepublication Blitz with Excerpt and Review

Title: Gone Too Far
Author: Natalie D. Richards
ISBN: 9781402285547
Genre: Young Adult
Age Range: 14+
Publication Date:  January 6, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

Keeping secrets ruined her life. But the truth might just kill her.

Piper Woods can't wait for the purgatory of senior year to end. She skirts the fringes of high school like a pro until the morning she finds a notebook with mutilated photographs and a list of student sins. She's sure the book is too gruesome to be true, until pretty, popular Stella dies after a sex-tape goes viral. Everyone's sure it's suicide, but Piper remembers Stella’s name from the book and begins to suspect something much worse.

Drowning in secrets she doesn’t want to keep, Piper’s fears are confirmed when she receives an anonymous text message daring her to make things right. All she needs to do is choose a name, the name of someone who deserves to be punished...

Ohioan and Double RWA Golden Heart Finalist NATALIE D. RICHARDS won her first writing competition in
the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes). After getting lost in a maze of cubicles, Natalie found her way back to storytelling, following the genre of her heart, teen fiction. Natalie lives in Ohio with her amazing husband, their three children, and a giant dust-mop who swears he’s the family dog.

An Excerpt:
I unzip my bag, rifling through stuff that’s worthless right now: proof sheets from the homecoming dance, my history textbook— might be useful if I hadn’t already taken that test—an extra lens cap. My fingers close around a slim, spiral-bound spine. That notebook I found.
I pull it out. Maybe, by some stroke of cosmic luck, it’s someone else’s AP chemistry notes. Fat chance, but I’m desperate.
I open the book and frown at the three large words handwritten on the inside of the cover.
Malum Non Vide
Great. Latin notes. I think it’s Latin, anyway. Regardless, it’s useless to me.
I sigh, running a finger down the cardboard pocket insert that protects the first page. Funny. I’ve never seen anyone use these stupid things, but I can feel a thick lump in this one. I pull back the cardboard far enough to see what’s inside—pictures. A whole stack of them. A photographer not checking out a stack of prints is about as likely as a cat resisting an open can of tuna. It’s not exactly snooping, more like creative curiosity.
I slide a couple of photos out by the edges. Poor quality black and white snapshots taken around the school from what I can tell. I straighten the top photo to get a better look. It’s Isaac Cooper…but it’s wrong.
Isaac’s eyes are empty. White sockets glare out at me, windows to a place where Isaac’s soul used to be.
I feather my thumb over the face, feeling the jagged scrapes and tears in the photo. The eyes weren’t just colored over—they were gouged out. And someone took their time about it, picking out bits of iris and pupil, leaving nothing but a pale oval framed by his eyelids.
A chill ghosts up my spine, nesting in the hair at the nape of my neck.
Who would do this? I try to picture it; someone hunched over with a needle, scratching away. The image sends my stomach into free fall.
I flip to the next picture. Anna Price. Her eyes are gone too. I keep flipping—Kristen, Ming, that guy who always seems to be dating one of the cheerleaders. Three more pictures. Six more gaping holes where eyes should be. My heart beats faster, pushing ice into my veins.
I put the pictures back with shaking hands.
What the hell kind of book is this?
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My Thoughts:  I enjoyed Natalie Richards first book, SIX MONTHS LATER, and when the opportunity arose to read GONE TOO FAR, I immediately took it.  GONE TOO FAR is a mystery and has that element of suspense, some romance, and is mixed in with the whole "who-done-it" theme that will keep you guessing throughout the book.  The book is also centered around social issues and stigmas that anyone who has been to high school knows exist.  Your clicks.....the popular kids, the nerds, the outcasts, and everyone in between.  Piper Woods falls into the in between category.  She witnesses an event at school that ends in tragedy and finds herself in the middle of something that borders on vigilantism, or does it?  That is a question Piper will have to figure out for herself, along with the help of one of the "popular jocks", Nick, who blows all her preconceptions about people right out of the water.  When things get more serious and dangerous than Piper ever thought they would, she has an important decision to make, but will she make the right one?

I liked Piper's character and enjoyed watching her develop over the course of the book.  I loved Nick's character.  He was totally swoon-worthy and just an all-around awesome guy.  There are quite a few secondary characters that also play important roles in the book, and I thought Natalie Richards did a great job portraying each of them, while shedding light on the different social misconceptions that so many people have about each other, which are only partial truths that seem magnified even more during the high school years.  While I did pretty much figure out who the culprit was, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and this fact wasn't confirmed until the end.  The romance was sweet also, and I thought the book ended so well, tying everything together nicely.

If you are looking for a good YA mystery that has the added elements of romance, suspense, and a little excitement, then GONE TOO FAR is something you should consider adding to your TBR list.


  1. This was a fun sometimes creepy read, glad you tried it and liked it as well. :)

  2. I really enjoy a good mystery, thanks, Ellen!

  3. Wow. This one kinda freaks me out a little. Could be the teacher in me. Glad you enjoyed.

  4. I love YA mystery so I'm definitely going to give this one a try.

    Thanks for sharing Ellen, a great review! Sharon – Obsession with Books


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