Some Faraway Place by Lauren Shippen

》DOROTHY IN OZ《

I received an eARC copy of Some Faraway Place from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Lauren Shippen is a storytelling genius. The Bright Sessions has been a favorite podcast of mine for years and I’m so glad she brought this vibrant world to the pages of a book.

I knew this book was going to be great, but dang, I think this is my new favorite of the three (sorry, Damien). I definitely didn’t expect it to make me cry (no spoilers). Some Faraway Place is the perfect conclusion to this podcast. The book was written mostly as journal entries from Rose (the book is mainly in her POV) with a combination of letters from a mysterious someone (it’s revealed later in the book) and reddit-like entries from Aaron, Rose’s brother, that help add depth to the overall plot. We met Rose originally towards the end of the podcast and getting to have more insight into her character was a blast. The way Shippen weaves details from the podcast into the book without verbatim giving us episodes is *chef’s kiss*. We learn way more about Rose’s totally Atypical family, her interactions with Emily (her girlfriend), her relationship with Damien (I fully support that, by the way), and how she really navigates her dreamdiving (changed from dream walking for the book). Rose is so sure of her place within  her Atypical family but all that gets knocked on its head when she finds out that she also has an ability: dreamdiving. Throughout the book we see several characters grappling with who they are and where they fit into their world. It’s a book of discovery and learning that having an ability isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

As someone who has listened, and relistened, to the podcast I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to fans and non-fans alike. It’s a coming-of-age story, a love story, and will leave you on the edge of your seat. You get answers to questions you have along the way like just what happened to Damien and what is the nature of his’ and Rose’s relationship, do things work out for Rose and Emily, and what is the Atkinson family dynamic really like (especially now that a huge wrench was thrown into the mix)?

I was beyond thrilled to find out that we got a lot more Damien in this book. As much as I loved reading about Rose’s story, her family, and her dreamdiving, Damien has been my favorite character from the beginning (despite thinking he was a little creepy at first). Overall, I am so glad this was the story to wrap up The Bright Sessions and give us some closure. Shippen has such a way with words and storytelling and it’s what drew me in all those years ago. I will be a lifelong fan of this series and I’m so glad I was able to read an early copy of this book.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐//5

Rep: sapphic (lesbian and pansexual), mlm (unspecified), Jewish, Latinx, mid-size
CW: graphic: confinement, terminal illness, death || moderate: addiction, grief, medical content, abandonment

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