Read From Where I Stand by Tabitha Suzuma Online

from-where-i-stand

Raven is a deeply disturbed teenager, who, after witnessing the death of his mother, is placed in foster care. The Russells do their best to earn his trust, but only little Ella manages to get through to him. Meanwhile, at school, bullies are making his life a living hell. An unexpected companion comes in the form of Lotte, a classmate bored by her 'ordinary' friends. TogeRaven is a deeply disturbed teenager, who, after witnessing the death of his mother, is placed in foster care. The Russells do their best to earn his trust, but only little Ella manages to get through to him. Meanwhile, at school, bullies are making his life a living hell. An unexpected companion comes in the form of Lotte, a classmate bored by her 'ordinary' friends. Together, they track down Raven's mum's killer, with the goal of exposing him to the police. But their carefully crafted plan goes dangerously wrong and suddenly nothing is as it seems. Everything is falling apart and, ultimately, there is only one, final way out....

Title : From Where I Stand
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780370329062
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

From Where I Stand Reviews

  • Wendy Darling
    2018-11-14 18:56

    After being so moved by Tabitha Suzuma's incredible Forbidden, I was very interested in finding more books by this author. It's hard to engage readers intellectually and emotionally when you're tackling such touchy subjects, but the author managed to do so with extraordinary grace and dignity. None of her other four novels are currently available stateside, but thanks to the fabulous Book Depository I managed to get them all in my hot little hands from the U.K. at a very reasonable price.The first thing I should mention right off the bat is that From Where I Stand is definitely a book for readers in the younger end of the 12 - 18 YA spectrum. This took me by surprise after the rather adult nature of Forbidden, so it took me awhile to adjust to the somewhat simpler framework and characterizations of this novel. Raven is a troubled foster child who thinks that his mother was murdered, and he's on a mission to find justice for her even as he struggles to adjust to a life with new foster parents and a new school.The author touches on a lot of subjects here, including abandonment, bullying, murder, suicide, and self-mutilation, in addition to all the usual teens-in-trouble types of problems such as anger, isolation, resentment, despair, and loneliness. Given that the protagonist is only 14 (and presumably, the book's intended audience is young as well), it's hard to delve into those subjects with a satisfying degree of depth or detail. As I was reading it, I kept thinking how similar the set-up and feel are to The Great Gilly Hopkins, a book I liked a lot as a pre-teen, except that of course, this one is much more dark and urban. I would say that the narrative, while certainly riddled with more immediate obstacles than Gilly's, is not too far off in what it explores and what it does not.The book is overall pretty well-written, although I have to say that after awhile Raven's gullibility and tendency to dissolve into tears became a little repetitive. He has a lot of reasons to be upset, but some of that has to be balanced with initiative and strength of character in order to keep the reader's sympathy. Still, it's a book that younger teens may find very compelling for its subject matter. And I'm still eager to try out the author's other books.

  • Tabitha Suzuma
    2018-12-07 21:48

    Raven is a deeply disturbed teenager, who, after witnessing the death of his mother, is placed in foster care. The Russells do their best to earn his trust, but only little Ella manages to get through to him. Meanwhile, at school, bullies are making his life a living hell. An unexpected companion comes in the form of Lotte, a classmate bored by her 'ordinary' friends. Together, they track down Raven's mum's killer, with the goal of exposing him to the police. But their carefully crafted plan goes dangerously wrong and suddenly nothing is as it seems. Everything is falling apart and, ultimately, there is only one, final way out.

  • Liv
    2018-11-15 01:50

    4.5 Stars The Story: Raven is fourteen years old and arrives at his new foster home. His foster parents and their five year old daughter are a nice happy family though Raven can’t open up to them. He is sad and can’t bear to stand through a normal day at school or dinner with his new family. All he can think about is this big loss because of his mother’s death. He knows who killed her and will do anything to get this person – (view spoiler)[ Steve, his mother’s boyfriend(hide spoiler)] – to confess murder so he will get his sentence. The Book: With Tabitha Suzuma’s books I kind of know what I am getting into. Or rather, I never know what the book is really about because I just want to read her books without checking the plot, but I kind of know her writing and she never disappointed me, yet. Her books often deal with topics that people try to avoid talking about and they are all so emotional. That’s something I love about her books. People like you and me, people with problems; they touch you with their story deep within your heart.It wasn’t hard getting into this story even though Raven has dark thoughts but I could relate to him easily because I know how he felt.Some thoughts: (spoilers ahead!) I got really angry at times within this story, because I loathe bullies. I felt so sad for Raven that I wanted to reach out to him and keep him safe. I was angry that nobody helped him and the teachers didn’t say anything. I mean, he got kicked at and stones thrown at him, nasty notes got passed around about him. This needed to stop! And I was glad that Raven (view spoiler)[ pushed back once and the bullying ended. But he was lucky that he didn’t kill Kyle or hurt him worse.(hide spoiler)] When you’re older you know that reaching out to others for help is a better solution than fighting, but since I know firsthand how it is to be bullied, I know that you feel scared that it wouldn’t change anything or even get worse if you get help. And it’s kind of embarrassing to tell someone that you get bullied.How can kids be so nasty, so horrible to each other? I don’t get it. The moment when Raven ran outside the house because he overheard his foster parents talking about him and his foster mum saying how exhausting it is for her to try so hard to integrate Raven into the family and nothing coming back from him, and that she first expected for them a small foster kid to play with Ella, was heartbreaking. Raven hurt himself with his penknife and Ella got him back into reality and home safe. I think that Ella saved him in the end because she was his connection from his dark, bad moments to the reality. I just wondered why she never said anything to her parents about him hurting himself. Kids tend to tell their parents everything in her age, especially Ella talked a lot and about everything with them. And his foster mum kind of new that he did something to himself because she mentioned the blood on his shirts. Why didn’t she ever do anything? Get help or something?!It was so sad when Raven had a nice happy moment at the obstacle course and this moment was so short-lived because it got shattered so quickly when he was on the slide and got so fearful that he couldn’t move anymore. It was heartbreaking. And since then I loved Dan, his foster dad, even more. He did the exact right thing. He was there for him and reassured Raven that he would never let him fall. Quote:Raven's fingers were so cold he could hardly feel them. Moving each foot down a rung seemed to take all the strength he had. "Don't let go," he said, his teeth chattering loudly in his mouth. "Don't let go, don't let go, don't let go.""I'm not going to let go, Raven" Dan said. "I promise Matey, I'll never let you fall."They finally reached the ground. Raven was so wobbly he could hardly stand. He felt Dan envelop him in a tight, strong hug. "You're all right, mate," Dan whispered. "You're all right." Raven clung to him. He never wanted Dan to let go.I understand why Raven couldn’t give up on Steve. It’s something he needs to finish for himself to go on in his life. But throwing stones?! Writing an ominous letter? That doesn’t make him any better than those guys that bullied him. That’s what I thought while reading the scene. In the end, I understood better why he acted some ways throughout the book.During the read, I didn't understand why Raven was so obsessed with getting Steve to confess his killing. But at the end, I understood a lot of things better. Even the incident on the slide was clearer for me at the end.I felt so bad for Raven the whole time.I had this feeling that something bad will happen and I thought what if Steve didn't kill his mum? I had this feeling that it didn't happen in that way Raven believed in.I never believed that Steve had an affair or anything similar. But the truth was somewhat horrifying.Raven had (view spoiler)[ an argument with his mum and pushed her, and she really fell because of the broken railing and that this was just an accident.(hide spoiler)]It was an emotional ending. I feared it would (view spoiler)[ end badly but I am so glad that Dan, Raven's foster dad, was there at the end for him.(hide spoiler)] I really loved to read about Dan and Jackie how they tried so hard to make Raven feel loved and cared for him. I felt so sad when I read that Steve (view spoiler)[ really was his dad and Billy his brother and that Steve had to give Raven into care by social services because he couldn't cope with him anymore. It must have been so hard on Steve too, to lose his wife and then his son since Raven couldn’t cope with the death of his mum because he felt responsible.(hide spoiler)] Quotes: What would it be like to fall all that way? Would you scream? Would you have time to shut your eyes before you hit the ground? And when you landed, you would look like a crumpled thing – not real, kind of like a rag doll in clothes – and one of your shoes would have fallen off and you wouldn’t move at all. There wouldn't be much blood, only a thin trickle from the corner of your mouth. People would rush over to you, bend over you, and someone would pull out a mobile phone and call an ambulance. By the time the ambulance arrived, a small gaggle of bystanders would have formed and one of the would be looking up, pointing at the third-floor balcony. When the ambulance arrived, the green paramedics would put a fat white collar around your neck, press your chest and blow in your mouth. But after a while they would stop, look at their watches, write something down, lift you onto a stretcher, replace your missing shoe, smooth down your skirt, then cover you with a white sheet and lift you into the ambulance. And you would never see her again.I sit at my desk, I do as I must,my heart is ridden with pain.I follow instructions without looking up,quietly going insane.Suddenly there was movement behind him and Dan's hand appeared on his shoulder. "Raven, what's the matter? What are you staring at?" Dan covered Raven's hands with his own. Raven's fingers seemed to have frozen and Dan tried to uncurl them and pull them off the rail. "Hey, buddy, it's OK. I've got you. You're perfectly safe. We're just going to kneel and go back down the steps. All you have to do is let go and kneel down. I've got you, I've got you."Suddenly there was nothing holding him. A strangled sob escaped him."I've got you, I've got you. Look, I'm right here, you can't possible fall. I'm right behind you." Dan put an arm round his waist and gripped him tight and told him what to do with his hands and feet, and they began to climb down together.It took forever. Raven's fingers were so cold he could hardly feel them. Moving each foot down a rung seemed to take all the strength he had. "Don't let go," he said, his teeth chattering loudly in his mouth. "Don't let go, don't let go, don't let go.""I'm not going to let go, Raven" Dan said. "I promise Matey, I'll never let you fall."They finally reached the ground. Raven was so wobbly he could hardly stand. He felt Dan envelop him in a tight, strong hug. "You're all right, mate," Dan whispered. "You're all right." Raven clung to him. He never wanted Dan to let go.Raven didn't move. It hurt to breathe. All he had wanted was for Steve to confess.Steve turned back to Lotte. "Look," he began. "I'm sorry, but I never killed my wife. I don't know what Raven's been telling you but he's not well. He hasn't been well for a long --""It's not your wife we're talking about," Lotte interrupted. "It's Raven's mum."Steve stared at her then quietly said, "But Raven's motherwasmy wife.""..... the truth is that I love you but I just don't know how to help you anymore."Raven shook his head. "No," he said. "The end is that the real killer must die. That's the only proper ending."Steve's eyes widened in horror. "No...," he whispered. "Nobody needs to die."Raven stepped back. The glass made a chattering sound as it fell from his hand to the floor. Steve got up. Raven turned, unlocked the door and ran.The tears in Raven's eyes kaleidoscoped the lights from the street below. "I want to tell her I'm sorry," he whispered."I'm sure she knows," Dan replied. He still sounded calm but there was a slight tremor to his voice. "The last thing she would ever have wanted was for you to die too.""I didn't think she would fall!" A sop escaped him now."Of course you didn't," Dan said. He leaned across the roof, stretching out his arm.Raven stared at him, breathing hard. "Make her come back."Dan looked at him gently. "You know I can't do that, Raven."Tears coursed down his cheeks. "Please!"

  • Kate
    2018-12-09 23:43

    I decided to read this book because I saw it in the school library and thought "okay this looks interesting" and as I read the blurb I was hocked. I think that this is a good book and makes us think about how well our lives are going compared to others and what pushes people to the breaking point.This book is about a teenage boy who looses his mum in an accident and thinks that he knows who did it. At the end of the story, through out the twists and turns we find out more about his troublesome past and how his life has been damaged. I put this book in a book with themes related to those we have studied in class in the first half of the year. This is because he gets bullied for not fitting in and is discriminated against because he is different and new just like the Freedom Writers which we studied in the first half of the year. My favorite quote from this book is not really a quote but more part of the blurb that I found that is quite meaningful. "But their carefully crafted plan goes dangerously wrong and suddenly nothing is as it seems. Everything is falling apart and, ultimately, there is only one, final way out." The plan is to get who he think killed his mother to admit to it. These two sentences say a lot and more in Ravens case. He has depression and he tries to stop it by finding his mothers killer as a sort of revenge. He comes to terms with the fact that he needs help. It also says that sometimes things fall apart and there might only be one way to fix it even if it hurts.I learnt from this book that there is always a way through. People like Raven need help and need a friend. A friend that will support them and care. I feel like suicide is not the only and best way through. This book made me cry and wince. It made me want to go and help him. I wanted to take his pain away and from him to be happy.This book fits into the category of my own choice as it doesn't seem to fit into any other box. It is so different to other books that I and others have read. The book is one of those sad ones where you feel quite depressed after having read it.

  • Nick
    2018-12-09 23:41

    I went into reading this book with very high expectations, having read Forbidden(my favourite book of all time), which probably wasn't fair. From Where I Stand revolves around younger characters, so it's told from a younger point of view. Anyway, judging the book on its own, it's definitely worth reading. Tabitha Suzuma is an amazing writer, and her writing seems to flow, so you get a complete image in your head of what's going on. There's no having to do that annoying thing were you sit there for ten seconds, wondering what the hell an author is trying to describe to you, and then realise 'oh, it's boat'. Another really interesting thing about the book, you get introduced to the main character slowly, which sounds like a bad thing, but it makes the book so much more suspenseful. I loved how we didn't know everything about Raven from jump-street, and I think readers will put different puzzle pieces together at different times. I for instance, am totally paranoid, and as such was maybe 80% sure that I had the ending figured out before it actually came out in the book. But I was still dying to know what happened.I think Goodreads needs to introduce a half-star policy, because this book is alot better than other books I've given 4stars, but I'm kind of a 5star scrooge :PIt's a short book but a great read and anyone over 13 will really enjoy it :)

  • LisCarcamo (The Reader L)
    2018-11-17 00:57

    Oh boy! that ending was crazy!!This wasn't the kind of book I use to read and I was getting a little bored at the beggining, after that ending I will remember this book forever!Brilliant! I simply loved it!

  • Zoë
    2018-11-21 23:00

    Wow…wow. I would give this book a trillion gazillion stars if I could. This book…this book is probably now my favorite book by Tabitha Suzuma. I still love all the others, and I still love all the other protagonists and characters, but man oh man…this one blew me away. My kind of story completely. Raven Winter (LOVE that name!) is exactly the type of character I like to write about and read about.Scratch that—he’s the male version OF me. We have so much in common. I can relate to him quite a bit. I’ve even cut before, though not to that extent. And I’ve never experienced that “feeling” people talk about where they say it makes them feel better. But Raven and I have both gotten bullied, both hate school with a passion (bullies or no bullies), both know how moronic teachers can be, both don’t really believe in this “god” that adults have tried to force on us our whole lives (even compared him to Santa Clause, which I’ve totally done), both believe that everyone has the capacity to kill when pushed to their limit, AND we like the same books! I nearly squealed when him and Lotte started talking about The Outsiders and Rumble Fish and S.E. Hinton books. And I actually tried to find that book they were talking about, but I guess it’s a fictional book ): Looking for J.J. It sounded interesting though. Edit: 6/14/15 Never mind, it's real! I shall get to reading it as soon as possible!Raven is also an awesome name, and I like how quiet and broody he is, because he actually has good reason for it. My kind of character. My kind of guy. I usually hate the term “book boyfriend” but if ever I were to use it, this would be the most appropriate time. The whole book I was like, “Wow, this is just like me!”Speaking of pop cultural references, they only had a few in here, but they were of things that I liked. They later mentioned Harry Potter and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I love how when I’m reading Suzuma’s books, it feels like I’m actually IN England, either with the references, or the way they talk and the terms that they use, or the school system (they get recess in high school?! No fair!). It makes me want to read more books that have been written outside of America.About the bullying…at times I thought it might be a little far-fetched when it happened right in front of the teachers’ faces and they did nothing about it, but then I remembered…the exact same thing happened to me. And has happened to countless other kids and teens. Probably to adults in the workplace too, I imagine. Several times students would bully me directly in front of teachers and they would do nothing about it. Or you would go and try to confide in them or your counselor, and the fuckers would never do anything about it. SOMETIMES it’s even the teachers THEMSELVES doing the bullying, which I’ve experienced quite a lot too. Ninety-percent of “teachers” and “counselors” really don’t care about you at all. They claim you should go to them when you’re getting bullied, but it’s just not true. Because then when you do, they turn you away and shut you down. And they simply just don’t want to be bothered, while they sit in their comfy little offices and classrooms, getting paid. Most of them just do these jobs for the money. So while I was thoroughly disgusted by the part where Raven is crying in class and one of the bullies says right in front of the teacher, “His mum was murdered”, I then remembered, you know what? It doesn’t even surprise me that the teacher doesn’t want to do anything about it. They literally get paid to enable kids to hurt other kids, and are directly responsible for the murders that happen via bullying (it can be suicide if you look at it one way, but I consider more homicide…because victims of bullying get every bit of pushing a person can possibly get. It might as well be the bullies themselves pulling the trigger).The Characters—I quite liked all of them, except of course the bullies, which you are supposed to have a healthy amount of repulsion for anyway. Jackie and Dan are so sweet, and Ella is wonderful, especially for a five-year old. Really. She had her moments when she was clearly a five-year old, but then she had other moments where she was so loving towards Raven…two of my favorite parts in the book were when she chased after him and showed him her stuffed animal Roo (was it a Winnie reference? If so, Winnie the Pooh ftw), and when she came in his room at night after she heard him crying and said she loved him and that he was her brother. And then she curled up with him. So, so, sweet…would bring tears to almost anyone’s eyes.Lotte was alright. I like how she likes books about real life. I feel like they tend to get overshadowed by heavy fantasy novels or paranormal romance and whatnot. It kind of frustrates me, but they seem to slowly be making their way back into the speed of things. The only thing is that I would’ve liked her to be a little more developed. It seemed like she was just there to be Raven’s friend to go along with all his plans and that’s it. We didn’t really get to know anything about her. I don’t even know why she doesn’t like her own “friends”, did they ever go into that? I found it weird that she called them her friends but didn’t like them.The Writing was nice and simple. It doesn’t spend too much time dilly-dallying over useless details like some books do. It gets straight to the point, which makes it a nice quick read to breeze through. For some reason people think brevity and getting straight into it makes a book not as good, but that’s what I like. I don’t have time to sit and read pages upon pages of something not pertaining to the plot. Everything feels like it’s happening right now, which I love. I will admit that sometimes it felt like it was dragging with everyday mundane things, and that Raven and Lotte’s adventures seemed to get repetitive, but it was all well worth it. It still goes quickly, since it’s not a long book, and it builds up the suspension for the climax at the end. I thought it was all well-paced for the most part.The Plot, or should I say the plot TWIST, was something I got a little before it was revealed. Well, I got the big part of it at least. I guessed ahead of time that Raven was the one who’d pushed his mother, but it wasn’t murder like he thought. I could feel his guilt and pain though, it must be so horrible to be in that position and have that be the last memory of your mother. I felt so bad for Raven, I just wanted to hug him throughout the book…I can see why it eventually drove him a little crazy, having entirely convinced himself that it was his father instead…speaking of which, that part I hadn’t predicted. It was all a little difficult for me to suddenly imagine all his additional stuff happening—his father going to rehab after his mom died, then coming back, then Raven being so hostile and angry that his father had to give him to social services, having to go through therapy, etc, etc. It sort of reminded me how Mitsuko’s backstory in Battle Royale was not all told until the last minute. Then you’re just sort of hit with it all at once. I kind of wish there’d been a little more spreading out of it throughout the book. Still though, very believable. I could relate to Raven to some extent because I’ve never had a good relationship with my family (and I don’t intend to) and in third grade I was always made to go see “therapists” but that didn’t really do anything. I only liked it because it got me out of school.The Ending: I totally understand why some people feel the ending is quite rushed, and I would’ve preferred if there was an epilogue myself, but at the same time I liked how it ended. I liked how everything picked up at a rapid pace within the last 20 or so pages because it was well worth waiting through the suspense that built up throughout the book. And the last line was so touching and heartfelt…I’m so glad that for once there is a happy ending!Favorite Parts: Aside from the two parts with Ella that already discussed, I liked the two parts that seemed to parallel each other with Dan helping Raven down from the ladder at the fair/festival, and the end. It even had the same kind of questions that Raven was wondering about falling. And last but not least…I liked it when he finally put those two assholes in their places. You know what I’m talking about. Granted, it kills me that he got suspended for it when he was the victim. And even though I like Jackie, she was wrong when she said they could’ve stopped it. This bullying literally went on right in front of every adult’s face at that school and they made a CHOICE. They made the choice of not doing anything about it. Nothing would’ve happened if Raven had just gone and tried to tell someone, I can guarantee. He did the right thing, suspension be damned. The school can suck it.Title and Cover: I love how each of Suzuma’s titles really fit her books, because a lot of books have either generic titles, or ones that don’t make sense. But each of Suzuma’s works has a meaningful title, especially this one and A Note of Madness. And for the longest time when I started reading this book I didn’t understand why the cover was so green, but then when it mentioned the green emergency lights, I got it…the symbolism is nice and subtle, not over-the-top like it is with some books. Lastly, I always like it when the cover of a book has a silhouette of a person rather than a full on picture or portrait or face shot, because you get a LITTLE of what they look like, but still plenty is left up to the imagination.Overall, I liked living in this book. Characters: 5/5, Plot: 5/5, Writing 4.5/5. I was so, SO nervous it would have another sad ending, and I really wanted Raven to be okay. Luckily the ending was more hopeful for a change, a rare thing in Suzuma’s books (now don’t go writing a sequel ruining it like you did with A Note of Madness, Miss Suzuma!). It’s very rare that I finish a book so quickly, but I kept having to go back and find out more. It was stressful thinking about what was going to happen to Raven. And once I started, I got lost in it and couldn’t put it down. Five books down...one to go! Well done, Suzuma! Five stars!!!

  • J. Taylor
    2018-12-02 01:05

    Im a little confused on the age range, there were really dark topics yet written so simplistic and in a style that is more for young children. I did really like it and read it in one sitting for two hours straight but things were explained without actually telling me anything. Also the book ended so bloodly abruptly, what happened after? I want to know. (view spoiler)[ When his foster father goes oh that's a nice picture of Billy I started thinking that Raven's story was not what he said it was and then when his friend mentions that Raven reminds her of another kid I got it that Billy was his brother but I thought he was his half brother, I never could have guessed that Steve was his father. Like what kind of a father just gives up on his eldest son because he's depressed and angry like make it work you're his father, no reason Raven got so fucked up with a father like that. You can't expect to give one son up into care and keep the other that the one you gave away isn't not going to hold a grudge and won't wanna get you back for it especially when he already has psychological problems like you're just fucking him up even more. I do want to know if he does get to spend weekends with his dad and brother after like his dad said although Raven held a knife against Billy so would his father even allow them to be in the same room together? I need to know but there's no bloodly conclusion and I'm very bitter about that. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  • Charlotte Phillips
    2018-12-10 20:00

    Losing a parent is hard, but I would imagine that losing two parents is even harder, especially when your living with a secret so deep and so dark that it causes hell to breathe in your every action, word and motive. The book was a moving novel that actually displayed something that felt very real and natural. Many children go through the situation of being placed into the care of social services, being fostered over and over again and yet being seen as a difficult and devestated child. But the way that the story is told here, really opens up your eyes to what that child may go through. I think we all have the ability to place guilt upon our shoulders for things that were perhaps an accident and were never meant to happen. But what happens to that guilt when the accident is so severe, so tragic and deathly that you have to live it, always knowing what happened.The way the book is written is emotionally tugging and pulling. It really makes you feel the characters sadness and it shows a side of him that is vulnerable and just needs to be loved, protected and cared for. I could feel my sense of abandonment just from his words, and when I tried to imagine a life without my parents there, I wanted to burst into tears because I wanted to know what I had done wrong. The book was perhaps a little too cliche in that it showed a child in foster care often tends to be the problem child. The child who is bullied, who needs to see a psychiatrist. And yet at the same, I think that this is probably very likely and very true for many of those children because of the tragic times that have occured.Of course there is this huge sense of mystery within the novel especially when it comes down to the whole aspect of his dad. Surely if his dad had pushed his mum of the balcony then he would have been held within the states laws behind bars. No one is likely to get away that. But what adds to the mysterious sense is the cause of self harm. Yes a lot of troubled children self harm because they need to find a release of emotions. This is something that I myself can relate and connect to. But there is usually an underlying reason of guilt there as well, where they want to punsih themselves because they are sure that they have done something wrong. I did like the way the story unfolded and the way that it was not predictable. It kept a hold of the reader and really pulled them into the words.The ending of the novel however severely annoyed me because it seemed to end so suddenly at such an abrupt place that you have no way of knowing what happened after. I wonder if this is because they didnt want to portray a false illusion that after all that had occured, that everything would just be a big old happy ending. Or perhaps they didnt want to display the truth incase this was likely to upset readers. But for me the ending just did not feel like an ending and so of course your left there wondering what to make of the book and what to think of it. I did enjoy it though and did find myself unable to put it down because of its realistic traits. I think that its just something that perhaps all readers will be able to connect to in their own individual ways.

  • Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
    2018-12-02 20:38

    This review was originally posted at Fluttering ButterfliesTabitha Suzuma writes some really powerful books. I first came across her name when Forbidden was published. So many people were talking about this wonderful consensual incest love story that I had to pick it up. And it shocked and surprised me how much I began to root for this unusual romantic couple.So I picked up another of her books, this time about a young man struggling with the pressures of a prestigious music academy and manic depression called A Note of Madness and again she blew me away. I became determined to read Tabitha Suzuma's entire backlist as I'm intrigued and excited about where this author will take me next.From Where I Stand is an unusual little book. It seems rather straight-forward at first glance - our main character, Raven witnesses the death of his mother and he's placed in a foster care. He's taken in by a great family, but he's so troubled and traumatised by the death of his mother that he can't really deal.Despite being bullied at his new school and being befriended by Lotte, a girl in his class, all Raven really wants to do is gather some evidence in order to prove guilty the person he knows killed his mother. Despite her death being ruled as accidental, Raven has other ideas. So together, Raven and Lotte start their search.I really didn't have a clue where this story was heading until the last third of the book. Then it becomes more obvious how much Raven has been affected by his mother's death. You start noticing some similarities between Raven's tormentors and the way in which Raven treats his ex-step father. There's this growing sense throughout the novel that Raven and Lotte are really in over their heads in the way the go about their investigation.I wasn't sure what to make of Lotte at all. It's nice for Raven to have a friend, but it was constantly at the back of my mind that perhaps Lotte isn't as genuine as she makes out to be. I did however LOVE Ella, Raven's new little sister where he's staying. She was a really bright spot in this otherwise gritty and darkish thriller. Plus, everything takes place in West London, where I used to live. It's always nice to see familiar places.On the whole, I enjoyed From Where I Stand. I really felt for Raven and wanted him to be happy in his new family but could really believe how broken he had become from what he had experienced. His quest for the truth and for some answers took me to a surprising place. I look forward to reading more books by Tabitha Suzuma!

  • Conor McHugh
    2018-12-12 00:06

    Whilst no way near as good as forbidden (it would have to be bloody brilliant if it was) "From where i stand" Was still an entertaining thriller.It was a quick, easy-read. One difficulty i'd have with this book, is deciding on its suitable age range. Whilst it contains material that is indecent for young children to read (self harm, heartless bullying, disturbed teen), the plot and story telling, was also too simple for adults.I felt the character's kept voicing everything, so that the reader understood. However, i don't think this was needed. It was easy to assume parts of the story when given information, and we didn't need Lotte or Raven to spurt out their theories all the time. The story was very flat, and easy to digest, that really, i'd say the target audience for this book would best be 10-15 year olds. However, it was the adult material, and the relentless swear words that kept popping up, that puts this book into some kind of child-adult limbo. I think, with a few tweaks, this book could have been better suited to children. Although, these tweaks may then again take some of the reality away from the story, so maybe i'm wrong.Again, still going through my list of bad points, i have to say that for a couple of... i think they were 14... or 15? i forget. Either way, for a couple of 14/15 year olds, i found that Lotte and and Raven to be very immature and child like. They had a childlike lust for adventure, they spoke like children, acted like children. To sum it up, i would say that Raven's and Lotte's personalities would better fit into a couple of 9/10 year olds. But, in all, the story kept you interested. (however predictable it may have been, again, another reason why it best suits kids). The writing was not as elegant as it was in "forbidden", however it was still nicely written. It handled its difficult theme well enough, and the scene where Lotte asks Raven why he's harming himself is a strong scene that was really well done. My favourite line being Ravens reply of "no, i do it because i hate myself". Thats not the exact quote. I'm just too lazy to pick the book (which is conveniently in-front of me) up to skim through it for the real line.In summary. An easy, tasty children's book. That is all. And sorry Tabitha, but when you write a groundbreaking book such as "forbidden", i will forever compare your work to that. Which in itself, is a compliment. Im still eager to read "A note of madness" as well.

  • Kulsuma
    2018-11-19 22:49

    From Where I Stand by Tabitha Suzuma was an amazing book! I read it in one sitting- I started at 4 and finished at 7.30- in the A.M.! What kept me awake and reading? Why didn't I give a thought to the electricity bill? There's a simple answer- Suzuma's writing is gripping and fluid. She writes with confidence and gets into her characters' heads really well. There wasn't a point at which I thought- oh, it's getting boring now, I can stop here. That was why I had to keep reading. From Where I Stand is about a 14 year old boy called Raven in foster care. At the start of the story, he meets his new foster parents, Jackie and Dan- and also their five year old daughter, Ella (who can speak really well for a five year old;). Raven is monosyllabic and uncommunicative and you can tell he's been through a lot. He's lost his mother, he doesn't feel like he belongs anywhere and he's being bullied at school. Enter Lotte. She's the only friendly person at school and Raven confides in her about his mother's death. His mother was murdered, Raven knows who the murderer was and he's going to do something about it. Raven was a fantastic character. He had problems but won't talk about them with anyone, not even with Lotte in some cases. He keeps himself at a distance, so much so that we, the reader, don't know what to think of him and his actions at times. This balance of how much the author let the reader know was brilliantly balanced.I really liked all the characters- well, except Kyle and Brett, who we're not meant to like anyway. Lotte was kind and helpful, but I thought she was slightly naive. I have to remind myself that she is only fourteen, but still... Dan and Jackie were great foster parents and Ella was cute (sometimes :).Overall, From Where I Stand was a great story and I would recommend it to everyone who likes fantastic writing, well-developed characters and shocking twists.

  • Erin Pallott
    2018-12-13 18:53

    This is the second book of Suzuma's that I have read. This one is also heartbreaking.14 year old Raven moves into a new house to live the Russell's. His new school is at first a nightmare, but he makes friends with a girl called Lotte who is bored of all her boring friends. Together they team up and set a plan to expose Raven's mother's killer.Tabitha is very good at writing about mental illness. She can describe such deep feelings so that almost anyone can begin to understand what that is like, She can explain the harsh realities of depression and other illnesses. Raven's story is very sad. Throughout the whole book, more is revealed and the by the ending, you are left heartbroken for him. Despite his problems, he shows to be a really sweet character which is important as it is hard to read a book if you don't like the main character.Throughout the book I continued to change my opinions on characters as the story continued and the plot thickened which shows how Raven himself is changing his opinions on people even though it is written in the third person.At some points I was not sure whether I found certain events realistic or not but after a full understanding of the plot I was able to decide the reasons behind characters motives were justified.Tabitha Suzuma continues to be one of my current favourite authors and I will continue to read more of her books.

  • Nina
    2018-12-08 21:48

    I don't know what to say about this book. As many of you probably know, Suzuma is one of my all-time favourite authors, and this is the last of her five currently-published books that I've read. And honestly? I didn't really like it. I know it was about the second book she published, so of course her writing skills have developed over the years, but I just didn't connect with anything. Not the characters, not the twists, not the storyline. I only really enjoyed the ending, where the pace actually picked up. I'm not saying it was terrible, though. I do like the idea of the plot - Raven's mother's died, and he's dealing with his new life with his foster family. If I was thirteen, I reckon I would really have enjoyed this book - but since I'm two years old, all I could seem to do was pick holes within the story. I mean, for one thing, how stupid is Lotte? So many hints about the ending were openly said throughout the book, and it's like - you didn't pick up that any of this and Raven's actions were completely strange? But I don't know whether that's just because I tend to look too in-depth into books

  • Emma Louise
    2018-12-10 22:02

    This wasn't a bad little book. There's something about Tabitha Suzuma's writing that draws me in. The two books of hers I've read, I managed to finish in the space of 24 hours because I was so sucked into the storyline. This book was about 14-year-old Raven, who had just been moved into a new foster home with a small, but cosy family, and his troubles with starting at a new school. From the get-go, you had the feeling things weren't exactly going to go well, or end well, for Raven. He did make friends in the end with a lovely girl, Lotte, but not without a lot of angst on the pages.Raven was very swept up in the whole idea that this man Steve/Steven? had murdered his mother (the reason why he'd been put into foster care). I won't spoil the ending though, but I will say it was the one thing that brought the book down for me. I didn't like it at all. It didn't 100% feel like a ripoff or anything, but I just didn't like it, and it felt a bit convenient/cliche. Overall, the writing was superb, but like I said, it was the ending that brought down the book for me.

  • Hollie Walbaekken
    2018-12-04 18:02

    From where i stand ; by Tabitha Suzuma I have to say is deffinatly my favourite book I have read this year. Recommended to me by Sian Moriaty in my class. Raven is a deeply disturbed teenager, he is in foster care after witnessing the death of his mother who fell from there home belcony. He gets put with the "Russles", who have one child , a daughter named Ella. When he starts his new school the school bullies do what ever they can to make Ravens life a living hell. He makes a bestfriend , her name is Lotte and together the hope to catch Ravens mums killer, Little does Lotte know , There's more that meets the eye to his mums death. An amazing story of friendship , with the biggest twist at the end. I would recommend this book for teenagers aged 13-18. I made this " A book written by a female ", on the bingo board. I would rate this book 10/10 , please read it , you will not regret it.

  • Emily Rose
    2018-11-16 20:39

    Man...pretty much any ya book I see now with a teenage male protagonist I'll jump on right away. I'm soooooo sick of finding a million books with the same ignorant, "clever", and love-struck protagonist girl and only like 5 with a good, genuine, realistic teenage boy protagonist. For some reason I seem to favor guy protagonists. Because it seems like most of them are girls right now and really annoying ones, at that. Like in the Fallen novels by Lauren Kate. Luce is the DEFINITION of 'that girl.' Ugh. I'm only reading those books because I like Daniel and I would like it about five times better if it were mosty his side of the story being focused on. Anyway, sorry girls! I'm a girl, too, though...so... Whatev. I even like the main boy character in my own story I'm writing better than the main-er girl chaaracter I myself created.

  • Mika
    2018-11-24 00:41

    Cover : Quite creepy and sad, but green is my favorite color, so... Let's say 3/5.Writing : Tabitha Suzuma's writing is fantastic. It really gets you. You're stuck inside Raven's head, it seems like you can't escape before you know everything about him and his mother's death. 8/10.Story : The story started quite simply. Just another orphan kid. But God, the last chapter was bloody amazing, and the ending is quite unexpected. Well done. 8/10.Characters : I fell for Raven's despair and sadness, but the character was sometimes a little bit too dark and broody for me. Lotte was a cool and intelligent girl. My favourite characters must be Dan and Ella, who are just spots of sunlight in the novel.

  • FreakChiq
    2018-11-16 22:41

    Even though Raven is just 14 years old he's been through more pain than I was in my entire 25 years. I felt so sorry for him. Every time Kyle and Brett picked on him, I was on the verge of shouting: "Leave him alone!" And when I read his poem ("I sit at my desk, I do as a must, my heart is ridden with pain. I follow instructions without looking up, quietly going insane."), I swear could hear my heart breaking. [image error]But I always knew there was more. This wasn't just about the bullying, his mother being dead and him being in foster care for the past two years. So when it finally made "click," this book turned into a dark psychological thriller, which I couldn't put down.

  • M.A. Stacie
    2018-11-17 20:05

    I'd say this is more 3.5 stars, but couldn't put that.I felt for Raven... his pain jumped off the page and a liked that the author didn't tell you everything all in one go. She dripped a little of the real Raven bit by bit.Ella was wonderfully enchanting, lightening the plot when things got too intense. That being said, I think she left the "big reveal" about Raven until too close to the end. The first sign that his truth isn't actually the truth is when Lotte sees the picture. Sure, the readers asks how the boyfriend has another child, but it's more of an after thought...until the photograph.It's a quick read -- I read it in a couple of sittings, and has enough plot to keep you interested, though reading it as an adult I can't help but want more explanation -- more depth.

  • Lala
    2018-12-13 19:04

    THANK YOU TABITHA!Another fabulous creation. The last 3 books I have read have been a disappointment (just to clarify, obviously they are NOT Tabitha Suzuma books), I knew I would enjoy this one...and I did. What a lovely heartwarming and sometimes intense story with characters that jump off the page! I'm crazy about Raven, little Ella, and Lotte. The only bad thing about this book is that it ended...and there is no sequel. Wonderful!"Raven couldn't stop shivering. Ella reached out her hand and touched his. 'It's all right, Raven,' she said. 'I would've catched you if you'd falled'.

  • Resident Optimist
    2018-12-11 01:06

    I was disappointed with this, the read itself wasn't very interesting, it dragged at points. I was however interested at the very end when the truth was revealed, I much prefered Suzuma's other book, Forbidden. The characters in this book were likable. I especially liked Raven's new foster family who were very caring and treated Raven like their own son and gave him space when he required it. They gave him the chance to approach them if he required their help, they didn't smother him with attention. His step-sister was very cute and lovable. Overall a decent book for a quick read.

  • Charles
    2018-11-18 00:57

    A thrilling book!Good definition of the main characters’ personalities. Leaves a lot to your imagination.As the story unfolds, you begin to put into place different theories, while eliminating others.I was constantly interested in finding out what happens next.I enjoyed reading this book.Unfortunately, it ended quite suddenly. Perhaps there should have been an epilogue?But still,it's a great weekend or quick read.

  • Heather
    2018-12-06 00:53

    I love Tabitha Suzuma's books and once again she has delivered the goods. From where I stand is a complete page turner that leaves you on the edge of your seat until the very last word. It is a fast-paced psychological thriller where nothing is quite what it seems and the story culminates in an incredible, shocking twist that leaves you reeling. This is a touching, beautifully-written story that is both tragic and uplifting and will stay with you long after the last page.

  • GDelaunay
    2018-11-23 00:49

    Another great work by this wonderful author whom I came to appreciate more and more through her books. A powerful story, opening an interesting insight on the mind of an ordinary guy involved in an unspoken tragedy. Tabitha Suzuma is always so delicate and poetic, even, or especially, when faced with the most difficult issues. Raven, the main character, is alive and palpable, the plot worthy with of a fast-paced thriller.

  • Herapia
    2018-12-02 23:59

    Category: None.I was loaned this book by a friend and it turned out to be great. Within the first chapter I had so many questions and things I wanted to know about the characters. I wouldn't rate it the best book I've ever read but I was definitely interested throughout the whole book. For a new author of this day and age, it was good. (:

  • AJ
    2018-11-25 17:45

    Absolutely amazing book! very exciting story, and also very sad. i really pity Raven.He is bullied at school, has no friends except for lotte,and witnessed the murder of his mother (or so he says). i was near tears at the end.i could not stop reading it, it only took me a day to finish!Like i said, amazing book.

  • Sally
    2018-11-30 21:02

    I got given this book as a gift over two years ago and I never got round to reading it until this summer and wow do I wish I hadn't waited. This book was so powerful for me, I felt in some circumstances that I could occasionally relate with Raven. I started and finished this book within 5 hours, refusing to eat until I had finished it. I need to find and read more by this author!

  • Em The Reading Challenge Challenge
    2018-12-15 20:02

    An incredible YA mystery that takes a dark, compelling turn. Thank goodness for Lotte and Ella who brings a balance of fun and kindness to this grim little novel. I love it, but I'm frustrated by the fact that the twist is so good you can't really read it more than once.

  • Lynn
    2018-11-30 00:37

    Disappointed with this one unfortunately. I didn't connect with the characters and figured out the ending before I got there. Pity, as I was so looking forward to reading Suzuma again. Is there no topping "Forgiven"...?