Review: Away by Jeremy E. Elwell

An escape from today, uncovers the past.

When work and life in the city become too much to bear any longer, Jeremy decides it is time to escape to the forest. After convincing his partner to join in, the two self-proclaimed city boys are sucked into a world of survival of the fittest in some of the most remote wilderness in America. Confronting nature is only half the battle as Jeremy recalls, from memories that are deeply repressed, an adventure he once took as a young teen.

I have to admit the cover was what attracted me to this story. I know we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I totally did...

This book was mostly enjoyable. At times - huge chunks of it TBH -  I was really caught up in the story, particularly as I was discovering Jeremy's earlier memories, the mystery that was there that he couldn't quite capture. In fact, it would be fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the actual adventure parts of this story, particularly younger Jeremy, it reminded me of some of the native American stories of teens sent out on their own as they learn to become men. His battles and interactions with the forest and its inhabitants were so real - it is obvious the author has experience in this area. The descriptions were fabulous, I could feel every heartbeat of the boy's struggle and journey through the forest. 

I also loved Brian, and how Jeremy and Brian's relationship developed through the story. I have to admit that, at the start, I thought this was going to go in a totally different way. Jeremy...I thought that he was going to abandon Brian, escape alone from the constricting city life they had. As it was, their relationship was written beautifully. It was real, not perfect, but full of love and I enjoyed the re-tracing of Jeremy's footsteps through the forest, learning Jeremy's earlier adventure together.  I could feel Jeremy especially growing through the story, becoming comfortable with who he was - and more importantly who he now.

This book is written in a very unique way. At the start I was drawn into this bleak life of Jeremy's and his overwhelming need to escape. I followed him on his metaphorical and physical journey - but there came a point where I really was unsure if this was actually a fictional story or if it was auto-biographical. I went on a search for details from the author...and I still wasn't sure. The author and character share the same name; many, many of the hobbies character Jeremy had were the same as author kinda left me confused. I think my conclusion is that the author has drawn strongly on actual experiences and used them in a fictional story. Write what you know and all that. It worked, to a certain extent, because, as I said, there was a truth to what the characters did and how they did it.

I have to say that, for me, the ending didn't quite work. Not the ending, ending, but the explanation of the past. It just took a story that felt so real and settled, even the teen's adventure, into something fantastical. And that is where, if this story is entirely auto-biographical I'll feel like a right bitch, That's awful. It wasn't the ending so much but the fact I didn't feel it felt that it truly fitted with all that had come before - even though the story was needing a conclusion, the mystery needed solving. The memories needed recovering. it just felt...a bit off.

The ending only knocked a little bit of a heart/star off for me though, the biggest thing that did it was the numerous grammar and editing errors. I hate saying that, but it did pull me from the story as I took seconds to work out what was being said. One in particular got right on my nerves (and I'm really far from being a grammar Nazi, but I actually had to google this to check it wasn't a UK/USA difference) - if you drag something, you have dragged it, not drug it. 
a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, 
prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to 
otherwise  enhance physical or mental well-being.

verb: drags, dragging, dragged
to pull or be pulled with force, esp along the ground 
or other surface
This was so frequent (and among other errors) that I had to mention it because it really did pull me from the story and I'm pretty good at ignoring grammatical issues, I'm far from perfect myself. It's a shame, because with a good edit this has the chance to be great. It's quite unique and I can feel the author's passion for the story and the setting as I read. I still think this is worth reading - just go in warned. Okay? 

Find out more at Goodreads

A copy of this boook was given in exchange for an honest review.

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