I Stop Somewhere
Rating: 5/5
Buy/Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of Hashtag Reads (Released 5th April 2018)

Ellie Frias has never wanted to be popular, she just wants to blend in, to be accepted. But then Caleb Breward, tells her she’s beautiful and makes her believe it.

Ellie loves Caleb, but sometimes she’s not sure she likes him that much – his awkward smile, the possessive way he touches her, his harsh tone, how he ignores her one minute and can't get enough the next. And then, on one black night, Ellie discovers the monster her boyfriend really is.

Ellie wasn’t the first girl Caleb raped. But she was the first he murdered.

I want to say a huge thank you to Hashtag Reads for this book. I was emailed and asked if I would be interested in reading this; the email came with a warning that is was a very difficult read, but very important. Of course, I was absolutely hooked already and couldn't wait to start reading.

When it arrived, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I was met with. I have read a few similar books to this: The Nowhere Girls, Asking For It, Moxie - but nothing as brutal, and raw as this. Before I start this review, I'd like to note a few trigger warnings. If you're triggered by rape, consent, grief or death - please stop reading this review now.

The story focuses on teenager Ellie Frias. Ellie is our narrator and it wasn't until a few pages in, I realised our narrator was dead. I'd not read a book from the perspective of a dead girl before, so instantly I was intrigued. Intrigue was quickly replaced by repulsion and anger. Anger that Ellie was dead. Anger why Ellie was dead. Anger that no one cared. There's a quote in the book that ripped through to my soul:

"I'm not even angry it happened. Mostly, I'm just angry that it could. That it keeps happening". 

Ellie was brutally raped and murdered by someone she trusted implicitly and gave her heart and soul to, Caleb Breward. Ellie never wanted everyone to love her, she just wanted to fit in and blend into a crowd. That is until she met Caleb, he was kind and caring and made her experience feelings she'd never had before. It excited her and scared her, but she was happy to explore those feelings and see where they took her. They took her to a place she could never return from: death.

As the reader, you can feel Caleb's behaviour turning possessive very early on and you want to scream at Ellie to run. People try to tell her, but she loves the way Caleb makes her feel; it's almost addictive. By the time Ellie realises herself, it's too late. And no one will ever know what truly happened to her.

Ellie is now dead and watches Caleb ruin countless other girls' lives. She wants to help, but she is powerless and alone. Ellie wants to be found; she wants justice, and she won't rest until it's served. Someone will find her. Someday. She just wishes more people cared about girls like her.

I don't want to say much more than that, because I think you should hear Ellie's story in her own words, and make the discoveries alongside her. It's a heartbreaking book and I sobbed throughout, having to take regular breaks to calm myself down.

It's hard-hitting, it's powerful, and so important. I couldn't pull myself away from the story and it was hard not to fall in love with Ellie, because there is a part of Ellie that lives on in all of us. This shouldn't keep happening, it can't keep happening - and stories like Ellie's make everyone aware of how brutal life can be. Such a stunning debut from T. E. Carter.

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