Apparently, I've been inadvertently been picking up the heavy hitting contemporary novels these days! But I don't really mind because they've been phenomenal, and this book is no exception!

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter. Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this book, as always, all opinions are my own.

**I also just want to mention trigger warnings for sexual assault, abuse, and rape in the book, and possibly within this review. I'll try not to go into specifics but please proceed with caution.**

This story follows 15-year-old Ellie who just started high school and is ready for a fresh start. When she meets Caleb, who seems to want to be with her when no one else does, she is over the moon. But soon Ellie is finding that Caleb isn't who he seems, there's an evil lurking under that charismatic exterior. After being brutally assaulted by Caleb and his brother, Noah, everyone in town believes Ellie has run away. But only a few people know the truth about what happened to Ellie, and she isn't stopping until she and their other victims are heard.

I don't really want to spoil anything, and even though you can pretty much figure out what has happened to Ellie from the way she narrates, I won't say exactly what happens. If you really want to know, think The Lovely Bones.

This is such a horrific and important story that I'm still trying to process everything that happened. Unfortunately, it is a story we hear over and over these days: a young girl who was with her boyfriend appeared to be "asking for it," and regretting it later, but when she tries to do anything about it is silenced by money and power. But Carter adds layers to the story that, while staying true to that horribly common story, tries to change up the narrative.

The story is told in a hauntingly gripping way, flashing back to almost memory-like moments in Ellie's life, piecing together what happened up to the assault. I thought Carter did a great job writing these moments and having them flow perfectly together. The writing style was alluring, with short chapters that kept me from stopping reading. It's been a while since I read a book that was written so well, I really loved how it was put together.

While it was a minor part of the story, I really loved how Carter described the town and the issues that were affecting it and its people. So often we see stories set in whatever random town, but there is little engagement in the setting. I've been finding that books that engage more in the stories surroundings have resonated with me more - although I'm not sure why.

This book is not really driven by plot, it's really not driven at all. But in the best way possible. It's a snapshot of a story too many people face, and while there isn't much in terms of character development or action-based plot, it is a quietly unassuming story that begs to be relished with a haunting narration. Ellie is this story, she is the driving force and she is the one who really matters.

Overall, I highly recommend this book!