by Joy Preble
Published on April 21st, 2015
by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other—perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble's stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other's lives.
Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can't trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who's moved them all to Las Vegas. It's just the two of them: Paris, who's always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn't going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister.
Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max's offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside.
This book started out very slow. I picked it up, put it down again and again. That all changed when I read the line “He’s making me”. Suddenly I couldn’t put the book down. I had to find out why Paris took off. Who ‘He’ was. And what secrets Paris and Leo and Max are hiding.
When I first read the synopsis for this book I thought it would be a very cute read I was surprised that’s not the way the book ended up going. This book follows Leo, who after meeting a cute boy, Max, and being ditched by her sister. Leo and Max take off on a scavenger hunt, following the clues left behind by Paris. What starts out as just another ‘Paris thing’ turns into something much darker. Leo has to find Paris and get to the bottom of this. And with the help of a strange boy, and her sisters protection, Leo finds the strength she needs to tell the truth. This is a story about having the courage to do whats right and sisters who will go to the ends of the earth to protect each other.
Even though this wasn’t the book I was expecting I still really enjoyed it. Paris and Leo’s love for each other is something I relate to very well and from the very beginning I liked Leo. She was funny and smart and was just a genuine person. She had her future planned, go to Stanford and become a doctor. She worked hard and she was reliable. Paris on the other hand was flighty. She was always pulling jokes or ditching Leo only to show up hours later with a funny story. Paris was the Artsy type and her only plans were to continue making jewelry. I thought the balance between Leo and Paris was really well done. They fit together. They had that sisterly bond and no matter what weird things Paris did or wanted to do, Leo was always right there behind her. After finishing this book, it has a good ending trust me, I started realizing all the clues I missed or ignored. Joy has a really great way of writing something that by the end it was so obviously smacked in your face that you wondered how you missed it. Now Max was very cute but he wasn’t someone I swooned over. I have to admit I got suspicious vibes off Max. Not bad necessarily but just clues that he was hiding something from Leo. A boy who is a complete stranger dropping everything to drive you to another state screams suspicious. I’m glad that he my suspicion was not correct. Tommy, Paris and Leo’s stepfather, on the other hand was very creepy to me. I had my suspicion that he was the reason behind why Paris took off, I am not going to give anything away. So if you want to know why she left you will have to read this book.
This is not an easy or light read. This had some very dark themes and while it does not go very deeply in to what happened it does get mentioned. So if you are looking for a cute read I suggest you pick up something else. I will say that Joy did an amazing job handling this story. It was not overdone nor was it used as a device to make the character stronger. And while I have mostly stayed away from books like this I can say that I enjoyed the way this was handled and the way that this book ended. The character didn’t have the truth come out and everything ended up being okay. There is still work to be done and at the moment she’s not okay but there is hope. There is hope in her that she will get through this. That there will be a day where she doesn’t have the weight of what happened to her weighing so heavily. And I think that’s a great end to this story. It didn’t end neatly tied in a bow. It ended with the possibility that things will get better. It ended with hope.
I ended up giving this one 3 stars. The story was great and I liked the characters but it is not one I would ever read again. I hope you do give this one a chance. I think it is a beautifully told story and the characters are very well written.