by Joy Preble
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Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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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. (Goodreads)
I love the relationship between the main character, Leo, and her sister Paris. They have a very special bond that not a lot of people have. Their mom is a bit of a disaster, who only seems to care about her new husband, who is a total flake. But Leo and Paris have each other, and really, that’s all they seem to need. Leo was definitely a strong character, even though she hid the worst of herself; she was still strong and determined to find where her sister had disappeared to. I wish Paris had been in the story a bit more, she was a really interesting character.
The leading male in the story, Max, for the most part, was pretty adorable. There were a few times in the book where he had me scratching my head, wondering what he was doing, but I can see now why he acted the way he did. Also, I love that he was kind of a nerd.
I love that the setting for the book is in Vegas. It doesn’t seem like I’ve read a lot of books where this is the setting, but I find the place fascinating, and hope to visit one day. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun.
While I enjoyed the story for the most part, I had a few issues as well. I kind of feel that the road trip that Paris sent Leo and Max on was a completely unnecessary; I can see why she did it, but I think the book could have been just as good without it. In the end, I ended up just being confused by what Paris was trying to accomplish with it, and with the scavenger hunt as well, especially sending her sister on a wild goose chase with a complete stranger. Also, the storyline for the book started out one way, and I thought I would be reading just another fun contemporary, but there is a twist at the end of the novel, one that I pretty much saw coming, and the story took on a different edge to it. I was a little thrown by this.
Overall; while I had a few issues with the book, I found still found the book to be a very interesting read. I flew through the pages to see what was going to happen next. The characters and the relationship between the sisters really made the book something special. I’m really looking forward to reading more by Preble in the future.