When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.
I seem to be in the minority of people who have read this book, as one of those that actually liked it. It’s true that is has a storyline that isn’t new, mean girl wants to be nice, but I liked the way it was told. I liked that the main character Sia, woke up not knowing who she was other than he name, and transformed herself into the new her without memories of her old life.
Sia’s journey starts with her having to learn to survive on the streets, being homeless. Sia makes a friend while living in the streets, a woman that teaches her how to fend for herself. Carol is a widow that ended up on the streets after her husband dies, she becomes Sia’s friend and together they try and survive living on the streets. Granted Carol has and will live on the streets longer than Sia. Due to being recognized at a soup kitchen, a chain of events start that puts Sia back into the life she can’t remember.
Once home Sia realizes that her friends and herself, are superficial and popular. They try and force Sia back into that life, but Sia don’t want it. Her memory loss and time on the streets have turned her into someone else, someone her friends don’t understand. Sia takes this time, and advice she seeks Carol out for and decides to change herself and the path she is on. Part of this is proving to Kyle, the boy who recognized her at the soup kitchen that she isn’t the same person she was.
Through her changes, Sia becomes a person she can be proud of and when the memories return she is able to make the choice to go back to who she was or stay who she now is. It even makes her friends re-evaluate their lives as well.
To me this was a great story of a girl given the chance to start over with her life, she was able to make herself into someone she is proud of without the pressure of knowing who she was before. I enjoyed taking this small journey with Sia. Great debut novel for Josh Grayson.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.