Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ARC Review: Sia by Josh Grayson @NetGalley

Title: Sia

Author: Josh Grayson

Publication date: November 23rd, 2013

ISBN: n/a

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
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.

Review:
I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was intrigued by the idea of a popular rich girl who pretty much owns the world developing amnesia and having to relearn how to treat people. I have been trying new genres and books that are generally a little different than the ones I normally read lately and this was one of those that I added to my list. It has no sort of paranormal feel to it which is something I am trying to pull myself out of. I am stuck in a paranormal rut and needed a break. Enter, Sia.

The story opens on a girl named Sia, or so her iPod tells her, who awakes in the park with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or where she should go next. She ventures out into the world completely blind to the dangers surrounding her. As she is asleep beneath a bridge, she meets a kindly older lady named Carol. Carol immediately sees how desperate Sia is to survive and takes pity on her. She shows Sia how to be homeless and how to avoid certain death from the elements, hunger, or even other people (homeless and otherwise). Sia starts to enjoy her freedom, but when a car hits her and she is taken to the hospital she finds her parents and her original life may have been reason enough for her memories to take a vacation.

Her parents are on the verge of a divorce, their finances are in trouble, and Sia is slowly realizing that she took her troubles at home out on many innocent students at her school. She takes her week long experience on the street and her friendship with Carol and starts to better herself. She gets involved in helping others, bettering herself, being compassionate to people around her, and even repairing her family's relationships and finances. But this is the new Sia? What happens when the old Sia, the cruel, snobby, socialite returns?

I did not hate this book. Wait, let me try that again. I semi-liked this book. Yes, that sounds a bit better. There were elements in the book that just did not seem plausible. If her home life was easy to repair then why could she not do it before? Things got resolved, actions were forgiven, and acceptance was given a little too easily for my liking. I would have like a little more resistance or a few more obsticles for Sia to overcome. Granted, losing her memory and having to relearn her life is a major obstacle, but, bettering herself shouldn't have been simply just come down to the decision of "I am not going to be mean anymore". Lots of people attempt to make that decision in their lives but there are always moments of backsliding. There are always times when positive thought is not the end-all and be-all of a situation. That is where this book lacked. The romance in the book seemed... unremarkable. It didn't resonate with me and I didn't feel anything for the couple. I think the story would have been better without it to be honest. That is hard for me to say because I love me some romance!

Sia is a psychological intrigue of how a girl overcomes the loss of her memory and creates a whole new better life for herself in its wake. Sia makes memories almost insignificant and determination the only thing that matters in how one lives their lives to the best they can.

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