(Cover picture courtesy of Always YA at Heart.)
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.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
After reading books with plenty of tragedy in them recently (Othello, The Hittite, The Iron Traitor) I saw this book on NetGalley and knew I had to request it. I absolutely knew what I was getting into: a shamelessly inspirational book that helped restore my broken faith in humanity just a little bit.
If you’re feeling down now or just want to see a YA book with a happy ending, Sia is perfect for you. It’s a cinematic story of a young girl who, when given a second chance at life, becomes a better person and changes the people around her for the better as well. Sia used to be a spoiled, bratty rich girl and after losing her memory through the rare fugue amnesia she has to confront the person that she was and all the damage she had done. Instead of letting this revelation destroy her, Sia chooses to move forward and become a better person rather than reverting to her old life.
The thing about Sia is that it’s not just your stereotypical inspirational novel. It’s actually well written! Josh Grayson just has this way of describing the scenery and the people that makes you feel like you’re really there. You can feel the tough reality of life on the streets just as well as you can feel the air of indulgence at the Oscar party in Hollywood. That, my friends, is what you call cinematic writing. It’s very easy to picture this book on the big screen.
Obviously Sia is a well-rounded three dimensional character, but the supporting cast is as well. Kyle felt very real to me as did Sia’s parents. The sort of villain in the end will never go down as one of my favourites, but her motives were believable enough in the context of the story. He won’t get any awards for completely unique characters from Sia, but the way Josh Grayson writes them more than makes up for it.
Overall, if you’re looking for a good light read or maybe even a little inspiration, I’d highly recommend Sia. You can’t go wrong with this book.
I give this book 5/5 stars.