Title: Finding Paris
Author: Joy Preble
Published: April 21st, 2015 (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen)
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Family, Romance
Source: I received an ARC of this VIA Edelweiss and Balzer & Bray.
Disclaimer: This in no way affects my review or thoughts.
Rating: Three Stars
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.
Cover Thoughts: I really like the cover, it’s so summery to me and really gives off the road trip vibe.
First Line: My sister leans over me as I am trying to sleep.
Finding Paris was an interesting book to read. What drew me to it were the comparisons to Speak, a book that I really loved. I can understand the comparison to it now, even if I don’t think it was done quite as well as Speak.
A mystery, a scavenger hunt, a mostly one night engagement and sisters, this book sounds like it was made for me. Unfortunately there were a few flaws in it that kept me from really loving it. First though, I’m going to talk about what I DID love about it.
As I read Finding Paris, I couldn’t help but kick myself (once again) for not going to Las Vegas with a friend years ago. I loved the descriptions that Preble used to describe Las Vegas. She perfectly described the hotels and the general area. I definitely felt I was living out my Vegas fantasy while reading.
While I dug deeper into the mystery and the scavenger hunt, I found Leo’s life unraveling. I really loved hearing about her home life. Leo nor Paris have the best relationship with their mom and stepfather. Due to this, Leo and Paris only have each other to depend on. It was kind of hard to understand their relationship to each other since we don’t see them together much.
I liked how Paris and Leo’s personalities were different. Paris was more of a free spirit person whereas Leo was precise, careful and a perfectionist. I loved Leo’s voice as she was really sarcastic at times and just funny I thought. What intrigued me about Paris is this almost child-like personality she has and dreamer nature. When Paris takes off, Leo figures it’s just Paris being Paris.
I thought the plot of Leo having to find Paris with the help of Max was really interesting. I don’t know what I would have done in her place. I found it insane that Paris just left her sister without a car, her phone or wallet. On top of that, she leaves her sister notes to help her find her. If this was my sister, I would have been so ticked and Leo definitely was. Leo was really trusting of Max to allow him to help her, but she didn’t really have a choice in the matter.
One thing I was a little weary of was the possibility of insta-love, even though I’m a fan of “one night engagements”. There wasn’t a reason to worry there because that’s not the case with Leo and Max. I’m not sure what I thought of Max exactly. I liked him as a character. I found his personality believable. I’m not sure how likely his actions would be in real life, but I enjoyed reading about him.
There were times when I thought Leo and Max shared a bit more than they should have, realistically, since they just met that night. The forefront of Finding Paris though, was Paris being missing and I really liked that. There were somewhat romantic encounters, but it didn’t overwhelm the book at all, which was great.
The ending really surprised me and I liked that. I wish Finding Paris delved a little deeper into it, but overall, I enjoyed it. There were a couple confusing things for me though that I didn’t understand when I finished. I think if the book had been a bit longer, enough to help detail the aftermath and home background, I would have loved it. I rate Finding Paris three stars.
~Do I Recommend?~
Fans of sister relationships
Fans of mystery
Fans of gorgeous writing and great description
~Will I Re-Read It?~