Author: Emily Barr
Release Date: January 11th 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary
Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .
Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.
And realises her life has been a lie.
Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas.
But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
So I should be honest by saying that Barr’s previous novel, The One Memory of Flora Banks, didn’t do it for me. I mean, I liked it and I loved the idea of it but I just didn’t feel like there was anything…you know, spectacular about it. But her second YA novel knocked it out of the park for me. I really adored this one. It’s an intriguing, dark, twisty story of a girl who finds out her parents aren’t her real ones and discovers the horrific truth of her own birth parents.
What I loved most about this was the characters. I specifically really enjoyed reading Ella as a protaganist because she was often prone to making the worst, rash decisions and proving herself again and again to be an unreliable narrator.
I feel super lucky that I got to meet Barr at Deptcon3 and also managed to swipe one of the ARCs of this book.
If I had to pick something I didn’t enjoy about this, it was when Ella was in Rio and the insta-love happened. Like I was not expecting it at all and thought there would be a twist to the story but they supposedly fell in love within moments of knowing each other. I had to roll my eyes at that and every time the love interest had scenes in the book I started to care less and less. That was probably the reason why I’m bringing my star rating down by one. But don’t be discouraged by that one thing. This book is so great in so many ways and will keep you guessing until the very end.