Author: Holly Cupala
How Received: publisher copy
Joy Delamere is suffocating...
From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.
Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.
Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.
My little sister and I read vastly different literature. She sticks nearly solely to dark contemporary literature, while I like to stay with my fantasy and science-fiction. Every now and then, we flop and read something in the genre that the other loves - I usually do it unprompted, my sister upon my recommendation.
The moment I finished this book, I walked into her room, put it into her hands, and said, "Read this."
I liked this book a lot. Not enough to keep my copy and demand my sister get her own, but it is one of the best pieces of contemporary fiction that I've read in a very long time. Cupala manages to capture the emotion that teenagers experience when they're trapped in a situation that they can only see one way out of. From the first page, I pitied Joy - her weakness, her own entrapment, the birdcage she had set for herself. I hated Asher. I loved Neeta and how she kept trying to help Joy, even when Joy herself thought she was lost forever. I pitied May and how she kept getting sucked back into the same routine. I adored Creed and everything he stood for. And my love for Santos knows no bounds - though that may just be because he paralleled their lives to Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
[SPOILER ALERT] For all the superamazingness that is most of the novel, the ending, of course, is a bit unrealistic. All of the characters get some variation of a happy ending or a comeuppance. The optimist in me loves that, and the reviewer in me goes, "Hey, that shouldn't have happened!" But my optimist keeps winning on this one. [END SPOILER ALERT]
Given how often library books were brought into the story, I'd love to recommend the fictional Joy one - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. With all the problems she had breaking out of her birdcage, I think she'd understand Jane, and how she was "no bird; and no net ensnared [her]; [she] was a free human being with an independent will."
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 9/10. Loved it and would most definitley recommend it to anybody looking for a great, (mostly) realistic contemporary read.
Cover Comments: PERFECT. Captures the mood of the book brilliantly.