Welcome back to Standalone Saturday, where I feature a book that actually wraps up at the last page. No cliffhangers! This week's feature is:
by Holly Cupala
January 3, 2012
Source: ARC traded with a friend
Mature content: Publisher recommends for 14 and up
I went into this book knowing little about it and came out a huge fan. This is a gripping and beautifully written story about abusive relationships and life on the street that isn't preachy or depressing or melodramatic. It's just .... really good!
Joy seems to have everything -- a loving family, a rich, gorgeous boyfriend, and a comfortable upper-middle class lifestyle in Seattle. But she's suffocating. Joy has asthma, which means that her family watches over her every breath. Then there's Joy's boyfriend, Asher. He's the rich son of her father's boss. But he belittles her. He wants to control her. He threatens her family if she doesn't obey.
So Joy runs away, joining the shadow word of Seattle's homeless population. Life on the street is hard, especially for a young girl. But Joy is determined to tough it out. She finds a new street family, a group of kids who look out for each other. But there are dangers. While Joy's family never stopped looking for her, neither did Asher. Neither did Maul, the guy on the streets that everyone fears. And then there's Joy's asthma. She needs expensive medication to keep it under control.
I've never experienced the things that Joy does in the book, yet her story seemed completely believable to me. I'd guess that the author did research on abusive relationships and into the harsh realities that teen runaways face on the streets. Parts of it were hard to read, but Cupala's lyrical writing and unforgettable characters drew me in and wouldn't let me go.
I'm off to put Holly Cupala's first book, Tell Me a Secret, on my TBR list!
This amazing ARC is one of the choices for my Not-Going-to-ALA-Box-of-Swag giveaway.
In case you're curious, here's a couple more possibilities for the box: