Author: Josh Grayson
Publication Date: November 20, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
Sia surprised me, in more ways than one. This book has a lot of depth to it and some magical (figuratively) moments.
Sia’s story begins when she wakes up on a park bench. She spends the next week homeless on the streets. Although gritty, I thought that this part of the novel was definitely necessary and acted as an eyeopener, not only to Sia but to readers. The novel gives you an in depth experience of life on the streets, explicit and realistic experiences and scenes included. I honestly think that it was my favourite part of the novel because it was a recreation of Sia. It changed her even though she didn’t know it at the time and that experience brought on the change later in the novel.
This novel is very much about Sia’s reinvention. Once immersed in her old world once more, she approaches the situations, present previous to her memory loss, in a different manner. While some of her friends hate her for it, others embrace it, embrace her, the new her, and she creates a new life for herself. Throughout the novel, Sia struggles with people’s preconception of her from how she was before. Although she had changed, it takes more than words to prove to everyone its legitimacy.
The character development in this novel was great. We get to see Sia change, but we also got to witness the Kyle and his friend’s slow acceptance for the new her.
I can honestly say I’m intrigued by the type of amnesia Sia experiences in the novel. I had never heard of it, and this book led me to looking it up. I love books that spark my curiosity beyond the pages in the novel. Learning something from what I read is just as important as the characters, plots, and writing. Novels that can teach me something always remain more memorable for me and I love Sia for being one of those novels.
Something else I liked about this novel is that even though there is romance present, it takes a backseat to the main plot. There are few books that do this, and I say this every time one presents itself to me. While I love a good romance, I hate it when the romance overshadows the plot. This book kept the balance perfectly, and I appreciate that.
One thing I wish was different about this book was the end. SPOILERS (ISH). I had hoped that after Sia had regained her memories she would’ve flashed through them more. I mean, like seventeen years of memories rushing through you at once is a lot to take in. I wish there had been more glimpses into the old her, so we could make the comparison between the past and the present to see the difference and to feel the impact and how much that one bout of amnesia had changed her life for the better. Also, I would’ve loved to see her reflect on some of her past actions. SPOILERS DONE. Aside from that, I enjoyed the ending and I loved that the epilogue opened up Sia’s future for us, showing how far she made it.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with this book. This novel proved that changing your life around is harder than it seems. Sia was presented with an easy way out, those of us without amnesia have to try a little harder unfortunately. Filled with depth and new beginnings, Sia is truly about reinventing yourself and making something of the opportunities presented. Captivating and refreshing, I couldn’t put this book down (even though it was like 4 AM and I really should have gone to sleep at 12….). This novel was definitely a stunning debut for Josh Grayson~
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.05/5
An eARC of this book was provided by Josh Grayson, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.