Standalone. Self-Published (November 2013) Own
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.
This book had all the right elements to make it a win for me. Sia wakes up not knowing who she is and when she finds out about her life and the way she's been acting she decides to turn her life around by helping the less fortunate. She wants to help the homeless specifically because she witnessed and went through the troubles living on the streets can bring you first hand. When she woke up not knowing who she was, Carol, her soon to be friend took her under her wing and helped her out. She wants to repay that kindness and see to it all the adversity she faced would change for others in that same predicament. Sounds like it would be sooo good right? Well, it was horrible.
The way Sia reacted to things just annoyed the hell out of me. The way everything happened made no sense. At one point Sia gets yelled at by someone who goes to her school. Of course she didn't know this person and she ran out on the street and got hit by a car. Okay, I can see that happening. Someone is verbally attacking you and you run away from them but just like that she's back in her parents' home. She wakes up in a hospital, talks to the doctor and her parents for a little while, and goes home. Oh I sustained no injuries from that CAR HITTING ME let's just go home now and resume everything like nothing happened. Oh, her head was mentioned to be hurt but that's all she suffered from. Perfectly logical sequence of events...
The way everything was forced to be a message was another part of this book that irked me. Everything bad that happened to her was a message and her seeing how she needs to help people and change who she is (insert sarcasm here). She was almost forced to be an "entertainer", she gets hit by a car, she witnesses a homeless person being beaten up, she's spit on and she gets called a bum who can't get a job when she clearly is a teenager. I mean it's great that someone wants to get some awareness to the way we treat homeless individuals and how we should be a more caring and charitable society. That's great but the way everything is written and how everything is piled upon another does not do the message any justice. It just creates an inadequate story.
There were also problems in Sia's house. Her mother was an alcoholic and they were going bankrupt. One talk to her mother and she magically decides she will go to rehab and her father decides hey! I don't have to worry about financial issues that might ruin me and my family. I won't even think about it anymore thanks Sia for setting me straight. Like parents actually ever listen to teenagers in real life and stress can go away just like that. And did I mention how she likes to tell anyone who's around how her family is having financial problems but she doesn't care because all she needs is her family? Again there's a good message in there but the way it's executed is just awful. You are just going to air your family's private problems out there? Like it doesn't even matter if your parents don't want anyone to know? She just says it like it's no big deal. The way she talks... It frustrated me to no end.
The boy who yelled at her and caused her to get hit by a car? Well that boy's name is Kyle and he seems like he's going to be alright but then there are the cliché snide remarks that start popping up about how her family is so rich and how she has such a hectic social life so how can she possibly find the time to help anyone else when everyone knows she lost her friends the day before. He starts acting cold around her and I understand him not wanting to get too close because what if she remembers and turns back to her old self? But, the ending of this so called romance... I knew what was going to happen and I was hoping beyond hope it didn't. It was just the most cliché, roll your eyes type of ending. I mean the epilogue was sort of nice I'll give it that but the main ending was so predictable and so not justified. I saw no chemistry! No connection between the two. Imaginary connection I'm sure but as the reader I felt nothing for the two of them together. The idea of this story was really excellent but the execution was not well done. I didn't like any of the characters, the messages of the story were too forced making them useless, and the events that took place made no sense. This book was just not for me.