Title: Finding Paris
Author: Joy Preble
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other—perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble’s stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other’s lives.Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn’t going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister.Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside.
I’m a sucker for stories that involve road trips. Add in a mystery element and I’m sold. So when I heard about Joy Preble’s Finding Paris, I knew right away that I wanted to read it. Though it wasn’t quite the story I thought it was going to be, I still found myself really enjoying this book.
Ever since they were kids, sisters Leo and Paris have only been able to rely on each other. Their mother keeps moving them from one place to the next, always leaving behind ex-boyfriends. Now living in Las Vegas, with a gambling stepfather, Leo and Paris are once again finding that they can’t count on anyone but themselves. And as soon as Leo graduates high school and gets in to Stanford, they have a plan that will take them away from Vegas. But until then, the girls spend their nights driving around on the Strip at night. But one night, Paris disappears and leaves Leo a series of clue that will, hopefully, lead one sister back to the other. With the help of Max Sullivan, a physics nerd she just met that night, Leo sets off to find her sister. But while looking for her sister, Leo quickly realizes that there might be more to Paris’s disappearance than she initially thought. At the end of it all, Leo may have uncovered more than she bargained for.
Road trips are the best. I’ve been on my fair share of them and they always lead to some interesting adventures and discoveries. I can’t, however, say that I’ve ever been on a road trip because of a scavenger hunt my eccentric sister set up for me (I don’t have a sister to being with, so it would be pretty hard for that to have happened to me anyway). So I was intrigued when I first read the synopsis of Joy Preble’s Finding Paris. I was curious about Paris, and why she would create this sort of scavenger hunt for her sister. And I was curious about the circumstances that would lead someone to just go with it without really questioning it all that much. That’s all to say that Finding Paris ended up being a very interesting read. But not for the reasons I thought. Or at least not completely. While I was reading, I started guessing at what was going on in the bigger picture, about why Paris would just take off like she did and leave Leo behind and a complete stranger. And some of my guesses were pretty spot-on. By the time I got to the point where everything was being revealed, I had it more or less figured out. Except for one part that took me completely by surprise. Like I did not see that twist coming. So I’ll leave you with that to think about.
Paris and Leo could not have been more different, as far as sisters, and characters go. Granted, I don’t quite feel like I got to know Paris well enough to say this for sure. And as different as they were, they did have this in common: they were willing to do just about anything to protect the other. Where Paris was artistic and impulsive, doing what she wanted when she wanted, Leo relied on science and planning in all aspects of her life. Unless Paris was making her do it, she wasn’t the impulsive type. At all. Which made it really interesting to see Leo go and follow the clues Paris left behind for her. And it also made it interesting to read everything that was happening from Leo’s perspective. As much as she could, she tried to approach the whole thing very scientifically and methodically. At least, she did for most of it. The only part she couldn’t quite explain using science and reason was Max Sullivan. At first, I wasn’t sure if I could trust Max because it just seemed a little too convenient that he was right there when Leo needed him. But the more I got to know him, though Leo, the more I came to realize that he actually was a good guy. Not only that, but he was also exactly what Leo needed. She just took a little longer than I did to come to that same conclusion.
Though it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, I still found myself really enjoying Joy Preble’s Finding Paris. The story kept me guessing and went directions I didn’t thought it would, and by the end, I was happy with the way it went. Even if it was unexpected.