***Received ARC from publisher via NetGalley.***
Once in a blue moon, I come across a story that’s just perfect in every single way. This is definitely one of those gems.
Hope is dying.
Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.
Hope is dead.
Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:
Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.
Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.
Hope is within reach.
Things I loved about the book:
1. The characters — all five of them. Aiden, Kali, Erik and Sam all have such distinct voices, and each one earns a separate little nook in my heart. However, in the center of it all is Hope, who, for somebody who is supposed to have lost her life to a rare heart condition, is one of the most vibrant voices in this story. She was never an active voice, but she was just as alive as her four friends were.
2. Further to #1, Olivia Rivers successfully pulled off bringing to life a story with four very distinct POVs. In most romance stories, it’s already a feat having to jump from a female POV to a male POV, let alone multiple versions of them, but it definitely takes great character development, which the author paid very close attention to.
3. If you’re looking for a defined love story between a boy and a girl, this isn’t it. But don’t fret — this gives you so much more. Although it doesn’t force a traditional romantic storyline into its pages, it’s got an abundance of love all around. This is a love that transcends labels and physical existence.
4. I can’t emphasize enough how well-written this story is. I breezed through it because I couldn’t put it down. It was fluid, suspenseful, and captivating. It takes a hold of you and you won’t want to let go.
5. It was the kind of emotional rollercoaster ride that I wouldn’t mind riding over and over again with the same set of lovely characters. It made me laugh out so effin’ loud, cringe at some of the most awkward moments, cry buckets for hours, pull my hair out in frustration, and breathe a huge sigh of relief. It was definitely a ride that I didn’t want to end.
Overall, it’s a moving and heartbreaking story. It will shatter you, but put you back together. And most of all, it will leave you changed.
Rating: 5 stars