Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Released: 11th of January 2018
Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .
Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.
And realises her life has been a lie.
Her mother and father aren't hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they'll never think to look - the favelas.
But there she learns a terrible secret - the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .
What I Have to Say
I didn't like this book that much. I didn't like the The One Memory of Flora Banks either, but that was written so much with that character's voice and her memory problems in mind that I wanted to give the author another chance. And I warmed to her writing style a lot more, but she still had this habit of going through everything that the character knows about the situation every few chapters. It may be fairly realistic when you're in this type of situation to stop and take stock of what you know, but in a book it makes it repetitive and annoying.
I also felt the multiple personality/ dissociative disorder stuff was kind of harmful to people who suffer from that kind of thing. Whenever you see an alter personality in a book or a film or anything really it's always a bad one. And sure maybe that helps your story seem more dramatic if your character is pushing her to kill people all the time, but there are real people out there living in a world where that's what people think their condition means. If the market was more saturated with positive books or films then it wouldn't be so big of a deal, but everything out there just makes people more scared of the condition.
I don't know how much research Barr did, but the whole thing felt clumsy and like she hadn't thought about the people suffering through this sort of thing.
As happens so much of the time, this book uses mental health issues as a form of entertainment for those not living through it and I'm getting pretty sick of it.
My thanks go to Penguin and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review.