Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: Sia by Josh Grayson

Sia by Josh Grayson
Series: Standalone
Published: November 20th, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
193 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the author in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Kobo || Barnes & Noble}

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.

When I read the synopsis for Sia, I was torn whether to read it or not. It sounded like a dozen other books I’d read and TV shows/movies I’d watched over the years - mean girl sees the error of her ways and tries her hardest to make amends. The beginning of the book was promising (although I almost immediately wondered if Sia had lost her common sense along with her memory because of the stupid choices she made), and I actually thought and hoped I’d be wrong and that the book would be fresh and original. Unfortunately, not so much.

Despite the unique beginning, which I actually quite enjoyed, the book quickly falls into a storyline that has been done to death. After living on the streets for a week, sleeping under a bridge, witnessing horrible things, eating at a soup kitchen, and bathing in public restrooms, Sia is reunited with her family and realizes she’s rich and popular. Big surprise, right? Now, humbled from her experience living on the street, she sees the wealth as wasteful and unnecessary, and she’s kind and thoughtful where she was a nasty piece of work pre-amnesia.

What I disliked most about the book - besides the fact there was almost nothing original about it - was how easily every problem was solved. Sia had to face several big problems, and with each new one, I thought it would be an opportunity for the story to become something more, but it never did. It was easy and predictable, and because of that it fell flat more often than not.

Despite all that, there were parts of the story I actually enjoyed. I liked Kyle, and there were moments that drew real emotion from me, even though they were few and far between. There were parts that were funny and touching, and I loved the whole Oscars award show and after party thing. That was my favourite part of the book, probably because it was the only thing that was a bit different (and the Robert Downey Jr. part actually made me laugh out loud).

I also appreciated the overall message of the book - overcoming obstacles, growing and changing as a person, trying to be a better person, helping the people around you, learning the value of friendship and family, and that having money doesn’t automatically make you happy but not having it doesn’t automatically make you miserable either.

Overall, while it had its moments, Sia left me feeling disappointed. There’s not much fresh or unique about it; however, if you haven’t experienced this story a million times before, or you enjoy stories about people with amnesia, or mean girls turned nice, give Sia a try.


Have you read Sia? What did you think? If you haven't read it does it sound like something you'd be interested in?

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