Joy delamere is suffocating.
From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words . . . until the night they go too far.
To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love--a world she won't easily let go.
Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala's power-ful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.
From the outside, Joy's suburban life looks perfect. Perfect parents working to provide the perfect house and the perfect lifestyle. Seemingly perfect boyfriend to make sure Joy makes the perfect choices for her perfect life. Until one day Joy makes a choice to change her life.
Joy leaves her old life behind and runs to the streets of Seattle looking for Creed, a homeless boy who said he knew her problems and that he would help her. Joy takes only a few necessities with her when she runs.
On the streets, Joy meets a few unsavory characters right away. First their is "Stench", who chases her, leering, and she loses him in a store. Next there is "Mohawk", who has offered his protection and to let her become one of his empty eyed girls.
Joy's meager possessions are lost when Stench catches up to her. After a struggle, Creed rescues her from Stench and takes her into his "family" of Ave Rats, other homeless teens. Together they try to use their strengths to survive.
Through a desperate act to save a friend, Joy's life once again spirals out of her control.
Besides the fact that is cover is gorgeous, this book is absolutely amazing. But WARNING: you better put your big girl panties on before reading.
Joy struggles with severe Asthma, but more importantly, with feelings of invisibility. These struggles effect her life, causing her to make decisions that I do not understand, but, because of the excellent writing, I am able to sympathize with.
Joy fights against the invisible chains that bind her to her past. As she learns to survive on the street, she learns to sever each bond individually. She learns to trust again. She learns to love.
Joy's story is not all happy but it is honest and it has many moments that are worthy of her name.
5 out of 5 stars.