April 9, 2015

Finding Paris - Joy Preble

Finding Paris book cover
Finding Paris by Joy Preble
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Source/Format: Edelweiss (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

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.

It's difficult to express precisely how I felt about Finding Paris. I recognize that my entire reading experience was easy, particularly since I finished in under a day. But there were parts of this tale that felt problematic, leaving me feeling torn up about how to talk about this novel. For simplicity's sake, I've decided to share a list of five things about Finding Paris.

There are a few things that I liked, particularly these things:

1. The way it's written - I have to say, if there's one thing that Finding Paris has in its favor, it's the writing. Preble has a knack for telling her story simply, in a manner that will draw the reader in. I couldn't stop turning the pages, wondering what would happen to Leo, Max and Paris.

2. The details - Even though Preble's Las Vegas is grittier, and we only get the briefest glimpse of California, I loved how she described the setting because it made me want to go and visit the West Coast. The other details - like the ones in Paris and Leo's history, Leo's moments with Max - were also wonderful to read about.

3. Paris + Leo - I really enjoyed the relationship these sisters share. There's a sense of "us against the world", where these two are support system, confidante, friend + warrior in each other's lives. It felt so true to the way real sisters are (at least, based on my experience).

And then, there just so happened to be a few things I didn't like:

1. The twist - I'll admit to it being cleverly done. However, I feel like there's a lack of build-up. So even as I was thrown for a loop, I was also a little confused by certain details in the story leading up till that moment.

2. Leo + Max - As friends and potential romantic interests, I can see these two working out. And I suppose, really, that is how it turns out for them in Finding Paris. But honestly, sparks just didn't particularly fly for me as a reader (except perhaps towards the end).

So, in conclusion, you might be wondering - what is my overall opinion on Finding Paris? I'd say it's worth a read, particularly if any of the elements sound appealing... though it might be a novel you should borrow from the library instead of purchasing right off the bat. Compelling + unexpected, Finding Paris might not be a favorite, but it was a solid read.

Why did your parents choose your name? And what does it mean?

I'm named after my father - he's Alejandro, and my name is Alexandra. (It's very fitting, by the way, because my dad and I certainly share looks + temperament.) (Also, another fun fact: My middle name is Marie after my mother, and the Virgin Mary.) Alexandra, as per this website, is a variation of Alexander, and shares its definition: "defender, helper of man". I might not have always loved my name (though I adore it now!), but I loved what it meant.


  1. Hmm...I've heard quite negative things about this book so I won't buy it, but I'll probably read it if my library gets it in. Lovely review! :)

  2. I think what interests me most about this book, from what I gathered from your review, is the sister dynamic and the east coast trip! I'm not super keen on getting to read it but would probably pick it up should I have the chance! :D Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, Alexa!

  3. I'm a sucker for vivid descriptions, but I'm wondering how I would feel about Leo and Max. I like sparks. Not insta-love, mind you. But I do like that build-up and the sparks to go with it. But gosh. I may read this just for the descriptions. If a book gives me wanderlust, I almost always love it. (And then spend a week on Expedia crying over the insane cost of international flights.)

  4. I really like the look of this one. Have to admit the cover pulled me in, but it actually sounds like something I might enjoy. Great review :)

  5. Thanks for the heads up, Alexa! I must admit, off-throwing twists aren't my thing.

  6. Nicole @ The Quiet ConcertApril 12, 2015 at 7:07 PM

    Hmm I do love a good sibling relationship and I'm glad to hear the story was written and described well but I'm getting a lukewarm vibe. I'll definitely keep this in mind, but I'm not sure how quick I'll be to pick it up!


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