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I Belong

Review: Finding Paris by Joy Preble

Finding ParisTitle: Finding Paris

Author: Joy Preble

Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 21, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062321307 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062321305 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Zed


An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other—perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble’s stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other’s lives.

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.

Quick & Dirty: A long-winded mystery about a girl searching for her missing sister.

Opening Sentence: My sister leans over me as I am trying to sleep.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

This book was a passable read but I wasn’t too impressed with how long it took me to finish. When I start reading a book and then pass it up to read something more interesting, and then later keep reminding myself to finish reading it, then there is definitely something wrong. That is exactly what happened when I read Finding Paris.

The story is told from Leo’s perspective, Paris’s little sister who is following the clues to find her missing her sibling. There’s suspense and adventure, and some romance thrown in but the story dragged. It was only 272 pages but it felt like a hell of a lot more, and I’m sure it could’ve been told in half of that. I found myself skimming paragraphs several times, and not because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, but because my attention was wandering.

Sometimes I think people do things only because they’re afraid of not doing them.

Leo’s character has some spark but I didn’t form any connection with her or anyone else in the story. Perhaps it was the secrets that set them apart but all the characters seemed very distant. In fact, it had been a few days since I had picked up Finding Paris to read and I was three quarters of the way in when I had to jog my memory to remember who Max was. (Btw, Max is the guy that’s been helping Leo find her sister from the start so he should have been more memorable!)

“Are you saying Einstein was sorry about figuring out the theory of relativity? Because I don’t think that-“
“I’m saying that people do horrible things and sometimes there’s no making it better.” The pain in his voice swells around us.

Overall, an okay-ish read, nothing spectacular to report.

Notable Scene:

My sister has this grand sense of how the world works. Misguided, but grand.

Me? I am a math and science girl. Rules are everything in math and science. One of them is this: life is untidy and ugly. People mess up. Boys named Tobias break up with you because you won’t screw them. Or maybe you break up with them because you did. People hurt each other and make mistakes and shatter promises. Even people we love. Not to mention the ones we don’t.


FTC Advisory: Balzer+Bray/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Finding Paris. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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