Review: Finding Paris by Joy Preble

Finding Paris by Joy Preble
Publication date: Apr. 21, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC via Edelweiss (Thanks!)
Summary: 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 yet… until Paris ditches her 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 a not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold tightly. (

The good
Finding Paris is about two sisters, Leo and Paris Hollings, who have always depended on each other since their mom is too busy following different guys to different cities. And the latest is their gambler stepfather who moved them all to Las Vegas. Leo is determined to get out (pre-med, Stanford, the whole nine yards!) while her older sister Paris has no foreseeable plan for her future. One night, Leo thinks they're just going out for pie so that Paris can nurse yet another broken heart when Paris ditches her at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner. One minute they're talking to cute physics student Max Sullivan and the next, she's gone. Although, not completely. Paris leaves notes which serve as clues for Leo to follow. With Max's help, the notes lead them all over Las Vegas and beyond and all the while, she's wondering why her sister is doing this and what will she uncover.

I'll admit, this is a conflicted review for me. On one hand, the writing is great! I was immediately sucked into the story. I wanted to know about Leo and Paris, what their lives were like before, what they were like now and especially why Paris was doing this. The desire to know the answer is what had me turning the pages because I needed to know. It's a book that can easily be read in one sitting and you'll want to, especially with all the mystery surrounding the situation. Also thrown into the mix is the friendship you know will become more between Leo and Max. It's hard to believe Max would volunteer for this crazy scavenger hunt and I had my suspicions about him throughout. But it was his interactions with Leo, especially the geeky cute nature of their conversations, that gave me hope.

(Major) Reservations
So here's where it fell apart for me. The "big" twist at the end. The revelation made me question everything that came before it and personally, undid a lot of what I had initially liked about the book. It made an unrealistic situation (that I was willing to suspend a bit of reality for) just unbelievable. The twist is actually really heartbreaking and I had a hard time stomaching how it was brushed over. I kept wondering why certain people wouldn't have said or done something sooner. It just didn't make any sense to me.

Do I recommend?
It was an okay book. It's not something I would personally recommend to a friend but as I said, the writing is good and if you want to see for yourself what the twist is, then check it out and I'd love to hear your own reaction to it.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

Why did your parents choose your name and what does it mean?
It was my dad who chose my name. He wanted something from the Bible and somehow Rachel is what he settled on (if it had been up to my mom, she would've named me Robyn which is a combination of my parents' names). The most straightforward meaning of my name is "lamb" but I've seen other descriptions associated with it like innocent and nurturing. 


  1. This is the first time I hear of this book and from the summary it sounds interesting, and even though your review makes me a little weary about it, I'm curious to find out what the twist truly is and why you found it heartbreaking.

    Great review :)

  2. Oh, Finding Paris. I really was liking it for the most part, but it never quite hit that sweet spot for me when it comes to what I personally seek in contemporary YA. I don't regret reading it though, because Preble's writing is great!


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