Hope is dying.
Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.
Hope is dead.
Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:
Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.
Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.
Hope is within reach.
I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
There are five people in this book who the story is focused on. Even if one of them is dead.
Erik sees an invitation outside his house to Hope’s birthday party with an address on it but he ends up at Aiden’s -Hope’s OCD friend- house instead. Aiden tells Erick that Hope died two days ago. After words -not many of them nice- are exchange, Aiden convinces Erik that Hope left them clues to complete a scavenger hunt and so the main event of the story starts.
When I found out about Hope leaving behind clues and Erik, Aiden, Kali and Sam had to figure out what they were and in turn this would help them in their life, I scoffed. I thought this was mean of Hope to do because I felt that these people needed time to grieve, to get over the loss of their friend but I soon got with the program. Hope wasn’t forcing them to ‘remember’ her, she didn’t need to. All she wanted to do was take care of them and make sure they knew that life would go on. It wasn’t the end.
Characters: As I said, I thought Hope was a bit mean for expecting her friends to ‘keep her alive’ so to speak. I ended up finding her quite endearing as the book wore on. Her main concern was that now that she was dead, her friends would go on living. She really seemed to be a rock to all of them and I think that was clearer after she wasn’t there anymore.
Erik could be a bit of a jerk but I thought that was both a coping and a defence mechanism. He was losing what seemed to be the most important thing to him so it was understandable that he’d lash out.
Is it mean that I was sometimes annoyed by Aiden? Not because of his OCD, or his knowledge. I actually admired his smartness. He annoyed be at times because the others would be looking off in the distance and randomly he’d be like: ‘Hope is dead.’ I get that he was grieving, and yes, maybe it does make me mean to expect him not to point it out every five minutes.
I loved Sam so much. They were awesome and excuse me? Major geek alert. All those Supernatural and Sherlock and Doctor Who references gave me life. I loved when Erik was asking about something burning to the ground and Sam replied: ‘I’m sure the Supernatural fandom will get to it sometime.’
I thought Kali was…full of herself. She was easily offended and always thought she was the target. I think she needed the most help and this was picked up on in the book, which I’m glad about.
Likes: I like that this book involved a bit of everything. There were mental illnesses, trauma, sexual identity, loss of something important. This book was about helping people carry on and I think it was the perfect way to show people that life does in fact go on. When people say ‘it’s not the end of the world’ they mean it.
Overall Thoughts: I loved the writing style and I thought that this was amazing and fast paced. The synopsis was very clever. Letting us know what’s inside but not telling us what it was exactly. Just like a synopsis is supposed to be. Once I actually got into this book, I finished it pretty quick. I can’t wait to read more by this author. I think this is one of those books that stays with you and I loved every moment.
Read: 18 July 2016
Publication Date: 21 March 2016
Publisher: Red Sparrow Press
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Olivia Rivers