Ella Black has a darkness inside of her that she's struggled to control for her 17 years of her life. With nothing eventful ever happening in her life, her perfect parents turn up one day to her school and whisk her off with no mention of where or why they are leaving. They arrive in Rio de Janeiro and Ella still has no idea why she is there, but embraces the city she has dreamed about for so long.
This book tackles mental health, familial relationships, travel, independence, romantic relationships, friendship and finding yourself. With all those themes, plus an adventure in Rio, the book is sure to be a winner, right? Meh. I had high hopes for this book and there are aspects that I absolutely loved (the travel part all the way through the book), but I was left feeling disappointed.
Pitched as a thriller, I was hoping this book would have twists and turns that would make me gasp. However, I just felt like "Oh, this is happening now." I didn't particularly like the main character, she was selfish and we spent a lot of time in her head following her relentless questioning of the world around her. I also HATED the romance in the book, insta-love in its finest form and it was one aspect of the book that made me really lose interest. All the events regarding the romantic interest (no spoilers) could have still happened without it being 'the love of my life.'
Emily Barr clearly has a talent for writing and the writing style itself kept me intrigued and I flew through this book pretty quickly. I loved her previous YA book, The One Memory of Flora Banks, but this one just wasn't top of the list for me.