Release date: January 14, 2016
Troubled teen. Juvenile delinquent. Aja Harmon is familiar with the labels. She and her mom live like gypsies, moving every year. Her mom works as a psychic and Aja fights to suppress her own intuitive abilities because the power scares her. After losing a cool job at Abercrombie & Fitch, the only work Aja can find is as a waitress at an elderly residence home. Slowly she begins to enjoy working with the seniors. Unlikely bonds forge, making their worlds bigger while shrinking the generation gap. If only a corrupt police officer hadn’t set his sights on Aja—a beautiful girl with a sketchy past. An easy target to add to his twisted collection.
Aja’s story had me really emotional – I was happy along with her, frustrated and irritated along with her, and wholly empathized with her. That was the one of the many things I loved about this book – you felt a kinship with the protagonist. Maybe it’s the underdog principle or whatever, but I couldn’t help but root for Aja. Even though initially I wasn’t so endeared by her (thanks to that disastrous Christopher Pike novel, Strange Girl, in which also there was a girl named Aja), I soon got over that. See, Aja is committed to doing the right thing, but the people in authority are prejudiced against her. They judge her more for her smart mouth rather than the fact that she is spewing truth from that smart mouth.
When a predatory police officer starts stalking her, people are quick to dismiss her, because of her juvie record, even though those were mostly due to peaceful protests. During all her struggles, she is still trying to care for others, like the elderly people at the retirement house she works for. She even gets in trouble because she puts them before herself. As a character, Aja is smart, level-headed and takes no shit from anyone. But when the system is working against her, she backs down and tries to find a proper way. I was honestly so irritated by the people around her, who don’t even have her back. Not even that spineless Walker, whose response to when she said she is being stalked is to simply say that how about she goes home and gets rest. *facepalm* The ending fell in place too easily, in my opinion, and even if Aja did, I did not forgive those characters who doubted her. In conclusion, it was a good book, and has a bit of paranormal elements, but is mostly a contemporary like novel.
Received a free galley from Barclay Publicity via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or the review.