Book Review: Sia by Josh Grayson


Title: Sia
Author: Josh Grayson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
How I got it: ARC from Netgalley
Expected Publication: November 2013

When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one.

Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

This book started out okay. There was a promise of quality especially in the writing style. The grammar was very good and you can really tell that the author can write. Maybe just not a novel; not yet.

The problem was the plot. There was nothing outstanding about it. In fact, it’s like pieces of cliché after cliché sewn together. There were things that didn’t make sense and weren’t properly explained, as if we were expected to just go with it, accept it, even if the logic behind it was collapsing in itself. Sia as a character was frustrating; she accepted dinner from a stranger and got into his car; she has no survival instinct at all and little common sense. If Carol didn’t find her, I doubt she would have survived.

Eight days after she went missing, she almost got hit by a taxi. Sia was reunited with her family in the hospital and as it turns out, they are filthy rich. Soon she discovers that she’s the most popular girl in school and that she’s dating the football quarterback. With that level of wealth and popularity, you would wonder why no one ever found or recognized Sia on the streets of her own neighborhood in the eight days that she’s been missing. The author never explains it.

So Sia goes back to school. She learns that her best friend is kind of a bitch and that her boyfriend is a dumb jock and a jerk. Did I mention that Sia has amnesia? She has, and apparently, memory loss also erases your personality because Sia is nothing like her previous self anymore. She was heartbroken when people told her that she was way worse than her friends, the meanest of them all. Sia doesn’t remember being that way, and she wants to change.

Regina George turns into Mary Sue.

Sia makes a 180 degree turn around. She falls for the geek guy she used to harass. Sound familiar? Of course, it’s the plot of like, 10293840 teen flicks out there. The popular girl falls for the loser boy. There was nothing new or enticing at all about the plot of Sia. Not to mention the way the author dealt with conflicts in the book. They get solved right away, as in faster than you can say sabotage. There was no thrill or excitement in seeing the events unfold because they become painfully predictable, not to mention the dialogue that has a tendency to seem so scripted and too formal to be coming out of a 17 year old girl’s mouth. It felt like Sia was reading from a prompt in front of her because though you get this impression that there’s supposed to be emotions behind the words, the telling itself don’t really convey it.

But I must also admit that there were really beautiful passages in this book, evidence that the author can indeed, write. A few quotes jumped out at me, and the way that Grayson ended each chapter was impressive. What Sia lacked was a unique plot, one that could make it stand out because God only knows how many books and movies out there contain the amnesia plot, or the mean girl becomes good girl plot, or the popular falls in-love with the geek plot. I have no doubt that Josh Grayson has talent, it shows in this novel, but maybe it needs bit more honing.

I’ve read worse books than Sia, but not much. If you enjoy love stories and happy endings, you might like this book. As for me, it’s simply not my cup of tea, although I’d have to commend the author for trying. 2 coconuts.



5 thoughts on “Book Review: Sia by Josh Grayson

  1. cfiel25 says:

    Damn! I was given a copy of this book as an incentive for participating in a book blitz. Right, I see a future full of torture because of this book. And I don’t care much about unoriginal plot. As long as it is executed wonderfully, then I am good. What really makes me afraid is the characters. I hate stupid characters especially those who do not have regard for self-preservation. I hate Mary Sues. If only I could do something to rid the book world of them.

    Once again, great review. I hope that your next read would compensate for this fail, Tara.

    • thecrazybookworm says:

      Go give it a try! You might feel about it differently. To each his/her own and all that jazz. I feel the same way about plots, but I felt like this book was just a collection of painful cliches, you know, like what we see in Tagalog Romance films. But that’s just my two cents :)

      Anyway, thank you for dropping by Charlotte! The book I read next totally compensated for my disappointment. :D

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