Hi everyone, it’s Sarah!
I received this ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t know anything about this book before I started reading it. I expected something easy and light based on the thumbnail cover I saw on Edelweiss’s website. Once I started reading, I quickly realized that this was a solidly YA novel and that I was in for an emotional ride.
Katina is a rising jujitsu star, but when she is sexually assaulted she questions her expertise in physical combat. Katina struggles to cope and experiences PTSD, her mother hopes to help Katina heal by sending her to a close family friend across the country. The nurturing old woman connects Katina with the local church’s youth group, where Katina meets Robin and is given the opportunity to travel to India to help an organization that fights against sex trafficking. Katina thinks she might be the best person to help these young girls because perhaps she can give them the physical skills to fight off attackers.
Robin was adopted from India by white American parents when he was young. While his parents love him and try to support him, it is hard for Robin to connection with the affluent life he has been given and the racially/culturally different parents he has. Robin needs to begin making decisions about his future, but with the service trip to India, Robin hopes to find answers about his past.
These two shattered teens connect through their need of healing and work together to find their way back to themselves.
I want to make it clear that this is not a love story. While there are flirtations with side characters, this book is not about romance, but healing after your world is crumbling around you. This was a difficult book to read, but I think it is a story that needed to be told. It gives insight into stories that readers can connect with or empathize with. Also, it was interesting to see how the plot unfolded while in India. I thought there would be more time spent in India in this book, but the story was strong.