Saturday, 10 October 2015

Review: Light of Day by Allison van Diepen

Title: Light of Day
Author: Allison van Diepen
Release date: November 24th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: ARC
Pages: 309

Source: Publisher

Like any other Saturday night, Gabby Perez and her best friend, Maria, are out dancing. But this isn’t just another night. When a mysterious stranger warns Gabby their drinks have been drugged, she hurries Maria home. Sure enough, the next day, Maria can’t remember a thing. Gabby’s shaken by their close call. And she’s not going to stay quiet about it.

She opens up the airwaves on her radio show and discovers an even worse truth: the guy who drugged them was going to force them into prostitution. Then Gabby’s friend Bree never makes it home from a party, and Gabby fears the worst.

Gabby reaches out to the guy who saved her, the gorgeous stranger she knows only as X. As they dive into the seedy underworld of Miami, searching for Bree, they can’t ignore their undeniable attraction. Until Gabby discovers the truth about who X really is and the danger that surrounds him. Can their love survive the light of day?

Light of Day is a companion novel to On the Edge, as both books are set in the same world and feature similar premises. But this can be read as a standalone, even if you haven't read On the Edge. I've read both, and I think I enjoyed this one a little more.

Gabby is introduced to the seedy side of the city when she takes it upon herself to find her missing friend, who has apparently become part of a prostitution ring - according to the mysterious guy Gabby meets one night at a club. He introduces himself as X, and agrees to help Gabby find Bree. But as Gabby goes deeper into things she has no idea about, she realizes how much danger she's in. And that X isn't exactly who she thought he was.

Gabby struck me as quite naive, similar to the female protagonist of On the Edge. She has a good sense of morals, though, and a lot of courage. Gabby and X work well together, and though we don't get to know much about X, I really liked what we saw. He's not an undercover cop like Gabby assumed he was, and that was pretty obvious from the beginning. X is part of the connection between the two books, and towards the end we even get cameos from the protagonists of On the Edge, which was awesome.

I definitely could have done without the high school drama, though. It took away most of the seriousness of the issue of the plot, which is the sex trafficking of girls in Miami. There was pettiness and bitchiness and other random high school issues. I liked Gabby's high school friend group and the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Club (I think that's what it's called), but that setting would have worked better in a lighter-themed novel.

There were a couple of surprises and twists that were unexpected, so I was glad about that. But like I said in my review for On the Edge, I wish there was more on the trafficking premise and what the Destinos gang is doing to help. Too much of the novel's focus was on Gabby's high school and her romance with X. On the whole, though, I liked reading Light of Day and I hope the author writes more books set in this world.

*Thank you to Megan at HarperCollins International for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

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