[REVIEW] Finding Hope

Series: N/A
 Colleen Nelson
 young adult, contemporary
 March19, 2016
Publisher: Dundurn
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Hope leaves her small town for a fresh start, but her plans are derailed by an online romance and the appearance of her brother. 
Hope lives in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. With a drug addict for a brother, she focuses on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. To escape, she jumps at the chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student. She’ll even put up with the clique-ish Ravens if it means making a fresh start. 
At first, Ravenhurst is better than Hope could have dreamed. She has a boyfriend and a cool roommate, and she might finally have found a place she can fit in. But can she trust her online boyfriend? And what can she do after her brother shows up at the school gates, desperate for help, and the Ravens turn on her? Trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to save her brother, she has to save herself first.

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Hope basically ruins my whole enjoyment of the book. Oh wait, this story is about Hope.

Finding Hope is a book that tries to be inspirational but fails somewhere along the way. It has a well constructed setting - a meth addict brother, a family who's breaking down, a new beginning, an unwelcoming school. I like how these variables were played well in the story and how it impacts Hope but it's Hope's choices and decisions that ruined the book for me.

Sometimes  we kept the lie going, pretending things were normal. -loc162, eARC

I think Hope is basically a normal kid trying to do what a 'normal' kid would do. Normal in a sense that you're doing something that acceptable by the eyes of the community. A meth addict brother basically ruins her image so it's not surprising when she desired a new image when she finally enters a school away from home. It's normal right? To want a new image? Anyway, the sad thing though is that she desperately tries to fit in. It creates a domino effect of high school drama. It ruined her.

Do you know how I feel about high school drama? I DON'T LIKE IT! But I'm willing to read it if things happen because of external reasons and NOT because of the things the main character does like for example unreasonable bullying. It happens. Really. But, let's talk about Hope and what made this quite unbearable for me...

Hope basically placed herself at the heart of the 'popular' girls of the school. It's not very difficult to see where things are going. When she sucks up to the 'popular' girls, let's just say she ended up regretting it midway which brought her to things worse than not having any friends - she got bullied. heavily.

While I do think bullying is very normal, it's Hope's choices that ruined the story for me. Her desperation made it worse (because I feel so bad putting all the blame on her). Aside from putting herself on the radar of the 'popular' girls, she formed a relationship with a boy that she met through e-mail. The worse part of it is that she has never seen him and basically just agreed to be his 'girlfriend'. I was like: WTF!? To make things worse, she basically begs him to not leave her whenever he whines about Hope meeting others boys which ends up to Hope doing everything for him. And the outcome of all of these? Very predictable, my friends. Hope disappointed me because I totally see where things were heading.

It was the reason I woke up in the morning. Without meth, what would be the point in living? -loc444, eARC

SETTING HOPE ASIDE, the story is also told in the point of view of Hope's Meth addict brother, Eric. Eric's point of view and story is honestly A LOT better than Hope's. Eric's desperation comes from his need to take meth and that is, I guess, understandable because he's under the influence of the drug. What made Eric's POV better is that he told why he took meth and where the horrors of his life began. It sadden me. I felt really sorry for him. and I guess that made me add an extra 0.5 for the rating.

The climax was very bland. Anticlimactic, even. But perhaps this is because I expected everything. Nothing surprised me. Eric's recovery from meth came easy as well. I don't understand how drug addiction recovery works but it felt quick. I don't think he just wakes up from a fuzzy dream and decides to get over everything and take the drugs out of his life. It didn't sit right with me.

Shame isn't a weight or something that gets worn. It's elastic, stretching and strangling anything in its reach. -loc1619, eARC

OVERALL, Finding Hope is a story about finding hope. Nope. I'm not kidding about that or trying to pull of pun or what. This story is basically about letting you know that despite everything, despite going through the lowest of the low, there's always hope for recovery, for turning a new leaf. If you're up for a book up an inspirational vibe, then go ahead and read this but don't expect something completely life changing from it. It's good. Focus on Eric's point of views and try to hold on when Hope's bad decisions come up. 

~I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~

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How about you guys, have you read Finding Hope? How did you feel about it? What do you think of Hope? Of Eric?

Have you guys read a book about drug addiction? How do you feel about reading about the topic?

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