ARC Review – Light of Day by Allison van Diepen

24980610Title:  Light of Day

Author: Allison van Diepen

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: 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?

Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this to review!

River’s Review:

So I didn’t read On the Edge even though I have an eARC of it and now that I know that this was a companion I might go back and read it someday. If you’ve read OTE, then you’ll be happy to know that Lobo and Maddie made an appearance in this book. This book and OTE both have the Destino gang connecting them, just fyi.

Anyways, I rather enjoyed this book. I wasn’t too sure about it when I got a copy of the publisher, but I thought I should give it a shot. I do enjoy edgy YA contemporary. I was surprised that for a book about street gangs, pimps and prostitution that it was actually rather wholesome. There’s a lot of good people doing not always the legal thing, but definitely the right thing.

So Gabby and her friend are at a club, hanging out with some blinged out thug who slips date rape drugs into their drinks. Gabby is tipped off by a sexy mystery guy named X who she thinks is an undercover cop. Gabby thankfully gets them out of the situation before things get out of control only to discover later that if X hadn’t been there the two girls probably would have ended up in a prostitution ring… the guy they were talking too wasn’t just a scumbag trying to drug girls… he was a pimp out looking for new girls to traffic.

Gabby is a radio DJ (she has an hour show on Sunday nights, it’s her dream to go to school for broadcasting) and she talks about what happened on the show. She wants to warn people, but instead she gets a target on her back. X thankfully is there to step in and help out… and what he really is shocks Gabby to her core.

Then one of Gabby’s classmates goes missing and X see’s her with a well known pimp. Wanting to save her friend, Gabby starts to help X, and she starts to fall in love with him.

So why do I think that this is so wholesome? It has a lot of really positive messages. It shows that you can overcome your origins and become a good person. There’s no judgement on people who choose to step off the beaten path. And Gabby is constantly showing that if you’re a smart girl who uses her brain that you can do anything, including saving yourself.

There were a couple of sub-plots that I really liked about Gabby’s family and friends too. Her family is very traditional and pushes her towards a more “practical” career. They also don’t like how outspoken she is and wish that she’d just settle down and be a “good” girl. They HATE that she broke up with her “perfect” boyfriend and are always on her case about how she treats people poorly. I was really upset with her family in the beginning of the book but I loved how things evolved and they became closer and accepted each other more towards the end. As for her friends… Gabby was once a popular girl because she was dating the popular guy. But the popular guy was a dick, and she broke up with him. He then spread rumors about her and made everyone hate her… so she found a new group of friends; a couple of loaner girls who were into paranormal things like spirit calling and psychics. I really liked how the group that Gabby fell in with went from being her default friends to her real friends and how even though they were “weird” she really began to enjoy her time with them even though they were so different from each other.

So overall this book has a lot of good messages and I really felt like I was reading something that teens can relate to and enjoy.


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