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First, I am going to address the ending of this book. I was unprepared for it. I don't know if it would have made it easier to digest or not had I been forewarned that there was a cliffhanger, but at least I could have made an informed decision on whether or not I wanted to read this book now or wait until book 2 was available. So, as much as I want to say it didn't affect my overall reading experience, it did. BUT, at the same time I would not say it swayed my rating one way or the other. I have read (AND enjoyed) other books that ended on a cliffy. But when you couple the ending with the other issues I had, this was a book I would say I liked but didn't love.
But before you get to the end, there is a whole book to get through. The synopsis for this book is very vague. You basically go into the story blind, having no clue who or what the story is about. When you begin reading, you meet a girl named Amara. She is an Iranian girl growing up in New York. Her family appears to be wealthy but as we all know, looks can be deceiving. No one knows of her father's gambling addiction and the burden it had placed on the family, especially Amara.
And thus begins Amara's journey and the lengths she is willing to go to, to save her family. This is also where I became confused a few times during the storyline. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but there does seem to be some inconsistencies in the plot. An example, Amara at one point states she tells her mother everything about what is happening, but then a few chapters later it almost seems like her mother has no clue. And I was also confused by Amara's acceptance of her fate. It seemed a bit odd on how well she adjusted to things.
Though I didn't love the book and did have some issues with the storyline, I did find it intriguing and it held my attentionfor the most part. There were times that I did find myself skimming pages as things seemed to drag a bit. And I am not sure what it was but I never felt connected with the characters. While that is not importantfor some, it is for me. I want to feel the emotionsthe characters are feeling. And when I don't, it tends to affect my overall experience.
Not my favorite from this author by a long shot, but still interesting enough that I find myself invested enough to pick up the second book when it releases.