Please Pretty Lights - Ina Zajac

I was provided with a free copy the ebook in exchange for my honest opinion of the book, so here it is.

Let me preface with saying that after reading it, I do not feel I am the target audience for this book. It's more of a new adult novel, and therefore geared toward a younger audience than me.

I'll start with the bad. I really had a hard time with the beginning of the book. First off, the central character, Via, suffered a major tragedy ten years earlier at the age of 11. As the story opens, she is celebrating her 21st birthday. She is presented as being reasonably well-adjusted considering what she had been through, and I had difficulty buying into her actions immediately after her birthday dinner, which set in motion the downward spiral as she counted down the 100 days from her birthday to the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

My other problem with the story was when Via was presented with the opportunity of snorting coke. It was indicated she had tried it in college and didn't hate it. If she really was that maladjusted that she flew off the rails so easily, I don't think she would have remained just a casual user. It might have worked better if she'd never used, but then it would have required more of a buildup to lead to her first time (which probably would have worked better in illustrating her downward spiral).

However, once I got past what I felt was an awkward beginning, the rest of the story was fairly captivating. Despite being marketed as a dark, gritty story, it felt more like a romance with dark undertones, until about 2/3 of the way in when it really did get dark, and I felt the happy ending I was expecting start to slip away. I had planned on taking my time with this story, but as I got close to the end, I just couldn't put it down.

The story takes place in Seattle, and a couple of other major characters play in a 90s cover band. I absolutely LOVED all the musical references (Foo Fighters, Green Day, Bob Marley, and even Sheryl Crow). It always adds to my enjoyment of a story when an author creates a soundtrack for the story out of music I already like.