For fifteen-year-old Ada discovering that she can heal feels more like a curse than a gift. When she learns of the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance, and sees the indifference of so-called friends, she sets out for Paris to find her.
The power to heal protects her, but also has her hunted by a man who sees her as nothing more than his fountain of youth. Ada realizes her true power is her will to survive, and that her only chance at freedom is to become the best at escaping.- Summary taken from Goodreads
Ada is a very troubled young girl with a gift even she doesn't realize she has until her mother's friend fills her in. Ada has always been able to see other people's illnesses and maladies but didn't know that her touch could heal them. I'm not sure how you could make it 15 years before realizing that your touch heals people, but as I got the impression that none of her homes are particularly loving I suppose that she wasn't touching many people.
I felt that McDonald got into the mind of a teenage girl fairly well. Especially a troubled teen. When Ada learns she can heal, her 'aunt' insists that they have an obligation to help people. In what I feel is fairly typical teenage behavior, Ada rebels against this idea. She's not about to do anything she doesn't want to do, be it out of obligation or force. It doesn't make her a bad person, in fact, most of the time she's willing to help out those around her without being asked but, being a teenager she just wants to feels as though she had a choice in the matter.
When Ada gets to Paris in an effort to find her long lost mother, she takes a small detour in her search to delve into the world of parkour after seeing a group of teenagers practicing this in an alley. At first I found it strange that after coming all this way and being so intent on finding her mother she would throw that aside to run around on building with a cute guy. The Ada I'd come to know up to that point wasn't the type to lose her focus over a guy so I found it strange. That is until she expressed a desire to learn so that she could always get away from the people who are hunting her in an effort to use her power for personal gain. Then it made a bit more sense.
All in all, despite not being my usual type of book, I found it to be an enjoyable YA story, accentuated by the artwork that is inserted randomly through the book. (It's been a minute since I read a book with pictures that wasn't geared towards my children.) In fact, as I read I kept thinking it was a book that my 13 year old niece and many other teens would likely enjoy.
*Disclaimer- I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review