Review: Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw

I received this book through Netgalley for an honest review. 

Genre: Contemporary
Publication: 04/05/2016 by Tundra Books
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: eArc
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
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Goodreads Summary:
Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Born into a brothel, she is destined for the same fate as her mother: a desperate life trapped in the city’s sex trade. She must act soon to have any chance of escaping this grim future.

Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack.When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path?

My Thoughts
Another hard book to rate. This book covers some dark and hard to swallow topics. When I started reading this book, I was drawn into the story and had a hard time putting this book down. It wasn't a perfect novel but it's very eye opening and engaging. It would be a fantastic introduction to the topic of the sex trade for a younger reader. I didn't find the story too devastating but it really shed a light on an important topic.

I have always really enjoyed stories from other cultures than my own. We are often blind to the struggles others go through, and books like Fifteen Lanes can help give readers perspective. I found this book well written and the characters were easy to connect with. You felt for Noor and the dangers her and her siblings faced living in a red light district of India.

However, I did find that this book was fairly predictable. I guessed how Grace's whole conflict would play out from the beginning. I have seen this story line in many other books and movies so it didn't feel refresh to me. Grace was definitely from privilege, and it made her very naive. On the other hand, Noor's character was fantastic. She acted in ways that you would expect, and you could see her motivations and drives.

All in all, this was a very good read. I would highly recommend this to younger readers who are looking for an introduction into more difficult topics. As someone who has read many books in this genre, I wasn't blown away by this story in particular. But it is a strong book, very engaging and a fantastic addition to the YA genre.

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