Maybe it's just unfortunate that I've recently been reading other books that hit harder and dig deeper, but while this still told a meaningful story and opened my eyes a bit to the realities of teenage homelessness, the book was just OK for me.
The protagonist, Joy, is mostly your average suburban teenage girl, albeit with fairly severe asthma that's resulted in overbearing-parent-syndrome. She tells of how she quickly falls under the spell of the older Asher, and gets caught between loving his fixation and intensity and fearing his need for control. Asher is, indeed, one scary asshole. But not all protagonists are the tough-as-nails, self-confident type, and the a lot desperate and a little naive Joy decides to stage her own kidnapping and run away from home to attempt to survive on the streets of Seattle.
Her story is believable, her problems are ones that many people face today, and her reaction is one that I can see many teenagers making. What I liked about this story is the scariness and brutality of homelessness wasn't downplayed. However, the characters seemed a bit too one-sided to me, and I wish that the ending played to the same level of realism as the rest of the book (ie. Everything didn't wrap up into a nice bow). Overall, OK.