The Exchange by Nadija Mujagic – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes
The Exchange: A Novel by Nadija Mujagic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After graduation Sam leaves her small hometown behind her to move to LA and start a career in acting. Once in LA it is not as easy as Sam was hoping that it would be nor is life as she had expected. Her apartment is rundown, the neighborhood she lives in is rampant with crime, and her money is running out. Things start to look up for Sam when she lands a meeting with a talent agent, but her hopes are quickly dashed when the agent rejects her. With her hopes and dreams suddenly shattered Sam starts to look for a job to make ends meet. She finds a small coffee shop that hires her immediately and she eagerly accepts the job.
While at work an attractive man comes into the coffee shop and flirts with Sam who instantly becomes smitten with him. Cory promises her that he can help her with her acting career and takes her under his wing. He helps her out of her desperate situation and offers her a room in his house where she can feel safe. It does not take long before Sam realizes that something is not right with her living situation but with nowhere else to go, and no money, or job, she brushes off her uneasy feeling. When Sam becomes pregnant Cory offers a proposition that seems too good to be true. He can make all her acting dreams come true in exchange for her child.
Four years go by, and Sam is living a normal life and raising her child on her own. When her child suddenly goes missing without a trace Sam wonders if Cory has made good on the deal and taken her child. She is desperate to find her son, at any cost, but what will that cost be? To what lengths will Sam go to in order to save her child?
This book was a brilliant read and I instantly fell in love with the character of Sam. She was smart, determined, strong, and never gave up hope no matter how dire the situation became. She kept her wits about her when most others would have given up all hope and fallen into despair. Cory was superficially charming but something sinister lurked under the surface. This book took some twists and turns that I did not suspect coming and they caught me off-guard. To say that Sam was clever is an understatement. Wow, just wow! I will not spoil it; you will have to read it for yourself. Brilliantly written!
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