Review: Run

runRun by Kody Keplinger. 9780545831130. June 2016. Gr. 9-12

Bo and Agnes are very different. They are hardly the girls you might expect to be friends. Bo has a wild reputation, and Agnes is a good girl. It turns out there is more to both of them than anyone in their small town really understands, and once they become friends, they’ll do anything for each other. Even run away.

The story is told in chapters with alternating narrators. Bo tells the story happening in the present, which starts with the two girls taking a car without permission (that’s not the same as stealing, right?) in the middle of the night. Agnes’s chapters fill in the back story about how they became friends and what they’ve been through together. The full story of why the girls are on the run unfolds slowly, but I was rooting for them from the very beginning.

Neither Bo nor Agnes see much of a future for themselves. Bo comes from the wrong side of town and the wrong kind of family. Overcoming the reputation of her family seems impossible. Agnes, who is legally blind, struggles with the limitations of her over-protective parents and the feeling that she’ll be stuck with them forever. It turns out that there is more out there for both of them. They just needed each other to see it.

It is refreshing to read a YA novel in which female friendship is the main focus of the story. So many YA novels that I read are about long-time best friends growing apart as they get older or about mean girls vs. outcasts, but this book is about how a great friendship can change your life for the better, how it can inspire us to reach for more than what we might have otherwise. It isn’t always smooth or easy, but it is worth it.

This book will have a lot of appeal to teen readers whether they are looking for a fast-paced road trip story or a heartfelt look at how two girls help each other see a way out of lives that don’t feel like they have a future.


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