Sara's Reviews > Runaway

Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
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's review
Apr 18, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I just happened to randomly start reading this book a few months ago. After reading about 60 pages into it, I knew I would HAVE to finish it. Holly, the main character, has a powerful voice and instantly makes you pay attention. She's twelve years old, but I initially thought she was at least sixteen. This makes sense though since Holly has been through mountains of problems and has had to mature quickly. She's been in and out of foster homes for years ever since her mother died of a drug overdose. She's got a hard shell. Often rejecting help from those who are genuinely kind because she's used to the evil that she's encountered. At the start of the novel she's living with the Benders who's cruelty is heart-wrenching. In less than 25 pages, I was floored by the wickedness of them and rooting for Holly to leave. Which she does, all the way across America. Holly's extremely intelligent about what to do and how to do it to truly escape and stay hidden. And the reader is privileged to see the three-dimensional Holly because the entire story is also her journal that she faithfully keeps along the way. She's writing it to the teacher who gave it to her as a class assignment before she ran away, which adds another layer of depth to the plot. Along Holly's journey she has to come to terms with what she has lost and what she really wants-- to be loved, protected, and to have a family. What fascinated me is that, unlike other books, I had NO idea where this story would take me. I couldn't even speculate on how it would end. When I did get to the end, it seemed a little rushed and lackluster. Since the entire book she's running from Child Protection Services, I thought it would have been more climactic for her to have had to deal with them in the end. But otherwise, it was a satisfying read that I would recommend because, in spite of the ending, it was the journey that mattered the most.
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02/02 marked as: read

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