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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  2,335 ratings  ·  506 reviews
Radley just wants to get home to her parents in Vermont. While she was volunteering abroad, the American People's Party took power; the new president was assassinated; and the government cracked down on citizens. Travel restrictions are worse than ever, and when her plane finally lands in New Hampshire, Radley’s parents aren’t there.

Exhausted; her phone dead; her credit ca
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
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Peter Could it be as a way of documenting the brutality, or crime being committed? Either way, it was illustrative of society falling apart. I often wonder …moreCould it be as a way of documenting the brutality, or crime being committed? Either way, it was illustrative of society falling apart. I often wonder how far society in 2016 USA is from this picture.(less)

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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,335 ratings  ·  506 reviews

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Stacia (the 2010 club)
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who get something out of being a fly on the wall
I watch eagerly for the next dumpster.

I can honestly say that I never figured there'd ever be a time to start a review with a comment about dumpster diving. But here we are. This is what I took away from Safekeeping - where there's a will, there's a dumpster.

Let's get this straight...I'm not knocking the will to survive. We'd probably all do whatever it took to keep going, were we faced with similar circumstances. In the case of this book, however, I was a bit fuzzy on the circumstan
Kris Irvin
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is an inbetween book for me. I picked it up on a whim from the library, and it was a super fast read. The story is compelling enough, and I've read enough AMERICA GONE ANARCHY to consider my self an expert.

So here are the problems I had with this book. First, when the heck is it happening? Not giving it a time, even a hint at a time, was a huge mistake. The book starts off with Radley (the main character) in Haiti, volunteering after a huge earthquake strikes. When does this sound like to
Steffaney Smith
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beware...this book will cause you to examine your heart--your life--just a bit closer, and it may be uncomfortable. But, absolution..that is what Radley Parker-Hughes gave to me, and will give to you. Her trek became my personal journey also, through uncertainty, grief and guilt. You find in the end that the story may be over, but Radley & you are continuing your own journeys, where what has happened to you in life becomes your strength and the core you feed from. No need to atone for your short ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
1.5 Stars for decent writing.

I was very excited when I first saw Safekeeping. I’d read Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust as a child and remember loving it, in fact, I could tell you exactly where it sits in the family bookcase back home because I never lose track of those books I truly enjoy. And so I was greatly disappointed to read through Karen Hesse’s latest and find that, while it may be beautifully written, it portrayed a world beyond the realm of possibility or belief and focused heavily on s
Karen Ball
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-challenge
Knocked my socks off. Obviously someone in the publishing world saved this for a fall 2012 election season, but even so, the characters grabbed me and I just couldn't put it down. Had me in tears more than once, but that's where my life and the words of the story collide in ways you can't predict.
"I try to see the quiet beauty of Vermont... to reclaim it as my birthright. But I know now that there is no such thing as a birthright. Anything can be taken from you."
It's September, and this is the t
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Radley's heading home from volunteering in Haiti because the political turmoil in the US is so bad, she's worried about her family. The APP is in charge and they've set up all kinds of strict rules of governance, conduct, and travel. When Radley finally gets to the airport, her parents aren't there to pick her up. So she starts walking home. It's grueling but she knows seeing them will be worth the trouble. Knowing they're safe matters.

Of course, they're not safe. Things are bad. So now Radley's
☼Book her,   Danno☼
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this book. It's a very different sort of dystopia. Familiar in some sense, because you have the all too scary rise of a political elite that would strip people of their rights. And yet different in it's tone and quality of the writing. Instead of being yet another action-driven story about teens rising up to do something about the oppression –barf, been there, done that multiple times– Hesse takes a more realistic approach which deals with surviving on a small scale. Surviving w ...more
This was a quick read, but it ended up taking me a lot longer than expected. I was confused for a large portion of the book about what was happening and why, then once it was more clear I thought it was very unlikely to happen in the way it was described - but that's just me. Radley wasn't a likable, or even relatable, character at all to me. All in all, this was just not my kind of book.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

I REALLY enjoyed this! I haven't heard of this book before I saw it on Hoopla and decided to give it a try. Pretty quick read (was only about 4.5 hours long), and I really enjoyed all of the characters.

Not a 5 though because I just wish it would have been a bit developed, but I understand the decision because it was such a short book, which I prefer.

Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, fiction, arc
Safekeeping was a very quick read but very difficult to review. The writing is beautiful at times, the descriptions of New England and Canada draw peaceful calming pictures filled with the solitude and rest that both characters are driven to need. That unfortunately is the best I can say about the book. The plot was shallow, with no reason and very little direction, it felt contrived and pointless. The caracters are not any better. There is no depth, no feeling, no strong true emotion or connect ...more
Park Road Books
One of the best YA novels I have read, probably ever. The main character, Radley, goes to Haiti to do relief work, but when she comes back to America, she is welcomed with the news that the president has been assassinated and a fringe political party has taken over. Confronted with harsh government crack down, Radley must travel on foot to make it back home in Vermont. An eerie image of what could be, this novel is complex, exciting and an interesting examination of how radicalism and unrest can ...more
Edward Sullivan
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
A teenage girl returns to the United States from a humanitarian trip in Haiti to find the country in a state of chaos and in the grip of an oppressive government ruled by something called the American People's Party. It's a story of a bleak, possible near-future that centers on maintaining meaningful, compassionate human connection. An interesting, frequently engrossing tale illustrated with some striking photographs by Hesse but readers may find the many unresolved loose ends frustrating and un ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
(4.5 STARS)

I absolutely loved this way more than I thought I would. Radley was a great character, and I adored Celia. Definitely had me tearing up at one point. I love survival stories, and this did not disappoint.
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
1. I couldn’t put this book down even though it wasn’t the best writing. It was definitely plot driven and not character driven. The things that kept me reading: why did Radley go to Haiti? Where are Radley’s parents? Will Radley and Celia be caught? What’s Celia’s deal? Who is giving them food and supplies? What’s going on with the US?
2. I wish there was more about the fall of the US and government issues. Also, it felt like propaganda.
3. I liked the addition of the photos that w
Janie McCombs
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was really good with many things to pull you in as a reader. It starts off with Radley going back home from Haiti where she was helping the children in the orphanage. When she got home the United States was in a really bad place and they were buckling down on any crime and letting no law be broken. She was hoping to get home to find her parents, but they never picked her up from her flight. She was left wondering where they were and what had happened to them. She went on a journey to g ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Miranda German
Mrs. Schemenauer
English 9A
5 November 2017

Safekeeping is a fictional story authored by Karen Hesse. This book is about this teenage girl named Radley. Radley was in a different country when the president of the United States got assassinated. When Radley came back to America, her parents were not waiting for her at the airport. Radley waited for a long time and decided to walk home, which was twenty miles away. When she got home, her parents were not there. She stayed at the house
Joe Schrock
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great interpersonal journey, and also a good commentary on society's need to ensure balance and wisdom as part of our decision-making process.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is good, it held my interest, and had some very good parts. buuuut, it also had some problems; which I will not go into because of spoilers. I recommend it, as long as you are okay with serious character issues in places.
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

- - -

The book opens up to Radley (a teenager - I don't remember her specific age EVER being mentioned) making her way home from Haiti, where she was doing volunteer work. Things in the US government have gone downhill and Radley wants to be safe at home in Vermont, with her parents—but when her plane lands, they are not there to greet her. There are restrictions on traveling, a curfew for all citizens, and things are falling apart.

Radley de
Casey Eccles
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love the author's photographs. Good post-apocalyptic novel; more realistic than Hunger Games, etc. Would pair well with THe Road.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Radley is volunteering in Haiti when she hears that things are going South in the U.S.: the president, who is a member of a controversial political party, has been assassinated, and people who are active in protests are being arrested left and right. She hops on a plane to New Hampshire and lands, hoping her parents will meet her, but she hasn't heard from them in a couple of weeks now. With no other options, Radley starts walking to her home in Vermont, through a familiar landscape much changed ...more
While volunteering in an orphanage in Haiti, Radley Parker-Hughes grows worried about her parents and her country after things seem to be falling apart back home. She returns to find a strong military presence everywhere and restrictions on travel. The American People's Party seems unable to get a handle on things, and Radley faces a snarl of bureacratic paperwork just to travel from one state to another. She ends up walking from New Hampshire to Vermont, and when her parents are nowhere to be f ...more
The plucky girl in a dystopian world seems to be the new cliche in Young Adult literature. The twist in Safekeeping is that it is set in current-day America, with the heroine encountering things anyone would if the U.S. government were suddenly to be overturned.

The novel begins somewhat predictably, as main character Radley discovers how sheltered and coddled she had been before everything changed. But her trek from New Hampshire to Vermont, which then becomes an escape to Canada, is hair-raisin
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Radley is volunteering in an orphanage in Haiti when she realizes she needs to go home. She needs to get back to America. When she returns, she finds the America she left and the America she has returned to are completely opposite. As Radley travels home to find her parents, she finds a strength in herself she didn't know she had. Hesse shares that this book started as a "rant" as she watched the 2008 election unfold. Reading Radley's story, which is set in the present future, one realizes that ...more
Joon Nam
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Safekeeping is a book that I very much enjoyed over the course of around a week. It had a very intriguing and realistic plot of chaotic America, and the characters were interesting enough for a person to somewhat get attached to. The theme of the book is not very well developed, and there is no dominant theme in the midst of the chaos. Character development is gradual but existent, as they grow at a slow pace (but if you get to the end, it gets real exciting).
This book is something that I would
So what would happen if your country went to crap while you weren't in it? If a radical political group took over, if dissenters were arrested, if the president were assassinated? If you finally made it home after walking across a good chunk of New England, only to find your parents gone without a trace? That's what happened to Radley. Getting to Canada is her safest option, and it's not an option that's all that safe.

A weirdly sort of political apocalypse that feels more realistic than any of t
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopia
I didn't think this would be dystopia when I bought it. Hesse doesn't usually write that, and it was recommended by Laurie Halse Anderson, someone else not known for that genre. That said, I loved it. It didn't focus on the government overthrow except as it impacted Radley, our heroine, as she fled to safety and tried to rebuild her life in Canada.

Instead Hesse showcases how important family, friendship and compassion are. She does so realistically and tenderly. Hesse also includes some of her
Marjorie Morris
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Safekeeping looked like a timely novel considering the current social climate in America in 2020 (the novel was published in 2012). Undoubtedly at the time Safekeeping was released, the idea of a social apocalypse was merely plausible, not a certainty, so it was a book you could get lost in without fearing too much that it would come true.

Some elements are indeed eerily realistic, such as the young anarchists (essentially the novel’s NPCs) committing property damage for laughs. Others are less
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Safekeeping was, through most of the book, a two-star read. The premise was interesting, but the story itself was boring. Really boring, and repetitious, too. Black and white photographs are scattered every couple pages, which I thought was new and unique (until they became startlingly random and had nothing to do with the story...). The ending, though. The ending was sweet and melancholy and made me smile, so I bumped the rating up to three stars. Overall, Safekeeping was a quick and quiet stor ...more
Violeta Montoya
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first I did not know what to think of this book. I thought it would be about a destroyed society and war. Instead it was about survival and moving forward. Radley is a tough, young woman, and I do not think that I would have been able to survive what she went through. I feel like this book was overall about discovering who you are and what it is you are best at. I do not know that this book is for everyone, but there is nothing to lose by giving it a chance.
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Karen Hesse is an American author of children's literature and literature for young adults, often with historical settings. Her novel Out of the Dust was the winner of the 1998 Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. In 2002, Hesse was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

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