Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Running on Empty (Running On Empty, #1)” as Want to Read:
Running on Empty (Running On Empty, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Running on Empty

(Running On Empty #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  67 reviews
River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape.

The girls manage to elude po
Paperback, 376 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Tulip Teen (first published November 25th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Running on Empty, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Running on Empty

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  227 ratings  ·  67 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Running on Empty (Running On Empty, #1)
Katie McGarry
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book and it is absolutely amazing! Colette does a suburb job of entwining suspense and a love story!
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Run, River. Run.

I had a bit of a false start with this one. I'd read the blurb initially, but between then and actually picking it up to read, I'd forgotten everything except, "New Adult, girl on the run, with some romance". So when I began with the story I found myself grumbling that surely this controlling douchecanoe can't be the love interest? He wasn't, of course. That part came much later. But let me tell you, the real love interest was definitely worth waiting for!

River Daniels is a g
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Completely positively 100% absolutely amazing. An emotional and intense book with twists you never saw coming, complete with a great love story. Love love love it!
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Running on Empty was a pretty good read, but i had a few problems with it.

It felt longer than what it was. It's a 376 page book, but it felt more like 500.

River made some very silly moves throughout the book.
At some points, i felt like shouting at my kindle, because of the things she did. (I decided against doing that though, might have made me look a bit mad.)

River was an okay character apart from that, and i liked some of t
Viktoria Van der bilt
Jul 26, 2013 marked it as to-read

Shawna Briseno
Jan 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
ARC provided by NetGalley:
This one started off in a promising way. River Daniels is a high school junior living in a small Texas town. Her life is nothing to brag about but she's getting by. That is, until the night she shoots and kills her boyfriend in self- defense. Just so happens that he's the town's star football player and his family is basically small town royalty. So what else is there to do but go on the run? This is where the story lost me. River is joined in her escape by her two life
Read InAGarden
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Really was looking forward to reading Running on Empty. The synopsis tells you that River accidentally kills her boyfriend after he tries to attack her and then she and two friends go on the run to evade the law. While on the run, River and her friends luck into jobs, housing and a protector. Upon deciding to return to the scene of the crime and clear her name, River happens to run into the father she never knew. This father just happens to be the godfather of the boy she killed and one of the m ...more
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Running On Empty by Colette Ballard: Expect the unexpected. It's an amazing story with twist & turns involving one jerk boyfriend, tragedy, best friends banning together...and a turn of events that leaves us all wanting justice and True Love!

Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
3.75 stars!

I loved the premise. The relationship between River and her best friends was awesome and I obviously crushed hard on Justice! The pacing dragged a bit at some points but overall I was hooked and enjoyed the twists! Excited about Kat's story in book 2! Full review to come soon. :)
Hunter Stull
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Although the story was intriguing, I wish it had been written in Justice's pov. I think it would have given a little more to the story than it did in River's pov. ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I read this book when I was younger. Took me so long to read because I had to process the relationship between River and Logan and it hurt to read but it was an amazing book.
River Daniels is on the run, after she fatally wounds her boyfriend in a night out gone terribly wrong. Her boyfriend, Logan, is the son of one the richest families in Texas and she runs, knowing that there wouldn't be any kind of justice or fairness for her in her hometown. She's joined by her two best friends, who each have their own reasons for leaving their old lives behind but leaves behind Justice, a boy that she's known since she was young and whom she has loved for a long time. Out on th ...more
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc, for-review
Originally posted at City of Books

I was intrigued by this book as soon as I read the blurb. It sounded fascinating and thrilling, with a fast-paced plot and a sweet romance. And that's exactly what it is! Running on Empty is a beautiful novel, and unique in so many ways. I was sucked into this book right from the start, and I connected with the characters almost instantly.

River lives in a trailer park with her younger sister and stepfather, Jack. She has a simple life, but she loves it. She has
Elizabeth Ashley
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Gripping. Intense. Emotional. Powerful. Beautiful. Running on Empty is an amazing coming of age story about finding strength when you least expect, and finding family in unexpected places. River, the main heroine, finds herself on the run with her best friends after her boyfriend's murder, trying to find evidence that would clear her name. The author does an amazing job of intertwining so many different genres, action, suspense, mystery and best of all romance. Each and every character ha
Anna McC
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One word….. Amazing! Colette Ballard has an exceptional gift, she had the reader hooked right from the start. There was a few things which lowered this books rating such as many things seemed to fall into place a bit to easily at times but the raw emotions throughout the book make it all worth it. The author instantly grabbed readers attention with her opening lines.

“I always assumed my final moments on this planet would be more dramatic- that I would at least go out fighting. I thought I would
Eve (Functioning Insanity Reviews)
So I'm catching up with my reading list here. A good friend of mine actually took me out to see Vampire Academy again. It says a lot that she didn't know if she'd like it originally but then to like it enough to read the book and want to see it again, that is high praise from her. I am sad that it is down to 2 showings a day at my local theatre. Anyways onto the real reason for this update, a new book review. This one is Running on Empty by Colette Ballard, courtesy of NetGalley.
Running on Emp
Stuti Rai
Universal truths:
a. Runny eggs are raw. Eating them is barbaric, but that does not make a lesser person of you, just a lesser human.
b. Bieber is shit.
c. NA is, more often than not, shit.
d. It's also usually offensive, to my own delicate sensitivities.

Personal truth:
a. When-a too seldom when-ever I come across a non-offensive NA, my aforementioned delicate sensitivities go into hyper-drive and I xoxo that book, paying no heed to the quality of writing, plot, characters etc. The fact that it also
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Running on Empty is an intense mix of suspense and romance. River, a girl from the trailer park with low self esteem, somehow ends up with the rich, popular, football player from the other side of town, Logan. Even though her friends try to make her see Logan for the jealous, controlling, dangerous guy that he is, she is blinded by what she believes is love. All the while, she's in love with her best friend, Justice, even though she is convinced he doesn't feel the same. All that changes one nig ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
My copy was provided to me by Netgalley.

This book is all about fighting against the whole world when everyone is against you. This book felt so real to me because it can actually happen. It could have happened to anyone.

River's boyfriend is a possessive, jealous guy who went too far one night. River didn't have any other choice but to defend herself. Except this accident cost someone's life. But a self-defense charge isn't very easy to get in River's town. Her boyfriend is the son of a very infl
Blondies Little Book Life
"I want you to be my forever"

This book had my hooked from beginning to end. I loved how it had everything in it......Suspense, Comedy and Romance. What more could you ask for. This book was totally different from most YA novels I have read, but in a very good way. I literally couldn't put the book down.The story itself kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait turn the page to see what would happen next. I felt so many emotions reading this book. I love when authors can make me feel what t
Erica (Reading Kitten)
This review was posted on my blog:

Running on Empty could've been amazing. The plot sounded great and the first couple of chapters were pretty good, but after that I started having some problems with it.

What makes me love a story are good characters, and in this book there weren't really any characters that I absolutely loved. I didn't love our main character, River. She makes a lot of stupid decisions and doesn't listen to anyone who's trying to give her g
Crystal Marie
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars!

"I was wanted for murder. Ironic how my desire to be wanted by Logan got me into this mess in the first place."

So I requested this book because I just need something different than the New Adult genre once in awhile. This totally hit the spot, kind of like chocolate on that day of the month! It is about a girl, River, who committed murder in self defense and her quest to prove herself. While there is the deal with the attempted rape issue, I would definitely categorize this as Young A
Olivia (Bookcomet)
Dec 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemp, netgalley
This was...not what I expected.
As per usual, I read the blurb ages ago and had totally forgotten what this was about. But it was quite different from other contemporaries in the fact that it was set in a high school.

River had the two greatest friends in the history of contemporaries. Three, if you include Justice. They were dedicated and determined to help River after the accident and went to extreme lengths to do so. Under their tough exterior, they were better inside than the kids that had be
Jackie (No Bent Spines)
Thank you to Netgalley and Tulip Teen for giving me a copy to review
More reviews on :

RUNNING ON EMPTY is an enticing mix of old emotions, dramatic suspense and a barbaric asshole who haunts people’s lives long after he’s dead and gone. In this stunning debut, Ballard brings the reader into the fast- paced world of a half- dead, almost raped girl on the run. This book was fast paced and fabulous. We get to see (after she runs) how she goes from the walking d
Leigh Collazo
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it

More reviews at Mrs. ReaderPants.

REVIEW: This will no doubt be compared with Thelma & Louise, and that is a pretty decent comparison. As in T & L, our main character River Daniels shoots and kills someone to prevent an imminent rape. Her best friends Billie Jo and Kat find River walking along the road, dazed and covered in blood. Knowing River will not get a fair trial in their area, the two friends whisk River away to Las Vegas, where they struggle to find jobs and stay off the police radar.

I was immediately intrigued when I discovered Running on Empty on Netgalley, the story sounded unique and a bit thriller-esque so I was pumped when I got approved to read it!

River was a fantastic main character. Probably my favorite thing about her, and the fact that I related to her the most with, was that she adored animals. Horses and horseback riding play a bit part in the story, as River breaks horses, and I was immediately drawn to her as a character for that trait. Aside from her love fro
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgallery
running on Empty by Collete Ballard was an interesting book, namely an interesting subject... relationship abuse. Having been in a volatile relationship I often can get wound up by books which feature emotional abuse/bullying and find them unrealistic. However.although this isn't the main storyline and a subline leading to it, I felt it was extremely well handled and instantly took a liking to this book.

River is a good girl. Good grades, works hard and has a crappy family life. Her love is horse
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Tulip Romance and Netgalley.)
17-year-old River loves horses, and has a boyfriend (Logan) who pressurises her to have sex and is jealous of the fact that she has a male best friend.
When an accident leaves Logan dead, River is convinced by her two best friends that she needs to go on the run.
How long can River stay on the run for? And how can she prove that it was an accident?

This was an okay story, but t
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
3.5 stars

The premise of Running on Empty was captivating to me. Can you imagine being in River's situation? She is attacked by her boyfriend, who attempts to rape her, and in the process of fighting him off, a terrible accident occurs. She panics and decides to leave town, knowing that her boyfriend's family will crucify her in court. They have a lot of influence in the town law enforcement and River knows that even though she was not at fault, she'll likely spend life behind bars for what happe
Betsy (Bookcrastinators in Wonderland)
See my review directly on the blog here .

ARC provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WHOAH! WHAT. A. BOOK. What really grabbed my attention was the synopsis. I didn't think I would love it based on the cover (I know, I know... Shame on me!)

Right from the very first page I was totally hooked. The pacing and the flow to this was absolutely wonderful! Yes, some of it is far fetched but that's what makes this book so enthralling.

OK- so River kills her boyfriend, Logan,
« previous 1 3 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • How Not to Fall in Love, Actually
  • Stay With Me (Come Back to Me, #2)
  • Lucky Caller
  • Chasing Lucky
  • The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
  • It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)
  • Earthquake (Earthbound, #2)
  • Back to You
  • Da Vinci's Tiger
  • Medea
  • Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries and Other Stories
  • The Trouble with You (Rixon Raiders, #1)
  • The Game You Play (Rixon Raiders, #2)
  • Road to Somewhere
  • Never Never (Never Never, #1)
  • Never Never: Part Two (Never Never, #2)
  • Never Never: The Complete Series (Never Never, #1-3)
See similar books…
Colette grew up on a dairy farm in rural Kentucky. She survived the high school experience back in the day when Aqua Net was bought in bulk and mullets were cool. That’s also when she realized that her constant daydreaming wasn’t a curse, but a useful skill—one she used like a lethal weapon to combat her frustration over the haunting question: What does the alphabet have to do with math anyway? Un ...more

Other books in the series

Running On Empty (2 books)
  • Temporary High (Running On Empty, #2)

Related Articles

Sometimes the monster in your life looks a lot like you. Or exactly like you, but better.   This is the case of Evelyn Caldwell. An...
41 likes · 5 comments