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The Art of Escaping

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Mattie is hiding her obsession with Harry Houdini and Dorothy Dietrich from everyone, including her best friend Stella. When Stella takes off to boarding school for the summer, all of Mattie’s anxieties bubble to the surface, leaving her feeling adrift. To distract herself, she seeks out Miyu, the reclusive daughter of a world-renowned escape artist whos ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Amberjack Publishing
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fun fact about me: i went through a massive harry houdini phase in my youth. i got a magic kit for christmas and everything. so you can imagine how excited i was for this new release - a story about a young girl who has a hobby in escapism?! sounds great! however, the grand finale of this book seemed to be making my excitement and interest disappear. :(

i think the plot, itself, had promise. i adored that the story explored themes of friendship, creating an identity for yourself and finding your
Elle (ellexamines)
“Without further ado, the Salone Postale proudly presents the intrepid, the indelible, the incomparable... Ginger!”
A stagehand pulled open the curtain, and I got my first look at the audience.
“Her hair's not red,” one of the hecklers shouted. “I want my money back.”

A good and probably-about-to-be-underrated-read! This was my first-ever physical arc I received directly from an author and publisher, and I have to say I’m pretty pleased it was this one.

The Art of Escaping is a book abou
C.G. Drews
This book was actually so so stressful. I've seen a few escapology acts on like talent shows on TV or whatever...but reading about it is JUST AS STRESSFUL. The finale had me all stiff and hunched over my kindle until I realised??? Like chill out, ok, it'll be fine. (Cue me: not chilling out.)

Anyway! So I definitely enjoyed this one a lot. Particularly with such a different topic that I'd never gotten to read in a YA book before?! It was fast-paced and exciting, and had a lot of heart too. I con
Oct 18, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: electric-18s
If you want all the latest deets on THE ART OF ESCAPING (including some amusing deleted scenes), fun squid facts, and news about giveaways, events, future projects, and every other bookish thing I'm up to, please subscribe to my newsletter.


UPDATE 6/30/18: FIRST, the book is now out. So if you haven't already, please consider reviewing it on Amazon, even if you didn't buy it from Amazon. Fifty reviews on Amazon actually gets a
The Art of Escaping is a tricky one for me to review. Author Erin Callahan has done a spectacular job of creating characters who are well-developed and real. I cared about main characters Mattie and Will, but I also really liked a lot of the supporting cast here. I often feel like supporting characters in YA books are bland without much personality, but that was not the case here -- even minor characters had some real pizzazz.

Unfortunately, I didn't care for the pacing of this book or the way th
Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
RATING: 3.5/5

RATING: 3.5/5

High school senior Mattie is fascinated by Houdini and the art of escaping, so when her only and best friend is gone for the summer, Mattie tracks down the agoraphobic daughter of a famous escapologist and convinces her to become her trainer. As Mattie becomes a successful performer at a quirky local club, she keeps her passion a secret, both because she knows her parents wouldn't allow it and because of what her high school classmates would think.
Then there’s Will, wh
shady boots
Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of this book.

Fair warning to you romance-heads out there, this book has little to none of it, so that might be a turn-off if romance is a big deal breaker for you. Personally, I didn't mind that whatsoever. So many YA books center entirely around romance, but this one was more focused on friendship, character development and of course, escapism.

It's pretty clever what the author did with the overall theme of the book. Besides the fact that the protagonist,
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley

I thought so long about a sufficient review for this book but all what comes to my mind is ‘so so good’, ‘I love it so much’, and ‘I want to read it again!!’ Which is amazing because I don’t usually feel the need to reread things but, yeah, not good enough for a review. So, I’m gonna try something new! And maybe I’ll add more after I reread it possibly in the near future...

What this book made me FEEL??
✨like sun rays are shining on my face through
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, ya
3.5 Stars
The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan is a YA novel whose protagonist is a plain Jane named Mattie and her friends Stella, Will and Frankie. Mattie doesn’t fit in with the other students at her school, except for one friend named Stella. Mattie is a witty teen with a strange interest called Escapology. She becomes obsessed with Akiko Miyaki, a legendary escapologist, sort of the female Harry Houdini. Mattie tracks down Akiko’s daughter Miyu. Miyu is leading who leads a reclusive life du
Lucy Banks
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

Refreshingly upbeat, humorous exploration of teenage friendship and escapology!

There are a lot of YA books out there that often feel heavy-handed, particularly when dealing with issues such as sexuality. Thus, it's refreshing to read a novel that explores the importance of friendship in the teen years, and the impact of coming out to the people around you, without getting too weighty or serious.

There are two protagonists in this b
"Good-looking boys who play sports and get good grades can get away with murder. You know, as long as no one knows they’re gay."

The description of this book first intrigued me, but when I started it, I wasn't sure if I'd really relate to and like either Mattie or Will.
But I did.
I ended up enjoying this book far more than I ever anticipated. And this Review is going to be much longer than I thought it would be.

When I retell the story of this book out loud it sounds so weird. And the reason for
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
Oh, how I do NOT miss high school!

I really enjoyed this book - It is so fun, and kept me entertained throughout the whole thing! There were some seriously nail-biting moments with daredevil Mattie, and I can totally see this becoming a movie that I would go see in a second!

Mattie is a high school junior who has some pretty quirky aspirations of becoming an escapologist. She's obsessed with Houdini and the like, but especially Akiko - an elite escapologist gone way before her time. But Mattie is
Alja Katuin
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is going to be one of the best coming of age books of this year and I’m stoked to be the one reading it before it even hits the shelves.

Review will follow shortly, I need to process this bit of awesomeness.

I really wanted to do one of those big and awesome reviews because I believe this one really deserves those big and elaborate reviews.. But my mind has been drifting sooo much, I can't even if i tried.. So it's going to be a bit short, but I do hope to get my enthousiasm for this book
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Amberjack Publishing. I requested this book based on a recommendation from Roberta at Offbeat YA, who had a chance to beta read it. Check out her blog for a post talking about that experience or her exclusive cover reveal!

When Mattie is faced with a summer without her best friend, she screws up her courage to ask the cantankerous, reclusive daughter of renowned escapologist, Akiko Miyake, to be her mentor. Soon, Mattie is immersed
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Galley provided by publisher

Rep: gay side character

Perhaps the reason that this book disappointed me so much was that I was expecting it to be wlw. But it wasn't. And instead, I got a cishet character who kept implying that keeping a secret about escapology was in any way comparable to being in the closet. But I should back up a little.

The Art of Escaping tells the story of Mattie, who is obsessed with old escapologists such as Harry Houdini and Dorothy Dietrich. Living in the same town as Matti
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how I feel about this book. ...more
Camille DeAngelis
Things I am sick of in YA:
1. romance
2. romance
3. romance

Things I want to read more of in YA:
1. nuanced, complex platonic-love friendships
2. personal growth in unpredictable ways
3. laugh-out-loud dialogue
4. snarky, spot-on social commentary

This novel is such a delight, and not just for the ongoing Escapology 101 lesson. Mattie has the guts to reinvent herself AND she refuses to give up even when every muscle in her body is screaming for it. The way the escape scenes are written
Althea | themoonwholistens ☾
// Thanks to Amberjack Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC to review //

“Real secrets weren’t sweet nothings you whispered in your arm candy’s ear.”

*All of my reviews are as spoiler-free as possible unless states otherwise*

I am such a sucker for stories with good characterization.

I just need to say that even though I was not a fan of the plot and all at first, the characters really intrigued me and I was very much pleased with their development by the end o
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Art of Escaping is trying to be a good book and that’s the best I can say about it, to be honest. It’s trying out a lot of things to catch the reader’s attention, sadly forgetting the most important one: actually good writing.

So we have two narrators instead of one, the second one being a minor character and only getting every fourth or fifth chapter. We have fragments of diaries of the main character’s
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Art of Escaping is a young adult novel about finding your passion, focusing on a very unique art: escapology, or escape art. I was intrigued by this book both because the topic sounded like something I’ve never read before, and because I heard that one of the POV characters is gay.

This book could have easily been a 5-star read if it wasn't so hard to get into. I really disliked the beginning, but once I pushed through that,
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

*Only minor spoilers below*

I loved the two main characters! Mattie is such a fun main character and I loved how real she felt. She's so witty and funny in the exact way I love a main character to be, but still manages to be vulnerable and human. Especially during the escape scenes, her emotions are really raw and human.

Speaking of escapology, that aspect was so cool! The escape scenes were so cool and realistic that th
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got sent this book in exchange for a honest review, all my opinions are my own and thank you so much to the publishers for sending me this book!

In this story we follow Matti who has a hidden hobby, she is interested in escapology. For fun she performs escape acts and nobody knows about this until Will, a popular jock at her school finds out about Matti's obsession and they start to grow close.

So I love Escape acts and illusions so I really wanted to read this book and just love it. It's not th
Louetta Waters
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read YA books, but I ended up enjoying this book far more than I anticipated and I was surprised how quickly I got through the book! There were moments that made me smile and some that brought tears.

The Art of Escaping is a young adult novel about not being afraid to find your passion, and friends to share it with. The plot is amazing and the writing flows and is interesting, The Characters are well developed and real. It was nice to watch them grow and develop as the story go
I'm going to give this 3.5 stars

There were some things I LOVED in this book, but I also have a couple of things holding me back from giving it a 4.

Once I reached the end of the book, I was loving it. I loved the characters, how far they had come, and basically the entire arc the story took. I skimmed a couple of reviews directly after finishing, and I remembered all the grievances I had at the beginning of the novel and had to knock it down half a star.

Things I loved:
How passionate everyone i
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, contemporary

First off, can I just say that even just the premise of this book is so entertaining? This story follows Mattie who in the summer before her senior year gets involved in her secret love for escapology and develops a secret identity for herself as a performer. When someone from her school finds out her secret, she thinks her world is going to crumble but it turns out that he has a secret of his own. The book is just so full of quirky characters, the problems that come with graduating, and
Derek Milman
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Art of Escaping isn't just an utterly unique story about a teenager obsessed with Houdini and the art of escape, but it's also about the ways we simultaneously escape into ourselves, and from each other. And it's about young people, grasping for a past they never really knew, trying to find their way in a present they can't quite figure out yet.

At the heart of this transfixing tale, written by an author herself transfixed by Houdini, Princess Tenko, That's Incredible!, Lovecraft, and a host
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan is a feel-good book that will not let you down.

It has amazing characters in it. With background stories. The mean girls have depth, the depressed video gaming brother and his friends do aswell. There is so many to say about the characters, but I don't want to be the one that spoils the book. :)
And let's not forget the amazing Mattie. She reinvents herself while every muscle in her body is yelling
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Rated 4.5 really.

Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Packed with secrets, danger, fun, friendship, unusual sidekicks and witty remarks. A heart-warming journey toward a place where one belongs.
Cons: Will's stream of consciousness sounds a bit too sophisticated/deliberate for his age.
WARNING! There's talk of sex (a first time), but nothing graphic. High-stakes danger. Mild swearing.
Will appeal to: Everyone who loves a deep, funny, clever contemporary about friendshi
We have Mattie an intelligent and witty seventeen-year-old who hides her passion for magic and escapology from everyone. Even her best friend, Stella, also whom away to a summer boarding school. Mattie left alone seeks the supervision of a famous escape artist in their neighborhood. Or someone related to her. With the help, she became an escapist performer.

Mattie now secretly lives and performs as an escapist then discovered by someone who goes to the same school as hers, Will. Mattie was scared
Jun 28, 2018 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arc-netgalley
DNF at 20%.

I just can't deal with this book anymore. The escapology part was cool, but literally everything else is just...not for me. Not even remotely. I was drowning in "not like other girls" vibes, and "everything old is automatically better than everything new" vibes, and I'm really not here for either of those. Plus, here are some choice quotes (note: these are from the ARC, and may not be final) from the 20% I did read that really closed the deal for me.

I can only say for certain that I g
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Bookish First Rea...: The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan 2 4 Oct 22, 2019 11:07AM  
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Erin grew up by a small glacial lake in New Hampshire and, after brief stints in Colorado and Rhode Island, she eventually settled back in the Granite State. As a small child, she told her mother she'd defaced a wall with crayons because she'd been possessed by an imp. She's convinced that same imp drives her to write. When she's not at her day job or cranking out novels on her laptop, you can fin ...more

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