C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Art of Escaping

The Art of Escaping by Erin  Callahan
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bookshelves: contemporary, read-2018, young-adult

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 confess it did fall apart for me a little because of a few reasons though. Including: (a) Mattie is really mean but yet everyone wants to be her friend apparently (?!?) and (b) it uses the "whined" dialogue tag so. freaking. much and I hate whining, I hate whiners, I hate being TOLD a character is whining like every chapter, and (c) I do just wish we'd seen a bit more of the characters feelings?

(Also it had a few...things...I'm not really sure about concerning the lgbtqia element: like it refers to being gay as a "political decision" at one stage, and gives a throw-away comment about if you're friends with gay people it makes you a better person?! i don't even know where to start with that, whether it's saying it's a gay person's duty to educate you [no] or you get cookies for being friends with them [no]. There are mere lines, but I think they could've been handled better.)

But otherwise it was really fun!
Lots of teen angst mixed with death-defying acts. I like how both Mattie and Will were really scared of the idea that they could turn out being people who do nothing and mean nothing. And honestly their jazz-obsession and 20s slang drove me nuts, buuuut it grew on me a little. It touches on fears of college, being gay and closeted, and doing things that you enjoy and makes you feel alive. I REALLY like that.

Also it has:
☆ fabulous cranky mentor (but a woman and in her 30s which is AWESOME for the stereotype!)
☆ pretty much zero romance
☆ it's very much focused on friendship and the friendship group of Mattie, Will, Stella and Frankie at the end was AWESOME
☆ i did not learn how to pick a lock but I feel enthused that I would like to learn
☆ the characters do a lot of problematic things...but they own it and talk about it and there are consequences and I think that's a good example of books being messy and flawed but also dealing with it
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Reading Progress

July 15, 2018 – Started Reading
July 15, 2018 – Shelved
July 15, 2018 –
30.0% "me @ reading this so i know how to survive when my TBR finally collapses and buries me alive"
July 15, 2018 –
70.0% "They talk with a lot of 1920s slang even though it's a modern book, and I'm realising how stupid 1920s slang is. "Iron my shoelaces" is code for going to the bathroom?? What the fresh heck."
July 15, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 15, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
July 15, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 15, 2018 – Finished Reading

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