Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Runaway" by Wendelin Van Draanen


Well. Stupid me. You should see them now. They're all huddled up arguing like crazy. Maybe they think I'm going to put a curse on them.
I can't believe it. They're coming up here?
Oh, crud. Frankie's got a stick.

Holly has gone from one foster home to another. Each one seems to be worse than the one before it.
The Bender's are no different. After an incident with Mr. Bender, a toilet, and the Sani-Clean in the water, Holly decides that it's time to cut and run.
It isn't the first time she's run away.
Armed with the journal her teacher assigned her, a sheet about poems, a backpack, some food, a watch, and a few other odds and ends, Holly doesn't expect to get far. She hasn't ever made it away before, so why should this time be any different?
But this time, whether it's because of her journal, the stories of the Underground Railroad, or just the knowledge that she can't take anymore, Holly does get away.
Far away.
Traveling from her home in the East/Midwest, she manages to make it to California, all the while calling herself a "gypsy", and trying to pretend that she isn't what she is- homeless.
But how can a 12 year old survive... Even when the 12 year old is Holly?

I can't keep living like this.
I can't even talk about it.
This is no City of Angels.
It's Hell on Earth.

I actually really liked this book. I started reading it thinking that I would- I tend to love runaway stories, stories about survival, and books written in diary form- I got about half way through, thought I wouldn't like it, then at the end I decided that I did like it after all.
Very confusing.

The only problems I had with this book was that I thought that some of the things were just a little too far fetched. That's probably just me, since I bet a lot of these things do happen, but everything seems to just work out too well, or things just go bad at really inexplicable times.

Despite the unbelievability of some of the situations, however, I did find it a good read. Holly was entertaining, and although you start the book thinking "this character is really REALLY two dimensional", you finish the book having a new and better respect for the character of Holly. That's one of the things I like about her... Even though shes all "tough as a nail" and all that, She still acts like a 12 year old.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. I wouldn't recommend it, but I wouldn't not recommend it, either.

I got out of there, found a safe spot on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and ate cold chili. And all I can think about is how ungrateful I've been. I can walk, I'm healthy.... I've got a lot more than I think I do.
Why is what you do have so much harder to see than what you don't?

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