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Fiction Review: The Runaway by Jo Barney

By Pamelascott
Fiction Review: The Runaway by Jo BarneyTHE RUNAWAY BY JO BARNEYI was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Ellie is older, gruff and independent. She doesn't expect much from life; it's broken enough promises to her.

The only ugliness in the world Ellie can truly clean-up is the graffiti marring mailboxes in her neighbourhood, and she centres her days around this as one of the few acts that gives her a little peace.

When a fifteen-year-old Goth girl appears offering to help, Ellie is surprised-and suspicious. Sarah has been shunted from house to house in the foster care system. Now she's run away from a forest camp managed by a tyrannical, enigmatic man.... But escape is not that easy, and soon Sarah finds her life in danger. Can Sarah and Ellie put aside their differences to keep truly horrific danger at bay?

Jo Barney gives readers Hen Lit at its finest.


September 2009

Fiction Review: The Runaway by Jo Barney

I can remember every second of that last graffiti patrol with Ellie. Maybe it's the meds they're feeding me, or maybe I'm a little crazy now. The nurse says I probably should be with all the stuff I've gone through in the past couple of weeks, Ellie at the centre of it all.

This is my first time reading the author.

The Runaway is a brilliant book. I cannot compliment it enough. The book has multiple narrators and the chapter alternate between the viewpoints of each one. I really enjoyed this and thought it worked really well. The chapter title states the character and year(s) so there's no chance in getting confused. This structure helps to create a vivid picture of the past and present of each character and how the little narrative threads join together. The events connecting all of the characters are gradually revealed, compelling you to read on to see where the next dot connects. I thought all of the characters were well-written, almost painfully real, especially Sarah, Ellie and Jeff. The book ends up being a bit darker than I expected. I love it when authors surprise me. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes several times. I also really loved the cover as well. It drew me.

I'd highly recommend The Runaway and plan to check out more books by the author.

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