By: Kody Keplinger
Published By: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Page Count: 288
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Young Adult - Contemporary
Every time I start a new Kody Keplinger book, I keep thinking to myself that it can't be as good as the last one, and that this will be the time that I come away a bit disappointed; I keep expecting that at some point I will feel like she is retreading old techniques or plot devices... I should have more faith. Clearly Kody has a lot of plot bunnies bouncing about her brain, and I love how she keeps winning me with something new.
This time we learn about Bo and Agnes, a pair of more unlikely friends would be hard to find. Bo is the youngest member of the town's no-good family. She lives in a trailer with her meth addict mother and does what she pleases, since no one cares. Agnes is the youngest daughter of a well to do family, blind since birth, and she isn't even allowed to walk down the street alone.
The narrative is split into two timelines, past and present. In the present we follow the friends as they run away together, and to work out why, we have to follow the past timeline. I really liked this device as it kept the pace up and drip-fed me little moments of insight. Sometimes I wasn't sure if what I'd read was right, but then the alternate timeline would confirm it for me.
What I loved most about this book was the becoming of Agnes. She is such a meek good girl at the start, and doesn't even really realise how oppressed she is. As she spends more time with Bo, she does things which challenge and scare her, and she grows so much. When she finally stood up for herself I was virtually cheering in my seat!
I wasn't thrilled with the way it turned out though, and that's why I only gave this four out of five... I could understand why events unfurled as they did, but I would have liked a slightly different route. To say more would spoil things, but it felt a little bittersweet to me and I'm more of a sweet fan!
Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who’s not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents’ overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter—protect her from what, Agnes isn’t quite sure.
Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it’s the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.
So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn’t hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo’s dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and—worst of all—confronting some ugly secrets.