Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Run, by Kody Keplinger

Run, by Kody Keplinger may seem, at first, like your typical opposites-attract friendship story (with a road trip element). And, in many ways, it is. Agnes Atwood is the Good Girl who has never broken curfew, never failed a class, and never defied her parents in any way. She's never even held hands with a boy. Bo Dickinson, whose name is synonymous with 'trouble' in the small town of Mursey, is just the opposite: rebellious, promiscuous, notorious... She's the quintessential Bad Girl and proud of her reputation. Despite their differences, the girls become fast friends. And they, along with the reader, learn there's much more to the other than meets the eye. No stock character stereotypes here. And this is the thing that saves the book and keeps it from being Just Another Road Trip Book.

And there IS a Road Trip. Fearing being sent into foster care after he mother's arrest for selling drugs, Bo decides to flee town in search of her estranged father (and the money she hopes to get from the man). She asks Agnes to accompany her, and Agnes agrees. The girls "borrow" Agnes' sister's car and, before they know it, this teenage Thelma and Louise are on the run from the law. Things are kind of predictable from here on out. There's a spot of romance. There's some "I've-never-told-anyone-this-before" revelations. There's some drama and some conflict. And there's the Happy Ending resolution.

But the main focus for me is the friendship that is cemented between the two girls over the course of the story. And, of course, the wonderful character development. Aside from that, there's really nothing new about this book that hasn't been done before. Run is a good read, especially for those who are looking for realistic Friendship Books, but it isn't anything unique.

Run is a good recommendation if you liked John Green's Paper Towns. --AJB

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