Review: Run by Kody Keplinger

run 1Bo 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.

I wrote about Run in my post on recent summer releases, and as I quite enjoyed some of Kody Keplinger’s other books, The DUFF and Lying Out Loud, I wanted to read Run too. I think that there are a lot of positive things for me to talk about with this book, such as the diversity and the heavy emphasis on friendship, although there are one or two things about it that I would question.

One of the things that made Run stand out to me was its diversity. In recent years, there has been a growing desire for authors to include a more diverse range of characters in their books, with more variation in race and sexuality, and more inclusion of people who are have some sort of disability or are not cisgender. Run completely embraced this, as Agnes had to use a cane, because her vision was limited, and if it was dark, she needed someone to guide her. As far as I can remember, the only other blind character I’ve read about was Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars, so I thought it was great to see this. Bo was also bisexual, and I haven’t read about many bisexual characters either. However, the diversity that Kody Keplinger included didn’t feel forced, or as if she was just creating cardboard cut out characters. Both Bo and Agnes were well developed, and the things I have remarked on made up an intrinsic part of them.

I also really liked the emphasis on friendship. There was a little romance, yes, but the focus of the novel was first and foremost on the relationship between Bo and Agnes. The book was told from both of their perspectives, alternating characters. However, everything from Agnes’ perspective was about how she and Bo became friends, whereas Bo’s perspective was about them leaving Mursey. I loved that their friendship was so special to the both of them, and that they were so close and accepting of one another.

Bo had more freedom than Agnes, and she encouraged Agnes to try and get more freedom for herself, as her overprotective parents held her back. While I did think her parents were being a little unfair, they were only trying to keep her safe, and so I didn’t think Agnes really tried to see their perspective. Also, Bo did help Agnes to test her limits, but I didn’t like it when Bo helped her to do things that weren’t very responsible, like have a beer, and I was frustrated by Bo lying to Agnes about what she was hoping to achieve by running away.

Overall, I did enjoy Run. While the characters could sometimes be a little frustrating, I appreciated the diversity, and if you like books with a friendship focus, then I would definitely recommend this book to you.

Run was published on the 28th of June 2016 by Hodder Children’s Books, and on the 14th of July 2016 in paperback by Hodder Children’s Books. You can find out more on Goodreads here, or purchase a copy on Amazon here.

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