The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan

I love thinking about what people I meet where like in high school and wondering if I would have been friends with them then.  I was a member of the all encompassing freak class. I had purple hair, smoked clove cigarettes and wore flannel. What made me even more of a freak  I read, usually had the answers in English or history class and I listened to weird music. Well at the time it was considered weird music until it hit the mainstream radio stations. I was more then happy with my small circle of friends and our mutual love of shared passions. One of these passions was anything horror. I would like to think I would have been friends with the main character in The Art of Escaping.

Summary: A misfit girl and a popular guy share a secret. But will this secret lead them to shared mutual destruction or freedom?

What I liked: Callahan was able to use a plot device I really like. The story is told from Mattie and Willem’s points of view. Callahan does a great job of tying the two stories together to form a cohesive narrative that overlaps so you get a in-depth perspective. There is another story within this story.  It isn’t intrusive and fits very well. The characters are well fleshed out. The plot was well thought out and the ending didn’t feel rushed or out of line with the character’s motivations. As this is a YA title the writing is appropriate for a YA audience. Actually, I think it is a great YA novel.

What I didn’t like: The beginning was slightly slow for me after about 50 pages it picked up and I was sucked in.

Star Rating: 4.5

My thoughts: I really liked this story. I would like to think that it is because I was one of the outcasts at high school. I love the way Callahan used Escapology as metaphor for the angst that you feel as a teenager. I loved both Mattie’s parents. I really identified with them as a parent that was a bit different then the other parents. This is going to be controversial but it was refreshing to read a YA book that didn’t end horribly or have something devastating happen to the characters. It was a story that had so much hope that it warmed my bookish heart and that made me happy.

I want to thank Amberjack Publishing for a review copy for my honest review and I want to thank Ms. Callahan for writing a YA book that is full of goodness and hope.

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