Run | Kody Keplinger
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Irish Banana Tours
I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
Can you guys guess where I am? Okay duh of course not because this place isn't even real, but EEK I'm back in my " damn this book is good " oasis! The bookish gods have decided to leave me alone, for now atleast, and I took full freaking advantage of that when I picked up Run by Kody Keplinger. To say my literary ghost and I are pleased, would be an understatement. (I need to give my dawg a name for real.) We kicked back with our feet up, grabbed some snacks, and dived into this wonderful story about friendship and overcoming all odds.
Babysitter's Club vibes yall. Like how can you not read this?
Sit a spell sugahs, I'm fixing to make this ya'll next read. I remember when I first read The Duff. It was welllll before the hype, and unlike many other readers, I didn't care for it too much. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, * cough, Frayed is that you? * but I thought the writing was incredibly MEH, and the characters, especially miss fast-in-the-ass Bianca, was just way too immature for me. So, I did what I normally do in this situation, shoved Kody into a " not sure if I want to read your work " box, stashed it in someone's fictional attic, and went along with my day. That was two or three years ago, and even after the release of LOL and the movie adaptation of The Duff, (which I really liked, go figure), I sort of forgot about her . . . until I stumbled across Run.
I am a sucker for anything southern. Southern fried chicken, southern mac and cheese, (drools) southern ice tea mixed with lemonade, even southern characters, so when I picked up Run and actually began to read it, guys, I seriously fell in love. The atmosphere Kody managed to create was by far one of the best things I've read in a novel recently. I could practically picture everything about this small town, the gravel roads and wooded areas, the double wide trailers, the folks walking around in their camouflage -- there wasn't anything that was missing from this country setting. But what truly made this story come to life, was something people where I'm from like to call " redneck slang. " While I'm a city girl born and raised, I have family that is from the south, (and some that are just country as hell) and I could almost hear the character's accent spoken in the same fashion as my cousins, aunts, and uncles. This story had a sista reminiscing about trips I've taken to visit my family. Being chased by chickens, (most traumatizing event of my life) walking a mile just to get to a neighbor's house, playing outside in the pitch dark because there were no streetlights, catching lightening bugs, pigging out on pulled-pork sandwiches with coleslaw wedged between, Run truly gave me a nostalgic experience, one I haven't felt in a long, long time.
You guys know that for my past couple of reads, I've been having trouble connecting with the main character(s), and I'm so relieved that changed this time around. Told in dual perspectives, (my fave if it's done correctly) we follow Bo and Agnes, (I had a bullmastiff named Bo!) two girls from the same town, but from completely different side of the tracks. Before writing up my review, I was trying to figure out which one of the girls was my favorite, and honestly, I couldn't decide. They're so different but similar in so many ways, which made it nearly impossible to choose. To a certain extent, Bo definitely had my personality. She was so kindhearted, but would rough you up in a hot second. She was a victim of constant slut-shaming, bullying in general actually, however, that girl let insults bounce off of her as if she were swatting at a fly. She had a tough exterior, and often stood up for not only herself but for Agnes as well, but while my firecracker didn't take any shit from anyone, deep down inside she was very much a warm, soft little muffin.
Agnes was not only a great character, but she also brought some diversity to the table. She was born with an eye condition called LCA, Lever's Genital Amaurosis, causing her to be legally blind. As with Kody, she doesn't see complete darkness, but her vision isn't clear, resulting in people, colors, and objects, to blend together. It was definitely an eye-opening experience to read from Agnes's POV. I have poor vision as well, (I have astigmatism in my right eye which makes it harder for me to see far away) but viewing the world through the fuzzy image of hers, just made her character that much more special to me. Writing a character that mirrored her own disability? Yep, I have so much respect and admiration for Kody.
This book is beyond perfect for all readers who value a strong friendship. Together as well as seperately, both of these girls went through trials and tribulations, but they still managed to stay afloat, to stay uplifted. Run made me happier than a dead pig in the sunshine, and if you know like I know, you better pick this up when it releases, or I'll be on yall's asses like white on rice!
Okay, I so have chill with this country talk LOL.
Okay, I so have chill with this country talk LOL.