Fight or Flight

First Lines: Emerson’s feet pounded the sidewalk, through puddles, across streets, around corners, and down alleys.  She didn’t stop.  She didn’t slow down.  She didn’t know where she was going or if anyone was actually chasing her.  She just needed to get away.  Away from the threat of being sent back.

I was contacted by the author to read, review, and become a part of the blog tour for this book.  (If you’re interested, my leg of the tour comes on March 23.)  Thank you, Jamie!  Anyway, I’m kind of picky about which books I accept from authors, based on whether or not I’d pick it up on my own.  Well…I totally would have picked this up.

Jay has been living on the streets for a while.  He knows how to survive and how to stay out of trouble.  Then comes Em, the girl with the pretty face and a penchant for trouble.  Em is just beginning to find out just how hard life can be living on the streets.  But there’s one thing both of them know: they can’t go back where they’re from.

Wow, that was not my best blurb.  Anyway, you get the point.  Pro at living on the streets meets girl who really has no business being there.  Or so he thinks.  It’s told from multiple perspectives between Em and Jay.  But mostly Em, in case you were wondering.

What I really liked about this book was how relatable the characters were even though I could not imagine living on the streets myself.  I mean, that was part of the lure of the book.  I didn’t have any idea what it took to make it like that, living day to day, not knowing where you’ll sleep next or where your next meal comes from.  These are very real concerns for these two.  And many people outside of fiction.

That was another thing about this book that drew me in: I really couldn’t fathom why people would voluntarily live on the streets, but this really puts it into perspective.  It’s eye-opening and thought-provoking.

However, that said, I do have a bit of a bone to pick with this.  I thought there were some gender stereotypes in place revolving around Em and Jay.  Em seriously could not do a single thing right.  It was a lot like on old Scooby Doo shorts when Daphne would end up messing up the plan.  And who’s there to save her?  Well, in Scooby it was Fred, but here it was Jay.  It just drove me crazy.  I gave Em kudos for trying, but her luck was just always bad.  I would have liked to have seen her being able to stand on her own two feet.  I will admit that the tables to become turned later in the story (well, not exactly “turned” I can’t think of a better phrase).  I just would have felt better if she’d been able to have just one moment of success.

Overall, it’s a pretty cool read.  I flew through it in only a few hours.  Definitely worth the discussion you’ll want to have afterward about runaways and homelessness.

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