I was kindly sent And Then We Ran by Stripes Publishing, in exchange for an honest review :)
Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...
A road-trip story about following your dreams and embracing the unexpected.
Megan knows what she wants out of life and she intends to get it, whatever her parents say.
Elliott has given up on all his plans for the future – but then Megan bursts into his life with a proposal that could change it forever.
Together they embark on a road trip to escape their hometown and chase their dreams. But life is a journey and not even Megan can control where theirs will lead…
And Then We Ran was a brilliant book from start to finish, with a great fast-paced storyline and vibrant yet realistic teenage characters. The book is blurbed as being perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, and I definitely got that heartwarming, reassuring, summer-reading vibe from this book (despite the fact that it's set in winter!) I really liked the Welsh setting, and it gave the book a sort of individuality to set it apart from other road trip novels. The small town of St Evaline was so well depicted and described and I think it was the perfect setting for this book.
I love novels whose narrative are split into two different perspectives, and this book was no different. Megan and Elliott were two strong, likeable characters that were sharply and smartly written. They were totally believable and I can actually imagine the two of them existing somewhere, which is important when depicting teenage characters. Their relationship was very well developed and great to read about. Cannon is evidently a master at writing characters who the reader can connect to, and actually care about.
I think that YA fiction is massively ignoring the issue of further education, and I think that it should be written about much more. Cannon tackles this issue and I could definitely relate to the way Megan was feeling (I was very determined about taking a creative writing degree - much to the bewilderment of some of my teachers, and at first, my parents) and I think the issue was very well dealt with in this book. Cannon was not patronising in the least and I like how she gave her characters the chance to grow and develop and make their own decisions, all whilst showing the importance of having a healthy and respectful relationship with parents.
I liked the back-story of Lizzie's death, though at times I felt that it was slightly forgotten about, even though it clearly impacted about many of the events that occur throughout the novel. I wanted Lizzie's death to be dealt with more, maybe some flashbacks to the court hearing and so forth, and this is the only reason this review is 4*s instead of 5.
However, overall I loved this book, and the ending was everything that I wanted it to be. I definitely got that warm, comforted feeling once I turned the very last page, which is everything you want at the end of a book like this.
So rush down to your local bookshop and pick up a copy of And Then We Ran! I promise you you won't regret it, I can definitely see it being one of the books to read this summer.
Last week I was part of the blog tour for And Then We Ran - where Katy Cannon spoke about her own career journey, and the importance of not only realising but actively pursuing your dreams. Check out that post here.