Run By Kody Keplinger ARC Review + Giveaway -- Best Friends 4LYFE

Run | Kody Keplinger
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 288
Edition: Paperback
Source: Irish Banana Tours 

Bo 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 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.


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Frayed by Kara Terzis ARC Review | Call Me Negative Nancy.

Frayed | Kara Terzis
Released: June 7th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre(s): Young Adult, Thriller
Pages: 304
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

Dear Kesley,

My therapist tells me I should write you a letter. Like flushing all my thoughts and feelings out of my system and onto paper. I tell her it's a stupid idea.

But here I am, writing a letter to a dead girl. Where do I start? Where did our story begin? From the moment you were born...or died?

I'll start with the moment I found out the truth about you. Your lies and my pain. Because it always begins and ends with you.
And that end began when Rafe Lawrence came back to town...

Ava Hale will do anything to find her sister's killer...although she'll wish she hadn't. Because the harder Ava looks, the more secrets she uncovers about Kesley and the more she begins to think that the girl she called sister was a liar. A sneak. A stranger.

And Kesley's murderer could be much closer than she thought...

A debut novel from Wattpad award-winner Kara Terzis, Frayed is a psychological whodunit that will keep you guessing!

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Next to contemporaries, thrillers -- especially psychological, are my favorites to read. I love not only the " whodunit " aspect but also the suspense that comes with trying to piece together the plot of a good mystery novel. I like the feeling when my heart starts beating when I'm derailed by an unexpected plot twist, the feeling I get when I'm on the edge of my seat, biting my nails in anticipation of what is to come next. Long story short, thrillers are . .  well, thrilling. Exciting almost. So how come I had such a terrible experience while reading Frayed by Kara Terzis?

Hmm, where do I even begin?


Where's The Mystery Scooby? The essential part of any mystery novel is of course, the mystery itself, so you can probably imagine my confusion when I discovered that this aspect was completely missing. Yes, people. Missing, as in: nowhere to be found. There wasn't anything mysterious, let alone thrilling about this story, and the cause boiled down to two different things: the setup and its execution. In Frayed, we follow our main character Ava as she tries, (and horribly fails) to navigate life months after her sister's brutal death. The story kicks off with a shit-storm of face-palms when Rafe, (her sister's best friend and the only one in this book with any common sense) returns to town. This causes a domino effect of ridiculous events, I-seen-you-coming-from-a-mile-away plot twists, and an ending that sent my kindle flying straight into my closet door. I had so many issues with this monstrosity, that I literally felt as if I were drowining in them.

Can We Trade Main Characters? Someone? Anyone? If there was ever an MC I didn't like, it would be Ava. I desperately tried, and failed to connect with her in any way, shape, or form. She was quite strange, (I'm guessing that was supposed to be the point, who knows) but it was her logic, decision-making, and her incredibly shallow perception of others, that irked my soul and almost caused me to DNF the book altogether.

There's A New Sherif In Town. Ava suspected everyone who crossed her path of being Kelsey's killer. The trashman, the people at the grocery store that stocks the milk, her mom's co-worker that's sleeping with their boss, I mean everyone honey. If you had any connection with Kelsey, (or have been to juvie since all people that go there are bad apparently) then you were briefly slapped on the " omg they so killed Kelsey " list. It was definitely apparent what the author was trying to do here. Add in the supporting cast and make them unreliable so that it raises suspicion, resulting in us readers being distracted from what's really going on. Do you know how suspenseful that would've been? The classic guessing game of " whodunit " would've been in full-effect! I wanted to tap into my inner Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes to crack this case wide open, there just wasn't anyone or anything to be suspicious of. I didn't have an actual case to solve.

Easy Peasy. One of the main reasons why the story failed to deliver as a mystery/thriller novel, (In my humble opinion of course) was the nature in which the plot was laid out. Everything was so easy. It was as if the entire plot was dropped Hansel & Gretel style -- follow these chicken nuggets to the yellow brick road, then turn lef-- wait, watch out for cheating boyfriends, unrealistic kidnappings, and all other irrelevancy until you see the " what-in-the-actual-fuu-reveal!  " Obvious clues popped up at just right the second, and with everything so straightforward, there were literally no twists, nothing that threw a curve ball into the mix to derail us off track.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink . . Nah That Was Thrown In Too. If drama was supposed to be the forefront of the story, then the author most definitely delivered, and if she wanted me to feel as if I were watching a classic episode of Jerry Springer, then hell she achieved that too. So many events transpired, and my goodness was it the biggest circus act in YA history. As I mentioned before, the kidnapping, Ava's boyfriend's infidelity issues, (how do you have sex with her sister AND her best friend, come on bruh) her lowkey hater of a best friend, the weird relationship between her and Rafe, the fights, that unbelievable ending, I mean I can go on and on. It was all too much and my question to the author is, " How much filler can you possibly " fill " a story with? "

I think what bothered me the most about Frayed, was that we spent sooo much time on things that had absolutely no relevance to the murder at all. Supporting characters played key players when they didn't need to be, clues and " twists " were gift-wrapped and handed to us on a silver platter, (I knew the ending reveal before I even reached 10%) and let's not forget the unnecessary drama that turned this mystery novel into a watered down, cringe-worthy rendition of Pretty Little Liars. I'm so sorry guys, but I was not impressed.