The Art of Escaping

The Art of Escaping

by Erin Callahan

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944995652
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: 06/19/2018
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 289,342
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author


Erin grew up by a small glacial lake in New Hampshire and, after brief stints in Colorado and Rhode Island, she settled back in the Granite State with her husband and daughter. As a small child, she told her mother she’d defaced a wall with crayons because she’d been possessed by an imp. She’s convinced that same imp drives her to write. When she’s not at her day job or cranking out novels on her laptop, you can find her soaking in the new golden era of television, stalking her favorite musicians on Twitter, and trying not to embarrass herself on the volleyball court. She loves giant squids and the color red, hates the phrase “no offense,” and thinks birds are creepy.



Once upon a time, she was a lawyer but found herself unemployed at the height of the recession. For her own sanity she started writing, and to make ends meet she took a job at a residential program for teens. The kids she met there will forever serve as a well of inspiration for the contemporary YA she writes.

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The Art of Escaping 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Cinemabelle 7 months ago
Set in Rhode Island, Erin Callahan's The Art of Escaping takes place in the summer between junior and senior year, when most students are busy making plans for their future or trying to pad their applications for college.  Then there are those like our unusual protagonist Mattie who uses her three months away from class to find herself by daring to pursue her passion for escapology.  Tracking down the daughter of her favorite escape artist (a local, female Houdini, if you will), although she's hesitant at first, Miyu gradually gives in and begins teaching Mattie the tricks of her mother's trade from lock picking to underwater escapes. Soon enough Mattie is performing her act under a stage persona at a hip speakeasy like club.  An entertaining albeit unusual YA novel that strains your suspension of disbelief, Callahan's Art gets better the further you get into it. And while its overly stylized characters come off as wise beyond their years and their retro interests and dialogue might have played better if the book - already retro in feel - had been set in the '80s or '90s, it's a fun, fast, and wholly original read nonetheless. 
Librarian_V_Reader 7 months ago
Librarian: This is a fun, breezy YA novel. It's got a decent (if not spectacular) plot, and a decent (if not spectacular) premise. Honestly, I think that the decision regarding whether or not you should order this one depends entirely on what you know about the interests of your library community. At my last library there was a huge interest in magic and escapology, so for that library this would be an excellent book to add to the collection. At the library before that, there was little interest in the subject so the decision about whether or not to buy it would need to be determined by how many new contemporary YA novels were needed in the collection. At the moment, my library needs more in this genre, so purchase is a no brainer. Reader: I have always enjoyed stories that center around the world of stage magic, and escapology. This one is no exception. I found myself immediately drawn into the world, and I fell in love with the characters with a speed that surprised me. I'll definitely be looking for more books by Erin Callahan in the future.
Anonymous 7 months ago
After initially reading the first look I knew that I was in for a very different type of story than I had read in YA in the past and this book delivered. It was a fun and interesting ride from beginning to end and Mattie as a character was absolutely wonderful. She was flawed in ways that allowed you to sympathize with her and her unique hobbies made her a great character who was interesting with a lot of depth. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, and would highly recommend it for anyone who has even a passing interest in magic and escapology. The Art of Escaping was so enjoyable and different and it was a great and fun book to read. I was very glad to be able to read this wonderful story.
bookscoffeeandrepeat 10 months ago
INTERESTING. For every girl who likes weird or unique characters, this book is for you. "The Art of Escaping" is a novel with characters that are outside of the usual young adult trope. Hence, this is what makes the book stand out on its own. It might also explain why it wasn't as popular as what I expected. This novel can be an ode to Luna Lovegood, to any literature with misfit-like characters or outsiders. This had been definitely the reason why I was interested in this title in general. Additionally, unexpected secrets and friendships were an awesome twist to the story. This unusual coming of age story filled with teen angst, escapism, and secrets can win the hearts of many with the usual themes of adolescence and identity.
Anonymous 11 months ago
The Art of Escaping is a light hearted read with teasing hints and outright statements of darker, more complicated themes and situations at hand. Mattie has Problems. Her best friend is leaving for the summer, she really doesn't have other friends, college is just around the corner, and a hobby she wants to pursue is highly likely to get her shipped to a therapist. Naturally, our sassy introverted heroine tracks down a mentor, the daughter of an idol of hers, and all but forces her out of her shell in order to pursue her dream. While I had some questions regarding Hummingbird, the mentor, and her half-forced into teaching status and the realism of that, it could very well be interpreted as a woman with a troubled background who sees a little of herself in Mattie and wants to prevent her from falling down her lonely, distrusting way of life. The addition of a popular boy with a huge secret burdening him felt a little forced, in my opinion, and like it may have been better off as its own novel rather than a light sideplot to be noddee at and glossed over-- particularly the scene where he and Mattie have a serious discussion with his parents regarding the secret. His story does have a somewhat happy note, as does the ending of the book, though I find it a little unrealistic there as well. The author has a lot of potential, and with some polishing up and focus on making her characters more realistic and relatable, will likely be a great addition to the YA author circle
BookFreakOut More than 1 year ago
This story is a delightful mix of old-school magic and contemporary heart. It brings to mind the all-encompassing passion for surviving danger and the thrill of the stage seen in the movie The Prestige, but swaps backstabbing revenge and cutthroat competition between two magicians for modern day high school drama and Mattie's internal competition against her own invisibility. Miyu is a fantastic rough around edges, tough love mentor, and I loved how she bestows "I secretly care but can't be bothered to show it" nicknames on the eclectic group of kids who end up at her house assisting with Mattie's escapalogy. I was pleased that this didn't turn into one of those stories where the main character shares her hidden talent with the whole world and opens everyone's eyes to the hidden person they'd been ignoring - Mattie pursues escapology for herself, and is very selective about who she lets in on the secret. It isn't a hunt for popularity or to prove everyone wrong; it's a personal journey for her, and it becomes deeply personal for the few people involved as well. This was an extremely enjoyable book full of complicated characters, life blunders, and breathtaking escapes that inject it with an old-school shot of adrenaline.
Disturbia0509 More than 1 year ago
~3.5 stars~ This was a great coming of age book. We have all these different kids who end up finding friendship in the most unlikely places/way. This book is about friendship. Mattie is an outsider and only has one friend. She’s secretly in love with escapology but wants to do more. She has one friend, Stella, who is going away to a pre-college summer program. Since, she’s going to be alone, she decides to take things into her own hands and really get into escapology. She’s also snarky and I loved that. Later we meet Frankie, who Stella befriends when she’s away at her pre-college program. I really liked Frankie. He was probably the most awkward but I loved how he just meshed into this group. Will is your typical high school basketball star who has everything and a beautiful girlfriend. Except, he’s hiding a pretty big secret. He’s living a lie and really starting to unravel. Mattie decided to go to Miyu and ask her to mentor her about escapology. It starts a bunch of actions that bring all these characters together. Will and Mattie end up making a deal but it blossoms into a friendship. This whole book is about friendship and finding yourself. I loved that there was romance but not between any of the main characters! How refreshing!! There’s a lot of different themes in this book. Then there’s the story between Miyu and her mother Akiko. Akiko was a famous escapologist, who died at a young age, in a plane crash. Miyu is living in their house but has agoraphobia. I’m sorry but this story just crushed my soul. I don’t know if I’m in the right head space but it brought tears to my eyes. Okay, I’m definitely not in the right head space, I’m on a ton of fertility drugs. Anyways, Miyu has these journal/diary pages that kind of tell the story of her mother and herself. It was one of my favorite parts of this book. I did have some issues with the book. There are some places where the writing wasn’t the greatest. I actually didn’t care for the dual perspective in this book. It wasn’t really needed. There were times that I would be confused about situations and find out that it was just Mattie dreaming. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down. It was fun, entertaining, yet tackled some tough issues. I want to thank Netgalley and Amberjack Publishing for giving me an e-ARC of this book for review.
Nurse98 More than 1 year ago
This was a great story about a young woman, on the brink of high school graduation, with people expecting her to make a decision about her future. We see her blossom from a shy girl with no direction to one who follows her passion to see where it may take her. Along the way we get to know Will with two L's as she does and we get his story too. I liked that the book focused on her personal journey and not on a romance. Although I like romance, it just worked here. I held my breath along with the audience as she performed her escapes. I wish we had a little more of a window into Miyu, even though we get her perspective a little I didn't think it was enough. I would have liked to learn more about her relationship with her mom. She indicates it was difficult but loving but we never really get any depth to it. Definitely a book I will recommend to my teenage daughters. Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for my ARC.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Art of Escaping is a light hearted read with teasing hints and outright statements of darker, more complicated themes and situations at hand. Mattie has Problems. Her best friend is leaving for the summer, she really doesn't have other friends, college is just around the corner, and a hobby she wants to pursue is highly likely to get her shipped to a therapist. Naturally, our sassy introverted heroine tracks down a mentor, the daughter of an idol of hers, and all but forces her out of her shell in order to pursue her dream. While I had some questions regarding Hummingbird, the mentor, and her half-forced into teaching status and the realism of that, it could very well be interpreted as a woman with a troubled background who sees a little of herself in Mattie and wants to prevent her from falling down her lonely, distrusting way of life. The addition of a popular boy with a huge secret burdening him felt a little forced, in my opini0n, and like it may have been better off as its own novel rather than a light sideplot to be noddee at and glossed over-- particularly the scene where he and Mattie have a serious discussion with his parents regarding the secret. His story does have a somewhat happy note, as does the ending of the book, though I find it a little unrealistic there as well. The author has a lot of potential, and with some polishing up and focus on making her characters more realistic and relatable, will likely be a great addition to the YA author circle.
Bookapotamus More than 1 year ago
Oh, how I do NOT miss high school! I really enjoyed this book - It is so fun, and kept me entertained throughout the whole thing! There were some seriously nail-biting moments with daredevil Mattie, and I can totally see this becoming a movie that I would go see in a second! Mattie is a high school junior who has some pretty quirky aspirations of becoming an escapologist. She's obsessed with Houdini and the like, but especially Akiko - an elite escapologist gone way before her time. But Mattie is determined to find Akiko's daughter and find out as much as she can. All the while, no-0ne in her life knows her secrets or desires to become this really cool performance artist. Not her parents or her family, or even her best, closest friend. The story also has some snippets of Akiko's past, the life she led, and the birth of her daughter, giving you some insight of the life of this mysterious performer and her equally closed-off daughter. We also meet Will, another one with some secrets, and several other really cool high school kids who are so well-developed, mature but fun. It pains me to think of how tough high school was, and how hard it is for kids just t be themselves. The art of escapology is front and center, through training and Mattie's stage performances that literally have you holding your breath! But the art of escape is evident is other ways, with a lot of hiding from reality and fear of being found out. This book is such a delight and hope it gets the attention it deserves.