The only ugliness in the world Ellie can truly clean up is the graffiti marring mailboxes in her neighborhood, and she centers her days around this as one of the few acts that gives her a little peace.
When a fifteen-year-old Goth girl appears offering to help, Ellie is surprised-and suspicious. Sarah has been shunted from house to house in the foster care system. Now she's run away from a forest camp managed by a tyrannical, enigmatic man.... But escape is not that easy, and soon Sarah finds her life in danger. Can Sarah and Ellie put aside their differences to keep truly horrific danger at bay?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite I thought The Runaway by Jo Barney was a good book. The story follows the lives of several different characters, all connected in some way. The two main characters are Ellie and Sarah. Ellie is a tough, older woman who is obsessed with cleaning graffiti. Sarah is a homeless, runaway teenager whose life is in danger. These two women must learn to trust each other in order to survive each other’s pasts. When reading The Runaway, the reader has to make sure to pay attention to the title and year of each chapter. Barney jumps from character to character and past to present with each chapter. Each character in this story has a purpose. Personally, I love it when an author provides the backstory for each character. It helps me get to know the characters better and form some type of attachment to them. I really liked Sarah, but felt her backstory was missing some pieces. However, the thing I liked most about this story was that Barney talked about Autism and how it affects the parents. Barney’s words about what Matt and Marge went through hit home with me. I thought the plot of The Runaway was exciting and unique. It made the book hard to put down. I was never exactly sure what was going to happen next. Nevertheless, I enjoyed how the ending of the story turned out. Overall, I am glad to have read this book. I will never look at graffiti in quite the same way again. I also plan on finding out information on my local food bank and how to donate.
After reading the first few pages, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into; so many different, yet important, characters to keep track of. And then there was the story itself about a down and out old woman and a troubled young girl. Once I figured out who was who, and how they all fit together, I couldn’t put this book down. Jo Barney is a masterful story teller, but like no other I’ve ever read. She creates scenes of the rough, raw and gritty side of life and weaves them into other scenes so touching they bring tears to your eyes. This is truly a masterful piece of fiction that I’m going to recommend to everyone I know. I’m looking forward to reading more of Barney’s works.