The book Runaway by Wendy Van Draanen tells the story of a girl who, after spending the past several years in the foster care system, attempts to run away from her foster home and live independently. However, Holly’s journey is far more perilous than she originally expected. After leaving the familiarity of her former foster home, she must learn how to survive in a world of unknowns where money can only be obtained by begging, shelter is rarely found, and the time of her next meal is never certain. By her keeping a journal throughout her many trials and tribulations, Holly discovers much about, not only the ways of the world, but the development of her own personal character.
I chose to read this book initially since I found it fascinating that it attempted to tell a narrative through personal diaries with a first person point of view. I found that the book was made much more captivating when the focus was concentrated on Holly’s emotions and reactions to the different experiences she had rather than providing a broader range of perspectives since it allowed the readers to relate more intimately to the main character.
I would recommend this book to people who want to read a story that is more grounded in realism, yet still with likeable characters and optimistic premises despite the poor situations. Overall, the novel told a bittersweet story that acted as a largely accurate representation of the way that, in life, our hardships often eventually turn into happiness.