Review: Running on Empty by Colette Ballard ★★★★

18241299Running on Empty by Colette Ballard
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Series: n/a
Publication Date: May 6th 2014
ISBN: 9781939392800
Page Count: 376
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Buy Link: AMAZON
Synopsis: What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?

You’re the killer.

River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defense, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember.

REVIEW

Run, River. Run.

I had a bit of a false start with this one. I'd read the blurb initially, but between then and actually picking it up to read, I'd forgotten everything except, "New Adult, girl on the run, with some romance". So when I began with the story I found myself grumbling that surely this controlling douchecanoe can't be the love interest? He wasn't, of course. That part came much later. But let me tell you, the real love interest was definitely worth waiting for!

River Daniels is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, with pretty low self esteem. What she does have, though, are two awesome best friends who are willing to drop everything to help a girl out when the worst happens. After a date night from hell, River and both besties flee with a moment's notice, none of them having much they care about to leave behind anyway. Well, maybe River has one thing she'll miss—Her childhood friend, Justice.

River and Justice. I know.

Eventually, after some new information comes to light which may help River's defense, they decide it's time to head back home to face the music. And when I say face the music, I mean hide in her old pal Justice's fishing hut. Naturally. And this is where I really began to enjoy the story!

I wont' tell you any more about the crime or the unravelling of it, but I have to let you know how fantastic River and Justice were together. It's a friends-to-lovers relationship that encapsulates all the best things that trope is known for—long-time familiarity, hugs, forehead kisses, banter and teasing. But then new tension, awkwardness, stumbled words and jealousy enters the mix. Along with a healthy dose of obliviousness. It was all handled brilliantly well and was exhilarating to read. Plus, Justice just made me smile. Just by existing. And he wears cowboy boots! *dies*

There were a couple of small issues of inconsistency in character behaviour here and there, which prevented this from being a five star read for me. They (especially River) would say they wanted one thing, then a few minutes later claim something else. Do I put that down to a writing flaw, or just the characters themselves being too confused to know what they hell they want or what they meant to say? Who knows. But it wasn't enough to really dull my enjoyment, just a small niggle, so I'm not going to worry about it.

I'd recommend this one to fans of Katie McGarry, and anyone who has an interest in New Adult Contemporary Romances.

4 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good, Lynsey! I'm definitely going to check it out. The unraveling of the crime has me intrigued. :) And I love the friends to lovers trope...especially when the guy wears cowboy boots! LOL

    ReplyDelete

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