Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: The Art of Running Away
Author: Sabrina Kleckner
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: 1 Japanese British character, m/m romance, queer characters (no specific mention of where they fall in the LGBTQIA+), non-binary side character, enby/f romance
Recommended For…: middle grade readers, LGBTQIA and allies, contemporary
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary
Recommended Age: 10+ (running away, homophobia, slight language)
Explanation of CWs: Mentions of homophobia. There is one curse word in the book. Running away is shown and mentioned.
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art.
But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times, Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they’ve made.
Review: I thought this was a well done book! I loved the story and how well written it was. I loved the messaged about how to be a good ally (one I think a lot of people need to read). I also loved how the author kept the book modern and showed how different 6 years is. Today it feels like it’s much more accepting to be out, but when I was in school and even a few short years ago it was not like this. I also loved the character development and the world building.
The only issue I really had with the book is that there were some events that I felt like a middle grade aged child wouldn’t know, like how to hop countries without being caught.
Verdict: It was great!