Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and an alcoholic mom. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.
Agnes Atwood has never stayed out past ten p.m., never gone on a date and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally-blind daughter, but Agnes isn't quite sure what they are protecting her from.
Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs more deeply than anything else. But when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, police sirens wailing in the distance, Agnes is faced with the biggest choice she's ever had to make. Run, or stay?
I'm sure most of you know that I am a huge fan of Kody Keplinger. Her writing and and portrayal of relationships and teenage angst is brilliantly entertaining so I was all over her new book. Right from the start, it had a different feel to her other books, as we hear from both Bo and Agnes' perspectives and from different times in the storyline.
I still really liked it, just different, with Agnes' POV in the past, we saw how their friendship developed as well as how Agnes struggles with the day to day of living with partial sight. And then from Bo, we see how she fights every day to be treted properly and the two girls on the run to find Bo's father.
As it was about two girls, I really appreciated how it focused on the friendship; it could have turned into a non-platonic relationship, especially as Bo comes out as bisexual, but there aren't enough stories out there about supportive female friendships that I'm glad it didn't. Agnes and Bo have a special bond in that no one else has bothered to understand them and I really liked how they bought out the best in each other.
Like I said, this had a different feel to Keplinger's other books and that might have something to do with the fact that it had that personal tone with Agnes. Keplinger herself is legally blind and she's said that she drew on her own experiences to give what Agnes goes through authenticity. And it really did! Seeing, or not, through Agnes' eyes as she struggles to make out different people, feels like a burden on her family and friends, treated as a child by her parents and teachers, it made my heart hurt. That's what was so great about Bo, she saw Agnes as more than a blind person needing an arm to lean on.
I enjoyed and appreciated Keplinger's latest in a different way than the rest of her books. Most of all, I adored how it was all to do with the girls as people and their friendship, not what they meant to the boys in their lives.
Published 14th July 2016 by Hodder.