Saturday, March 1, 2014

Running on Empty by Colette Ballard

                So I'm catching up with my reading list here.  A good friend of mine actually took me out to see Vampire Academy again.  It says a lot that she didn't know if she'd like it originally but then to like it enough to read the book and want to see it again, that is high praise from her.  I am sad that it is down to 2 showings a day at my local theatre.  Anyways onto the real reason for this update, a new book review.  This one is Running on Empty by Colette Ballard, courtesy of NetGalley.
                Running on Empty is a good book and a break from the science fiction I normally read.  It is a story about average teenagers in the world.  The cover caught my eye because, I'll admit, it made me think of a serial killer movie holding females in the basement dark enclosed space but one exit filled with light.  That's not what the story is about but that is how my mind worked.  The story is of a girl who is forced to flee the only life she's known, and her two best friends go along with her.  All for one and one for all kind of mentality and I adore that, the loyalty of those few true friends who when it counts are there through anything. 
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.

                Now if the summary wasn't clear enough this book does have a few more adult themes for those who are a bit squeamish.  But overall the story is a tale of discovery.  Finding oneself in the midst of everything falling apart around her, River is forced to take a hard look at who she is, what her life is, and where she wants it to go from there.  It is also a tale of relationships, not simply romance but of friendship.  I had a great time reading and seeing how each of them reacted to things, each bonded over different events in their life, not always agreeing with the other but always there through thick and thin.  That is a bond I can appreciate.
                The story also resonated with the small town feel and how no matter the truth, if you have enough money and power you can get what you want.  Truth and justice are in the eye of the one with the power.  Where it would make sense to just do the simple and right thing, might not be the right thing.  The whole story is through River's head so you get a good feel for her and how she feels of course, but you also get an even better view of her by those she keeps dear.  I've always found it to be at least partially true, you can tell what type of person someone is by the company they keep.  Her friends, help shape who she is as a character as well as flushing themselves out to be unique and different. 
                There is also a romance aspect to this, and you know I'm a sucker for a good romance.  Though this one has it, it was not the central front and center aspect and if you think about it if it had been done that way then I would have found it hard to enjoy, I can't explain that part well without providing many spoilers so you'll just have to trust me.  Instead it was a suspenseful story that has many different aspects to it, different relationships.  The bonds of friendship, the bonds that we hold ourselves to.  I was eager to keep reading to see what would unfold between the characters.  For the day or so it took me to read this I was completely immersed with the story and the characters. 
                Running on Empty is on sale now.  I give it 5 stars.  So I ask you, what would you do for your friends?  Do you feel you have friends you could count on if you were on a witch hunt?  Share your thoughts below. 

*****Coming soon*****

Author interview with Krystal Wade for the release of Shattered Secrets Monday, March 3rd.  Stay tuned!  


  1. It sounds good, and I LOVE the cover. *adds to to-read list*

    1. Glad you liked it! You'll have to let me now what you think after you read it :)