One last book from the Show Your Pride display at the library this month! (Not that I can’t or won’t read many other LGBT books in the time to come). Picked this one up on a whim, and turns out, my instincts were off base on this one. Reading this book felt like a chore, and while there were some nuggets of possibility and good ideas flitting by, it never stuck the landing on, well, anything really.
Running follows a 17-year old girl named Bridey, fleeing her past life in America and now finding herself in Athens. She forms a small family with a couple of boys from England, Jasper and Milo, and they live at a hotel, working unofficially as “runners” who bring customers, existing in an almost constant drunken haze. That is, until they begin to question their positions after becoming embroiled in the work of some serious criminals. In addition to visiting different points of the trio’s timeline in Athens, we also jump to pieces of Bridey’s past, as well as the future life Milo.
Now, there are some good nuggets touched on in this novel for sure: the concept of found family, and finding a life that doesn’t conform to what society almost demands of you. But there’s a difference between exploring their way of life and romanticizing some seriously problematic aspects, and this line is perilously balanced here in what I felt was an uncomfortable way. Also I just don’t get these characters at all: what exactly are their motivations? Everything in the writing tries to be so poetic that I got lost along the way. In fact, reading this novel felt like a chore in a number of ways. I’m all for reading between the lines, but nothing in this novel was clear to me, and this was definitely not helped by the fact that the timeline jumps back and forth with little to no warning and I felt like I had to do a lot more work than I wanted to piece everything together, or to even understand these characters’ lives and relationships to one another together.
Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get behind Running. I didn’t get what the point was. I see some pretty good reviews on it from other sites, so maybe I just missed something? Don’t you hate it when that happens!