Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Celia On The Run by Sarah Mandell

I received this book for an honest review

Nick Novaczek is a cautious soul, a 17-year-old with a boring life, a predictable future, and a quiet thirst for danger. On the eve of his beloved grandmother's funeral, danger finds him by the motel swimming pool. Her name is Celia and she's everything he's not. This foul-mouthed beauty is hitchhiking across the country to make amends with her estranged father and doesn't carry an ounce of fear or hesitation in her tattered suitcase. She's bad news all around, but for a rule-follower like Nick, she's intoxicating.
Celia on the Run
Twenty-four hours after speaking to Celia for the very first time, following one extremely lucky night, Nick is hopelessly hooked and "borrows" his parents' car to join her cross-country mission, even though her story is full of holes. It's the mistake he's been waiting his whole life to make. Together, they dodge a train, jump off a bridge, and scam everyone in their path. Nick is blossoming into a teenage fugitive, just like Celia, and he's never been happier. She may not be who she says she is, but she's got his vulnerable heart.

After weeks of detours, with hundreds of miles left to go, their wild adventure starts to unravel. The money dries up, Celia's dark secrets start to surface, and it's clear they both want vastly different things out of this partnership. Celia is all about no strings attached and severing whatever they may have between them once they reach their destination, while Nick is head over heels in love and wanting a future with the girl in his passenger seat. They seem to reach a new low on a daily basis, but she won't turn back, no matter how desperate things get. After all, this is her trip and Nick is just the driver. Celia's got a charming smile to pay her way, a willing accomplice, a hidden agenda, and an endless supply of lies. Not to mention a gun.

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!
Love, love, LOVED this book! This isn't a pretty little romance, it's a dark coming of age novel that takes you on an adventure across the country with two characters that elicit powerful emotions.

Celia On The Run is mostly told from Nick's perspective, a boy that so desperately wants to live life and not just watch it pass by as he has been for the seventeen years of his life. It was really refreshing to see the roles reversed as Nick is the shy, not-so-sure character and Celia is the bad-ass with confidence, attitude and a lack of self-preservation(in a way). Nick's confidence surges after his one night with Celia, and he instantly starts becoming his own person as he experiences new and, most of the time, dangerous situations. Celia's character is a mystery that we slowly get familiarized with, severely wanting to unravel the secrets that are hidden.

Celia On The Run is courageous, mostly dark and even horrific at times, gut-wrenching and exhilarating. I was gripping the edge of my seat the entire time, experiencing the ups and downs right alongside Nick and Celia. I was reluctant to set my Kindle down for even a moment, I even read while brushing my teeth! I was thoroughly invested in the story. Sarah Mandell did an excellent job of keeping the suspense, drawing in the readers and then slamming them with suspected and unsuspected outcomes. There are tender moments that left my heart stuttering, but they were slightly overshadowed by the dire situation that was ever present on the cross country trip. This only added to the tender moments, making them as sweet as can be. Sarah Mandell's writing style takes you to each scene without any trouble, letting the story play in your mind as your eyes scan the words on each page. The growth is both subtle and not, individual and as a whole. It gives you hope for a happy ending that you will never be sure is in Nick and Celia's future.

My only complaint is of the cover. I like the current cover, but I feel like it could have been better. I have a very distinct image in my head when I think about Celia On The Run, a cover that would have tied into the story more and would possibly draw in future readers.

An uninhibited view of sensitive topics done in a tactful manner that plunges you into the world of the not-so-well-off youth of America. If you are sensitive to swearing, violence, drugs and sex then this might not be a story that you will like, but it is a necessity to this story and it would not carry the same impact without it. I encourage males and females of the proper maturity to dive in because Celia On The Run is a dynamic, touching and intense adventure.

Celia On The Run is currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble 

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