Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson

Title: Running on the Cracks
Author: Julia Donaldson
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 218
My Rating: 4/5

With family you have but never knew, would you ever bother to search for them?

Leonora Watts-Chan will continue looking for her long-lost grandparents as long as she has the will to do so. She runs away from home where she lived with her aunt and uncle. She is desperate to find the family she never met after her parents died. But how can she make it through when she has no shelter or food?

Mary, a mentally handicapped woman, offers Leo to stay at her overcrowded home. She can never be more happier to oblige. At Mary's, she is introduced to a very eccentric bunch. But she develops a certain friendship with the paperboy she stole food from named Finlay. Together, they scour around town in hope of finding Leo's grandparents. What Leo doesn't know is there is someone tracking her down too...

Running on the Cracks is a unique novel. It is told by two sides of the story, Finlay's and Leo's. It is a provocative journey with the protagonist as she desperately seeks out her father's side of the family. I was surprised that she went through such measures as in running away from home to do such, but she had her reasons. I think all the characters' personalities are one of their own. I didn't really favour Mary since she was ill and the way she acted bothered me, but it made the novel to be much more different compared to others. I think Finlay is a cute kid. He's still at the age where he is in the beginning of high school so he's trying to find himself through dressing means (ex. goth, punk, etc).

It did let me down when I found out the big suspense wasn't as big as I thought it was. Well, maybe it was if you were in the situation but the way everything was written, it seemed so toned down. But what I love the most about Running on the Cracks is that there is something in the writing that keeps you glued. The storyline is not the most exciting out there, but it keeps your attention 100%. I was able to finish the entire book within a day, which is a rare case for me.

Julia Donaldson's debut for young adults is definitely a memorable piece with real characters all around.

Review copy provided by
Henry Holt and Company.

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