What it’s about:
Robin Love’s father has been missing in action for over a year. A true proud army brat at almost eighteen, Robin already knows how to be strong and how to be her brother’s only family. Above all, she knows to pretend everything will be fine. Only, things aren’t fine. Robin discovered that her brother will get dumped in foster care when she leaves for college. So, she’s convinced him to run away with her instead.
They’ve vowed to stay together at all costs. Even if it means stealing food out of hotels, sleeping in the car, and lying about everything. Even if it means working as a secret nanny for a jerk rock star who only cares about his band. And even if it means trusting strangers while she formulates her plan. She never expects her lies to lead them to true friends and a real home. Nor does she expect to be attracted to the boss she’s growing to hate, all because he refuses to act like the honorable and ‘good father’ she misses desperately.
But secrets like a runaway girl and a baby hiding with a famous band can’t be kept secret for long. Robin is also not the only one telling lies. When an accidental kiss—a kiss that never should have happened—threatens Robin’s ability to keep her brother, Robin will do anything to correct her mistakes. But this time, to save her brother, the cost might be her heart.
Runaway Girl by Anne Eliot would be a coming-of-age story if the main character, Robin, hadn’t already had to grow up and help parent her younger brother a long time ago. Robin and her younger brother, Sage, are motherless army brats. Their father cherishes and dotes on them when he is home. When deployed, other army families act as guardians. These two kids are strong. Their father has helped them develop an ethic of perseverance. Robin and Sage are wholly empathetic. Their love and dedication to one another gripped my heart. They have the sort of sibling relationship that every parent should desire and foster between their kids.
The members of the band Guarderobe live in a labyrinth of lies. There are lies within the group and loads of lies to the public—especially the paparazzi. It’s the only way to survive life in a fish bowl. They have their own little chosen family comprising of the band, steady girlfriends and a few blood relatives. When Robin lands in Florida, she finds herself in the middle of a Guarderobe crisis. Being a girl wonder with a phenomenally sound foundation, Robin lends a much need hand with the band’s crisis-du-jour. It doesn’t hurt that she has recently becoming acquainted with living a life of lies.
Through this unlikely situation, Robin and the lead singer meet. She finds him equally irresistible and abhorrent. The other band members are a bit easier to like, but they all have their quirks and idiosyncrasies. Robin shows her strength and fortitude through all the band’s chaos as well as her own personal crisis. She brings a bit of normalcy to the group, and even though she is by far the youngest, she feels like the only adult.
While many aspects of the story require a high suspension of disbelief (at least for the adult in me), the story telling draws you into the cocoon of the characters’ world. I found the story fun and engaging. I was fully invested in this heartwarming story, and I truly enjoyed Adam and his story. This YA read is about trust, accepting help, and working through problems; it also involves a little romance. The chaste story is perfect for younger readers, and there are some great messages for them. Ms. Eliot creates fantastic characters who are easy to love, and she has developed a fabulous storyline replete with crazy rock band antics, runaways, misguided choices, and safe family influencers. A highly improbably, but creative and romantic, ending leads to a great segue for book two.
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Now live! Anne Eliot’s follow on book, Runaway Heart is available at Amazon .
About the author: Anne Eliot lives in the mountains of Colorado, but says she really learned about life, love and friendships from summers spent with her large, Italian immigrant family in Ontario, Canada. In addition to writing, she loves chasing around her two rather naughty dogs all while being a mom and a wife.