The tagline on the book is “They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.” And that’s basically everything you need to know about Will (who’s just aged out of the foster care system) and Zoe (who is 16 and fleeing an abusive dad).
This was compared to Bonnie & Clyde, but I think it’s more like Thelma & Louise. Bonnie and Clyde made deliberate choices; things more or less just happen to Will and Zoe (as as they did to Thelma and Louise). It’s basically like a string of bad luck, coupled with some impulsive decisions that turn out to be bad ideas.
The other comparison is to If I Stay, and that’s unusual but valid. Because this is a book that will break your heart.
The real tragedy of this book is that Will and Zoe are both incredibly damaged, and they seem to be damaged in the worst possible way for each other. It’s obvious that they love each other but it’s just as obvious that his anger and her fear aren’t going to be able to co-exist forever.
This is an incredibly compelling novel, one that practically forced me to keep turning the pages, but it’s also hard to read because I could tell that things were going to end badly for Will and Zoe and each chapter brought me closer to that ending.
And at the same time, as the book progressed, I began to feel hopeful in spite of myself…because maybe Zoe could get some of Will’s confidence and maybe her sweetness could begin to soften his anger. After everything that they’d been through up to their running away, they do deserve things to go better for them.
This is a book that you have to experience for yourself.
Highly, highly recommended.