Book Review: Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

Author: Karen Hesse
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Dystopian
Released: September 18th 2012
Review Source: Feiwel & Friends
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Radley just wants to get home to her parents in Vermont. While she was volunteering abroad, the American People's Party took power; the new president was assassinated; and the government cracked down on citizens. Travel restrictions are worse than ever, and when her plane finally lands in New Hampshire, Radley’s parents aren’t there.

Exhausted; her phone dead; her credit cards worthless: Radley starts walking.

A very appropriate title, Safekeeping, is a soft read from start to finish. Radley is a young adult away from home volunteering in Haiti when she learns of a tragedy that occurs back in the United States. Against the wishes of those who care for Radley in Haiti, she spends her last few dollars in an attempt to come home. Rushing back to a world and life that she no longer knows, in search for her family, she is pushed to make the only decision possible, travel alone to a safe zone. A zone that she hopes will offer answers and protection. Without money and food Radley is forced to live on the run, in hiding, looking for shelter and food in places she would never dream of.

During her travels she comes across Celia, another young girl, looking for answers. Looking for a new life. Their relationship starts off very rocky, but deep inside they both know that they need each other. They need the companionship to survive. They make their way across the border to Canada, finding shelter in an abandon school house, where they live with barely anything, surviving day by day with the mere hope of finding food to survive. When the distressful state of the United States is finally over, Radley decides that she must go back. That she must go back to the life that she once knew, even if it meant leaving Celia behind. But will life be like Radley once knew it to be?

This is the first book that I’ve read by Karen Hesse. Ms. Hesse offers her readers a novel written into 3 parts. Each part concentrating on major events of the story. Incorporated throughout the entire novel are photographs that the author herself has taken. I believe that this unique approach, allows the reader to truly visualize the events at hand. To truly look deeper in the lives of Radley and Celia and their extreme quest to survive. The cover of the novel features one lonely person walking down a highway that is endless. Will Radley’s journey be an endless journey with no answers? Safekeeping is one to put on your list for just the right read that keeps you connected to the characters from start to finish, hoping, wishing that each page turned will bring them closer to safety.

Thank you Macmillan Audio, you can listen a teaser of Safekeeping on audio

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