Today I’ve got an upcoming YA novel for you from an author making her solo debut. This one has a fun concept and loveable characters that will put you right back in a high school state of mind. It is being published tomorrow, on June 19th, so abracadabra and enjoy!
Title: The Art of Escaping
Author: Erin Callahan
Author’s Website: https://erinpcallahan.com/
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Publish Date: 06/19/18
Genre: Young Adult
Remember that weird kid in high school who liked magic? The one who everyone avoided and refused to make eye contact with? The Art of Escaping is the story of that kid’s life…if that kid had actually been a really cool, witty teen girl named Mattie who was into Jazz Age history and could perform death-defying stunts.
This book did what I think all the best realistic YA fiction should do: it reminded me of high school. Specifically, the dialogue was so witty, direct, and current that it was hard not to imagine these characters as anything but friends.
My one criticism, if you can call it such, is that despite Mattie’s awesomeness, in my opinion, Will with Two L’s gets the best lines.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is that is is a YA novel that does not focus on romance too heavily. This story acknowledges some of the other pressing issues in teen’s lives.
The pacing is fairly quick, covering a span of several months in less than 350 pages. The backstory is complex and there is a moment when you are reading excerpts from Akiko’s diary where you are going to be very confused if you pay attention to chronology, but this blip is explained shortly thereafter in a fairly convincing manner, but with a twist that changes how the reader will view these diary entries going forward (I even went back and re-read them).
I don’t think we get enough of the character of Miyu, a fascinating recluse who suddenly isn’t shut in anymore, but the truth is that the story is not about the adults.
I was also a little surprised that Harry Houdini’s story was not featured more prominently in this, given that he was mentioned in several of the blurbs I read before digging into the story. He feels like more of a footnote in the story structure, but anchors the history of escapology for those of us who are less familiar with the art form.
Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this book from BookishFirst/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
4 glasses of lemonade= a book you could recommend to a book group or anybody who reads. You might find controversial subject matter, but it is handled delicately.