Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Read more...
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Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.
Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.
So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and-worst of all-confronting some ugly secrets.
- ISBN-13: 9780545831130
- ISBN-10: 054583113X
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: June 2016
- Page Count: 304
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Keplinger (Lying Out Loud) explores the unlikely friendship between two girls: Agnes Atwood, who has a genetic condition that has left her legally blind, and Bo Dickinson, a member of the most notorious (and most maligned) family in a small Kentucky town full of gossips. Alternating between Bo and Agnes's perspectives, Keplinger tells this story backward and forward—Bo's chapters take place in the present, as Agnes and Bo skip town in the middle of the night, while Agnes's start at the beginning of their friendship, revealing the local reputation of the Dickinsons and how the two girls met and became close. Keplinger creates strong, distinct personalities for the girls through their first-person narratives; that readers never get Agnes's thoughts about being with Bo as they flee police is the story's main weakness. Agnes and Bo may share equal space on the page, but this is primarily Bo's story, with Agnes left explaining Bo's circumstances. This, along with the drawn-out mystery behind Bo's reasons for running, tends to frustrate the story's tension rather than build suspense. Ages 14–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (June)
Finding freedom on the road
No one in the tiny town of Mursey would expect legally blind Agnes Atwood to run off with bad girl Bo Dickinson. Everyone in Mursey knows the Dickinsons are nothing but white trash. For her part, Bo is drawn to Agnes. Maybe it’s due to Agnes’ aching desire for freedom, or maybe Bo is a little in love with Agnes. In any event, the two decide to steal Agnes’ sister’s car and run away.
In alternating chapters, Bo describes the events on the road, and Agnes fills in the backstory. At first glance, the girls seem to be archetypes of small-town Southern personas. Bo is labeled a druggie and a whore, but she conceals sensitivity beneath her brokenness. Church-going Agnes is obedient and docile, but she craves escape. Her blindness adds another dimension to the story, although she is surprisingly conscious of visible elements such as “rich, sweet-tea” eye color and less attuned to sensation, sound and smell.
Like Wendy Wunder’s The Museum of Intangible Things, this road trip explores the boundaries of friendship and truth.