Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Review: Running from Secrets by Stephanie Void

 

Running from Secrets book cover
Image from Stephanie Void

Title: Running from Secrets

Author: Stephanie Void

Genre: Fantasy

Bethany has never felt as alone as she feels in Linwood—until she dreams up Chime, a girl on the run for a crime she didn’t commit. Bethany tries to banish the increasingly urgent dreams by writing them down, only to discover she has become the unwitting controller of Chime’s world. Chime is real, and so is the possessed queen, minion army, Vault Five, child’s rhymes that can kill, and other dangerous things. Bethany must fix the story – her life depends on it.

After reading and enjoying Stephanie Void’s The Blue, I figured I wouldn’t mind reading another one of her books. And I liked the idea of Running from Secrets, if not the title.

Bethany was a quiet, introverted, almost nerdy girl. She was a lot like me in that regard, actually. Quiet, unobtrusive, didn’t get in people’s way or stand out. But under pressure, she did have a strong, take-charge streak that I really enjoyed.

Chime was actually very similar to Bethany. It’s kind of funny, actually – if Bethany had grown up in Chime’s world, I think she would have been almost exactly like Chime. The main difference, I think, was that Chime was more of a follower.

There’s three-ish plots in this book. First, there’s Bethany writing about Chime and weird stuff is happening and what is going on here? That one overlaps the Bethany-in-Chime’s-world plot (which was mostly a Chime-trying-to-save-the-queen-before-the-queen-had-her-killed plot), and as it overlaps it kind of morphs into a Bethany’s-real-world plot.

They were all interesting, but I especially loved anything in Chime’s world. No, scratch that – I loved anything having to do with the Dark Lord. It was such a fun and unique take on the concept, I enjoyed every second of it.

The only thing I thought could have been improved was I wanted more of Bethany’s world. As a writer myself, I know it’s really easy to ignore the real world in favor of your fictional one. It was realistic, but I think it would have made a better story if she didn’t.

Speaking of the writer thing, I loved the whole premise of this book. What fiction writer hasn’t wished to live in her story every now and again? When Bethany actually got the chance, I was honestly kind of a little bitter. But then I got over it and just started enjoying the story.

I really had fun with this book. The idea, the plot, all the fun minor characters (especially Bethany’s friend Aaron, who I think should have got more page time)…it was all enjoyable. I almost wish there was a sequel to Running from Secrets, but there’s always the dragging it too long risk. Either way, if Stephanie Void wrote a sequel, I’d be interested.

I received a free review copy of Running from Secrets from the author. Her generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.

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