Runaways: When It’s Easier to Just Get Away…Fast



Book: Runaways: When It’s Easier to Just Get Away…Fast

Author: Tim Bennett

Cover Illustrator: David Danglis

Publisher: Sel Publications, 2017

ISBN-13: 978-0692941546

ISBN-10: 0692941541

Related website(s): (author)

Language level: 2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 13 and up

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Bennett, Tim.  Runaways: When It’s Easier to Just Get Away…Fast (published in 2017 by Sel Publications, 3895 Howlett Hill Rd., Syracuse, NY  13215).  Ace Parks, nineteen years old, lives in Albany, NY.  His dad left the family when Ace was just a kid, and his mom died of kidney failure a couple of years ago.  As a result, Ace decided that he could not believe in a God who would allow these kinds of things to happen, although his mother continued to profess her faith to the end.  In addition, Ace is on probation due to an incident when he got drunk in a bar and cut a man who was attacking him.  However, he now has a good job working for Luigi’s Pizza and hopes to use his inheritance to become co-owner of a new Luigi’s franchise that is soon to open.  Unfortunately, while delivering a pizza in a neighborhood where racial tensions have caused other pizzerias to avoid, he accidentally runs over a little girl.  When the gang which roams the area starts to come after him, he panics and leaves the scene.

Ace convinces his girlfriend Gabriella (Gabby) Capaldi, who is seventeen years old and has been seeing Ace behind her father’s back, to run away with him to France, where Ace’s billfold with all their money is stolen and they end up seeking help from a missionary whom his mom had supported near Paris.  But Mr. Capaldi sends a private investigator to bring Gabby home, and Ace’s Uncle Jerry Jensen, a lawyer, comes to talk Ace into giving himself up.  What will Ace and Gabby decide to do?  How do things turn out for each of them?  And will Ace learn any important lessons from his experiences?  Parents may want to know that this is not a book for small children or for reading aloud in a family with youngsters.  There are references to showing the middle finger and to drinking beer.  A few common euphemisms (e.g., darn) are found, and people are said to have cursed, though no actual curse words are used.

However, for teens and adults, this riveting page turner, filled with drama, action, love, and the power of God to work out what seems to be a bad situation that appears to have no good solution, will have the reader in suspense from the first chapter.  It is well researched and has characters that are realistic.  As another reviewer noted, “The story provides moral lessons without being moralistic.”  Some sexual conversation occurs, but Ace and Gabby are both committed to waiting until marriage, and there is nothing immoral.  Author Tim Bennett, who has labored as an international worker with Elim Fellowship and Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for ten years in France, told me of the book that “It is based roughly on my Christian testimony and my experiences working as a missionary in France.”  Runaways is an exciting read, and I say, “Bring on the sequel!”

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