Safekeeping: A Book Review



Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

Summary: Radley’s parents had warned her that all hell would break loose if the American People’s Party took power. And now, with the president assassinated and the government cracking down on citizens, the news is filled with images of vigilante groups, frenzied looting, and police raids. It seems as if all hell has broken loose. Coming back from volunteering abroad, Radley just wants to get home to Vermont, and the comfort and safety of her parents. Travel restrictions and delays are worse than ever, and by the time Radley’s plane lands in New Hampshire, she’s been traveling for over twenty-four hours. Exhausted, she heads outside to find her parents—who always come, day or night, no matter when or where she lands—aren’t there. Her cell phone is dead, her credit cards are worthless, and she doesn’t have the proper travel papers to cross state lines. Out of money and options, Radley starts walking. . . .

{kindly taken from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I will have to say that I was really looking forward to reading this, but after finishing it, it wasn’t as good as I had hoped. It was just okay, just not the novel I was expecting. In this book, the US is in chaos and there is violence from left to right. Radley had been volunteering in Haiti, but she decided to come back when she heard the president had been assassinated. When she arrives in the US, however, her parents are nowhere to be found. There, the story is set up, and it starts off Radley’s journey to safety. From this, it sounds like a great story, but the author barely provided any information on why the US was so chaotic. All I know is that the government was arresting anyone who disagreed with them? I don’t really know…

I felt that Radley was very spoiled and naive. She was always given exactly what she needed, even when she little resources on her trip across the border to Canada. What was up with that?! Because of that, I don’t think she grew at all in the novel. Celia, a friend she finds on the way, was a bit better. I felt that she had a little more personality to her. It was very surprising, for me, anyway, when it was revealed that she was older than Radley. The way she acted, I thought she would have been a few years younger.

The plot moved quickly, despite the little action in the story. Karen Hesse also included her own photographs to go with the story. They weren’t bad, but it bugged me when they didn’t correspond with the text. I don’t know if it is just me, but don’t you think that if they are going to include pictures, they should at lease match the storyline?

Overall, this wasn’t hugely bad, but I think that it could have been improved.

Pros: Fast-paced plot.

Cons: Undeveloped characters, not enough background information, and non-corresponding photos.

Heads Up: Language.

Overall: I give it 2 1/2 stars {** 1/2} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Have a good day!

Bella :)


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