Trigger Warning: this novel contains topics that readers might be affected by.
Author: Manjeet Mann
Published by: Penguin Books on March 5th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult // Poetry
Similar Books I’ve Read: The Sun and her Flowers
*I received this book from the Publisher for review. This in no way sways my opinion and will always be unbiased.*
When Amber runs, it’s the only time she feels completely free – far away from her claustrophobic home life. Her father wants her to be a dutiful daughter, waiting for an arranged marriage like her sister Ruby.
Running is a quiet rebellion. But Amber wants so much more – and she’s ready to fight for it.
It’s time for a revolution.
Strong Female Leads in Young Adult Fiction (mostly involving sports)
So because of this and more, I came up with some of my very favourite books that include female leads that play sports of some kind just like in Manjeet Mann’s stunning, poetic read.
Take Me On by Katie McGarry
Haley is a champion kick-boxer. I know what you’re thinking: what a sport! It’s aggressively complex and has an edge that can scare some people away from it. But Katie McGarry has such a way with making us fall in love with reading her character’s stories, and in this way, we get to fall in love with the sport the same way her characters do.
Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
In this incredible book, main character Sloane is a figure-skater. Not only is skating such a beautiful and intricate sport, but so disciplined and competitive. And when she gets to explore Hockey as well, it brings this novel to being one of the easiest YA reads that approaches sport with normalcy and true-to-life feeling.
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Savannah dreams of being a horse jockey. It’s the only story that I’ve ever read that features this sport, because it might seem a bit rare for YA. But because I have no idea about it whatsoever, throughout the novel I learn so much about why Savannah loves it and the strength that she shows to prove she’s worthy of being one.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Annie doesn’t actually like running, but because she feels it’s the only way to honour someone she feels she wronged, she trains to take part in a marathon. Even though she detests the sport in the beginning, we see that it brings out willpower within her, just like in Run, Rebel, and how to overcome her troubles.
When I first heard about Run, Rebel, I was immediately intrigued. Not only does the book have the most compelling synopsis, but is set entirely in poetry verses. I haven’t seen a YA set this way since The Poet X, so I was really excited to start reading.
Amber wants to rebel. From her controlling home life, from the ideals that she’s supposed to conform to and everything in between. Not only does she have a passion for running, but dreams of being a professional athlete, a dream that is continuously rained upon by her particularly abusive father. Amber has spent her life translating for her Parents that don’t speak English, and because her sister has formed to the ideals of her Parents, Amber is expected to as well.
In the intricate verse that the novel reels me in with, I feel her pain, her frustration, her passion and the rebellion fueling with every stride she runs. The novel touches upon dark themes that can be a definite trigger, but we see them used in a way that gives us Amber’s eyes, guiding us through every step of her story. Above all, Amber is ultimately flawed in a way that opens up everything she’s dealing with, everything she desires, and everything that she knows will distort the vision she has for her future. The book is extremely heavy and deals with so many emotions, from overwhelming happiness to despair and abuse. But how they are touched upon in these poetry verses is a kind of magic, the way that I can hand on heart say that this story would not have been as powerful if it were any other way.
Overall, I read Run, Rebel in three sittings and in each, my focus could not be moved. I felt as though Amber was telling me her life ahead of me, almost hearing her voice shake and her strength never waver. It’s hard to describe just how powerful, yet normal this novel truly is. Amber is such an unforgettable character and I know she’s made such a lasting impression on me, even after the last page had closed. There’s so much I could express but with fear I’d spoil too much about the novel, you just must know that it echoes such a brilliant rebellion and breaking free. Manjeet Mann has written something that I feel should be in everyone’s hands, whether YA readers or not. There’s something to be felt, something to be learned and definitely something to tug at your heartstrings in Run, Rebel, and I thoroughly adored every page. Huge five stars.
I loved Run, Rebel and I know that so many will, too. If you’ve had a chance to read it, what did you think?
If you’ll be adding it to your TBR, let me know what you think in the comments!
Check out the other tour dates as above to see more stunning content for Run, Rebel!