The Art of Running Away | Sabrina Kleckner


The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner

Coming November 16, 2021 from Jolly Fish Press; 256 pages

Content Warnings: Homophobia, mild language

About the Author: “Sabrina Kleckner is the author of THE ART OF RUNNING AWAY, a middle grade contemporary novel about family and identity. She began writing at the age of twelve, and is grateful to not be debuting with the angsty assassin book she toiled over in her teens. When she is not writing, she can be found teaching ESL or gushing about her three cats to anyone who will listen.” (Bio taken from author’s website.)

Find Sabrina Kleckner on the following platforms:

“Siblings might not be friends—they might downright hate each other—but they always team up when it matters.”

When twelve-year-old, art-loving Maisie learns that her family’s art shop, Glenna’s Portraits, is in danger of closing, she’s determined to do everything she can to save it. However, her plans to save Glenna’s are thwarted when her parents tell her she’s going to be spending the summer abroad with an aunt she’s never met. When her older brother Calum—who left home with no explanation six years prior—shows up at their aunt’s house and offers her the chance to spend the summer with him in London instead, she sees an opportunity to save Glenna’s once and for all. But as Maisie spends time actually getting to know Calum and learns the truth about why he left home all those years ago, she begins to question everything—her parents, her art, and her love for Glenna’s.

There were so many things I liked about Sabrina Kleckner’s debut novel: the multiple Shrek references, Maisie’s often hilarious internal monologue, and her desire to do what she thinks is the right thing (even if her actions were sometimes misguided). My favorite part of this book, though, was Maisie and Calum’s relationship. Seeing them bond over the course of the novel warmed my heart so much. Maisie and Calum hit some rough patches in their journey to come closer together, and their emotions during those times were so raw that they left me in tears. But there were also so many sweet and tender moments between them that had me grinning from ear-to-ear. I also loved that this book tackled questions of identity and what it means to be an ally in ways that felt accessible for younger audiences. I really enjoyed getting to see Maisie learn from her mistakes and grow as a person. The Art of Running Away is a beautifully heartfelt and emotional debut that is perfect for readers of all ages.

The Art of Running Away releases on November 16, 2021.

(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)

PRR Writer, Sadie Cruz