Run the Risk by Allison van Diepen | Rating: ★★★☆☆
As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
First things first: I'm relatively unfamiliar with Allison van Diepen's work and I had to get acquainted to her previous releases to really get Run the Risk. Based upon the summary of this particular story, I was incredibly intrigued from the start. That's something huge to note: there aren't many stories out there like this one, at least in the contemporaries I've been reading, and it's a standout in that sense. If you're looking for something new and heartfelt and intriguing, Run the Risk is the very sort of novel that you should be checking out.
Let's start with the basics, shall we? We've got a relationship that is fun and a bit darker to look into (on the how's, I won't say since the release date is still a bit off)--it leads to a sort of suspense and vulnerably that will captivate its audience. Both have solid back stories that play into the novel's biggest plots. They have a past, together and apart, that meshes with each other in a way that's smart and fast paced. Allison van Diepen really understood these characters and where the story was to go. She has this honest tone that is unbelievably breathtaking and full of spirit and complexities, I loved that so much.
The way gang life was portrayed and the differences (and similarities) in the characters was perfectly weaved. The pace, the conclusions, it was all done in a very intelligent way that is often lacking in contemporaries.
I loved the way all the plots came together and in particular, I loved learning of Grace and Mateo's joined history and where it's led them up until this point. I was very taken by their relationship and by the plots involving Grace's brother, Alex, and her desire to get him away from the gang life. The way that these plots tie together and feeling the struggles, frustration, of each character's strength and weakness was a very pleasant experience.
Overall, Run the Risk is filled with human complexities, heart and a whole lot of strong characters who have the potential to grow further. Longtime readers of Allison van Diepen may not appreciate this one as much as her previous novels but there's something about it that will certainly draw in old and new fans alike.
I thought that the plots were all quite interesting and full of life, but it did have its flaws and I won't be getting into that. I think it's more or less that I am just out of the target audience's age range and felt a bit jaded by novels end. Really, I enjoyed it immensely and thought it was a fast, excellent read.
It was a blast! Just not a novel that I would personally reach for again--it's one of those "one read books for me" and there's nothing wrong with that. I can't wait to read more of her novels because from what I hear, this one is a bit more sugarcoated than the other ones. Fans of Simone Elkeles will be pleased with this one and draw up similarities between the two authors.