Book Review: Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

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…

Rating: 3*

Recommended For: 12+

Themes: Romance, family relationships

LGBTQIA+ Content: None.

This was an interesting look at both how we perceive international aid and the possibility of political breakdown in the USA, all told through the story of one girl’s search for her parents.

I enjoyed this semi-dystopian book very much and thought Radley was a great character. She was believable in her emotions and reactions, and I could empathise with her very easily.

The friendships she develops are heartwarming and the loyalty she shows, despite adversity, is inspirational.

My main critique is that the ending wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Hesse could have taken this story in a very different direction. I think my desire for more gritty fiction got in the way of my enjoyment. That being said, this was still a great book.

No LGBTQIA+ content.

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