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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Saturday, December 8, 2012

ARC Review: Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

Combine a steady, solid storytelling with stunning photographs, Safekeeping is a one of a kind book I've read and I have to say, the combination of good visuals and a story of hope is a good mix.

Title: Safekeeping by Karen Hesse
Pages: 304
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher (Thanks Ksenia!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


Radley just wants to get home to her parents in Vermont. While she was volunteering abroad, the American People's Party took power; the new president was assassinated; and the government cracked down on citizens. Travel restrictions are worse than ever, and when her plane finally lands in New Hampshire, Radley’s parents aren’t there.

Exhausted; her phone dead; her credit cards worthless: Radley starts walking

What if the life you left behind changed in a single moment? Radley came back home from a life-changing experience in Haiti, but she didn't expect to come back to a place that seemed much worse than what she saw in Haiti. There was chaos everywhere, and Radley's parents were nowhere to be found, no one to pick her up from the airport, no one to take her home. So Radley begins to walk, and embarks on a journey that will change her life forever.

This book deceived me a whole lot while I was reading it. Why, you ask? Because I thought it would be an easy read. How hard can it be to read a book with a bunch of pictures in it? What else can you expect from a story with a girl just walking home from the airport? I was wrong in so many levels.

The pictures, all taken by the author, were great visual aids to help the readers feel the story more. Each and every picture tells a story of its own, and accompanying each chapter with it gives the reader a much more melancholic, sombre feeling and it doesn't really go away until the end. What do you see when you view the pictures? It helps the reader form Radley's world through it, a journey in life not just through words but in pictures as well. And what should you expect from a girl walking home? A lot. Radley has seen what it's like to live through every single day in slow motion, on foot. There were times she was cold, she was alone, she was starving, desperate and hungry for her parents presence. Her life before and after Haiti is told, and the readers get to see Radley and her innermost thoughts and feelings. What I particularly like about this is getting to know Radley through all of it, knowing how resilient she is, how she can also be vulnerable and afraid and yet still hope that it will all be over soon, that she can start anew.

It's another one of those different reads where even though the romance is lacking, the companionship and experience Radley accumulated was enough to feel the void. You can't really expect much on the romantic part, but what Safekeeping highlighted was one girl's journey, how life is constantly changing, and how the extraordinary experiences a person goes through can shape her into a better person. The driving force that pushed Radley to go on her journey was the collapse of the government, but it left me a little bit unconvinced and lacking as well. What caught my attention was what Radley did in the collapse and its aftermath. I never liked Celia, who became Radley's friend, confidant and companion, but she had her own story to tell and compared to Radley, her life wasn't easy. She's a bit of a freeloader, but she provides great contrast to Radley's sheltered life. Considering what she and Celia had to go through, I have mixed emotions on the ending though, it's the part which had a lesser impact compared to the rest of the story. It's like after everything Radley and Celia went through, it just stopped. I don't think it's that easy. Was it really? After all the conflict and chaos the country's failure has brought to its citizen, does it get better in a snap like that?

I wanted Radley to have her own happy ending, maybe something romantic to make up for all the hardships and trials she had to endure in order to survive, to get her through the tragedy of her country that has affected her in more ways than one. But it wasn't meant to be, though Radley somehow did find her own happiness, but not in a way I wanted her to. I wanted her to have more, because that's what she deserves.

But despite those little faults, this is a book that I enjoyed reading. I felt immensely sad for Radley at times, but I admire her strength oftentimes. From a girl who can't think of what to do with her life, she became a survivor who will not hesitate to lend a helping hand to those who need it. Karen Hesse takes wonderful pictures, and they add a lot of imagery and makes it easier for the readers to imagine Radley's journey through it. How could I have think that this book is so simple with all the things Radley went through? Safekeeping is a different, pleasant read. If you want to take a break from the usual cheesy, romantic books and want something else, try reading Safekeeping.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):
This is not a book that will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling by the end, but it's somewhat a contemplative read. Not the usual book I want, but it's a good experience overall.
Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:
I can picture Radley during the first few minutes of her walk from the airport through this cover.


  1. The plot sounds heartwarming. Though, I enjoyed reading books with romance in it. Thanks for the cool review. I want to read this book! :)


    1. It's not really 'heartwarming', since it's a bit sad and there's not really much room for romance but I think it's worth reading. I can give you my ARC? It's pretty battered though :)


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