Friday, 31 March 2017

Review: Run the Risk by Allison Van Diepen

Run the RiskRun the Risk

Author: Allison Van Diepen
Release date: 11/04/17
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 288

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Grace has done her best to move on since her ex-boyfriend, Mateo, chose gang life over her. But even though years have passed, she hasn’t forgotten him—especially since she’s seen her younger brother, Alex, drawn to a life on the streets. She can’t bear to think of Alex making the same mistakes as Mateo, but she feels him slipping away.

So when Mateo suddenly resurfaces, insisting he’s left gang life behind him, Grace sees an opportunity. Maybe he could be the one to reach Alex and pull him away from the edge. She tells herself she’s only talking to Mateo again because of Alex, but her feelings quickly return. Can she ever trust Mateo again? And is saving her brother worth risking a broken heart? With everyone she loves in danger, Grace must decide how much to sacrifice before it’s too late.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Run the Risk is the third book in the On the Edge series by Allison Van Diepen and is Grace and Mateo’s story. It is a companion novel to On the Edge and Light of Day, all books are set in the same world but can be read as a standalone.

I like the premise of this series; we have action, danger, mystery, intrigue and romance – a nice blend of everything I find myself enjoying.

Grace’s story started off to be quite interesting, her mother has died, her father is absent for weeks at a time and her fifteen year-old brother Alex is slowly on his way to being recruited by a dangerous gang he is also the reason she is was unable to pursue her college studies in childcare. Grace is now studying online, volunteers at a childcare centre and works at the local cinema, it is here where she reconnects with her first boyfriend Mateo who chose gang life over her when he starts working in security.

Grace never really got over Mateo so she is leery when he resurfaces in her life but she also sees it as an opportunity to help her brother. Mateo’s life has been filled with danger but he’d never forgotten Grace, he was more than eager to help her with Alex but we soon find out there is a reason why he so willingly agreed.

To be honest, I wasn’t completely wowed by the romance between Grace and Mateo; I know they shared a past but their present felt forced, she was bribing him and he went along with all of her demands; I unfortunately couldn’t see their attraction, it seemed to be a relationship of convenience.

I did enjoy the gang and crime information, I found these scenes to be informative and thrilling; this was my favourite aspect of this book.

The side characters were interesting, I have always been intrigued by X. Alex was a bit of an ass in the initial stages and I didn’t like how Grace needed to play mum with her dad always absent, she had taken on such a huge role at nineteen years of age – this didn’t sit well with me.

The slam poetry was a welcomed addition but I felt that it was thrown in with no real purpose; it didn’t (to me) fit in with the overall storyline despite it being enjoyable.

If you are a fan of Simone Elkeles or Katie McGarry then I think that you will enjoy this series. It is well written with a wonderful premise; I hope to read more in this series.

Thank you to HarperTeen via Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review Run the Risk.

Allison van DiepenAbout the author

Allison van Diepen is the author of many teen novels, including Takedown, Street Pharm, Snitch, Raven, The Oracle of Dating, The Oracle Rebounds, and The Vampire Stalker. Her novels have been named ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and New York City Public Library Books for the Teen Age. 

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