Book Review: Run, Hide, Fight Back by April Henry
A mass shooting. A hostage situation. And little chance of escape. When a deadly shooting breaks out in a Portland shopping mall a group of six teens ends up trapped behind a store’s security shutter. They have three options: run, hide, or fight. The wrong choice could mean their lives but despite their different backgrounds each one is willing to fight to come out alive. But not all will.
Run, Hide, Fight Back was an emotionally heart- wrenching tale that delved into the depths of a mass shooting and what people did to make it out alive. The tale was told through the eyes of six teens whose varied backgrounds gave them depth and forced us as a reader to look at how in desperate situations the past is set aside and the moment is all that matters. The characters were simply people who had been thrown together because their lives had been upended and it made the book real. They weren’t superheroes they were normal people doing what they could do to survive.
Miranda was the the character that the book centered on the most. She was a teenage girl who shoplifted to pay for an expensive and addictive medical drug. The character growth was phenomenal for it showed how Miranda was willing to push through the withdrawals she was feeling during the shooting and find a way for her and the other teens to survive. By the end of the book she had managed to get off of the drug and realize how precious life is for in a matter of moments it can be taken away.
The other characters viewpoints were shown less often but we still got to learn about their backgrounds and see their amazing courage to go down fighting.
As a reader we even managed to get a glimpse into the shooters lives and reasoning. At the beginning of the book I saw the shooters as evil cold blooded murderers and one of the teens, Cole, turned out to be one of the shooters and as a reader it was intriguing to see why he had thought that the attack was a good idea. At the end of the book I even felt slightly sorry for them. I saw that they had been led astray but knew that there was no excuse for what they had done.
The book excellently rendered the fear, courage, sadness, desperation, and emotion of the characters. The story came to life and made me ponder the reality of mass shootings once again.
Run, Hide, Fight Back was a stunning tale full of the pain, loss, and the courage of everyday people who were willing to put their lives at risk for the chance of survival for themselves and others. I would definitely recommend this book but will state that it is dark and all too real.