I received an e-ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Another book I’m not sure how I feel about! It was really interesting to read and kept me super engaged, even though the subject was really dark and the characters ranged from infuriating empathetic and bleak.
The Runaways follows the perspectives of three different young people (two from Karachi, and one from London who’s father immigrated from Pakistan) as they become involved in religious extremism and radicalised. I really loved how detailed the first two thirds of the book were, we really got a sense of each character, and why and how they began to believe and act in certain ways. Although towards the end of the novel, some of that fell away and I am still confused how one of the perspectives in particular ended up where they did? However, I loved how the book ended. You sort of know where it’s going the whole time, but Bhutto really kept you guessing and engaged.
The things I didn’t like about the book, I know were intended to be there for reasons that were developed and explained but still some of the tropes used rubbed me the wrong way. This is a really dark story, so I think discomfort at certain points is intended. I wasn’t supposed to like what I didn’t like, but I’ll put some content warnings below the link buttons if anyhow.
Another thing which is totally not the books fault but me is – a pet peeve of mine in books is using brand names. I dunno why it bugs me so much and it’s nothing the book or author has done from it’s just me, but it irks me. I know it isn’t, but it feels like product placement when you’re like watching a TV show – such an insignificant thing to be annoyed by but I am hahaha.
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Content warnings for: detailed sexual assault, implied animal cruelty, the self hating gay trope, detailed murder.
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