Title: The Art of Escaping
Author: Erin Callahan
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Publication Date: June 19th, 2018
Genre: Young Adult/LGBT/Contemporary
Format: e-arc (.mobi)
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Mattie is hiding her obsession with Harry Houdini and Dorothy Dietrich from everyone, including her best friend Stella. When Stella takes off to boarding school for the summer, all of Mattie’s anxieties bubble to the surface, leaving her feeling adrift. To distract herself, she seeks out Miyu, the reclusive daughter of a world-renowned escape artist whose life and career were snuffed out by a tragic plane crash.
With Miyu’s help, Mattie secretly transforms herself into a burgeoning escapologist and performance artist. Away from the curious eyes of her peers, she thrives in her new world of lock picking, straitjackets, and aquarium escapes. But when Will, a popular varsity athlete from her high school, discovers her act at an underground venue, she fears that her double life is about to be exposed. But instead of outing her, Will tells Mattie something he’s never told anyone before and the two of them find out that not all secrets can remain secret forever.
Told through the perspectives of the witty main characters, this funny and fresh debut explores the power of stage personas and secret spaces and speaks to the uncanny ways in which friendships transform us.
We have Mattie an intelligent and witty seventeen-year-old who hides her passion for magic and escapology from everyone. Even her best friend, Stella, also whom away to a summer boarding school. Mattie left alone seeks the supervision of a famous escape artist in their neighborhood. Or someone related to her. With the help, she became an escapist performer.
Mattie now secretly lives and performs as an escapist then discovered by someone who goes to the same school as hers, Will. Mattie was scared for the people in school that she will be the pariah if Will tells. But Will assures Mattie that he won’t tell a soul about it but sealing the deal with another secret. This is where it all began…
I love the narration of the characters. Told from Mattie, Will and Akiko’s perspectives. (Dashed with a little something in Akiko’s. Hehehe) Characters easily infiltrated my mind. Aside from the narrators, the interaction between the characters. (I am very much fond of Miyu watch out), the entanglement of each other’s intricacies the portrayal is realistically heartfelt. Their development all throughout. The display of how deeply the camaraderie among them formed makes my heart burst into joyful pieces. Oh, it was lovely! I enjoyed the company of Mattie, Will with two L’s, Miyu Miyaki’s sharp tongue, and an Azorean-American Star Trek geek, Frankie.
A novel filled with hopeful stories about chasing your passion. Not only with Mattie but with the people around her too. With her brother, Kyle’s predicament and his friends. A coming out story. Dealing with how it is to be closeted all those years, being scared of how people will react to it. Hence title it has the theme of escaping, quite literally and figuratively, their current situations, and taking that step to change. And the literary part it features the art of escaping. This is the first time I’ve read this in a novel in an in-depth manner. I only see performing arts like this on TV. Which by-the-way had my Kindle wet with sweat! The behind-the-scenes and performances were all breathtaking.
Surely a read that I couldn’t put it down even for a bathroom break. My eyes were glued in. It was a read that highlights what it is like to be a young adult. And surely young-adults and adults alike will love. But if you’re looking for a YA Romance read this is not for you. It has no hint of romance but centers more on the formation and withholding camaraderie.
A solid one sitting read. I highly recommend this book!
Disclosure: Copy provided by Amberjack Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own and doesn’t necessarily reflect the author, the author’s work, the publisher, nor any other group of people. I also did not receive any monetary compensation for doing this review.