Running on Empty by Colette Ballard
What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?
You’re the killer.
River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defense, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember.
RUNNING ON EMPTY is an enticing mix of old emotions, dramatic suspense and a barbaric asshole who haunts people’s lives long after he’s dead and gone. In this stunning debut, Ballard brings the reader into the fast- paced world of a half- dead, almost raped girl on the run. This book was fast paced and fabulous. We get to see (after she runs) how she goes from the walking dead to a girl who will be free and will tell the true story. This is when I start to love the story of course. Why? Because this is when we have our love interest back who is basically the definition of my dream guy. Definition. Best thing? He’s in Texas like me! Well…fictionally, but come on. Give me a break.
Let’s talk about the love, shall we? It sweet and not simple at all with a touch of friends who are head over heels for each other but neither one knows. Our main man, Justice, has horses, an accent, calls her Darlin’ and is all shades of sweet with more than a touch of protectiveness for good measure. *sighs, swoons and fangirling*
Now besides the utterly amazing guy this is a book more about self-discovery and standing up for what you deserve and, even more than that, healing. It’s about preserving humanity and finding love in the darkest places. RUNNING ON EMPTY is about pulling yourself out from the dead’s grip and the power of friendship.
This isn’t a book I normally read but I found myself enjoying immensely, even in I did skip around sometimes to get to the romance and to the action. In the wise words of Hannah Montana, “nobody’s perfect.”
In the end, this book had it all, the totally swoon-worthy cowboy, heart-pounding action, a kick-butt main girl and a jealous boyfriend who doesn’t know the difference between rape and consensual sex. Thanks God River disposed of him…even though it wasn’t intentional.
Overall, this was a wonderful mix of mystery, romance with a girl on the run seeking Justice…in more way than one! This was full of healing and although it wasn’t perfect, I loved it to pieces.