Title: Running With The Pack
Author: A.M. Burns & Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: 8th September 2016
Finn is about to start his senior year of high school when he and his family move from Austin, Texas, to Woodland Park, Colorado. Everything is different—even the elevation—and Finn’s having a hard time getting used to his new home. Life takes a turn for the better when he meets Ivan Dubovasky at a farmers’ market. Finn finds not only a close new friend but a fulfilling volunteer position at the High Mountain Wolf and Wild Dog Center, which Ivan’s family runs. Before long Finn develops an affinity for the wolves under the center’s protection.
Things only get better for Finn when he starts a relationship with Ivan; and Ivan’s best friend, Adrian, who’s asexual, completes their small pack. But it all comes crashing down when the bully plaguing Adrian crosses the line and Adrian goes missing. Finn and Ivan are determined to bring their boyfriend home safe, but they might not be able to do it alone. Luckily there’s a special wolf ready to lend a paw.
I was looking for some diverse reads and when I saw this one the synopsis sounded interesting to me. I’m pleased to say that I really liked it and think it would be a great book for teens, both LGBTQA and their straight allies.
I thought it was very well written and dealt with the subject matter in such a relaxed manner that made it a very quick and easy read without getting overly technical. I’ve read other diverse books that read more like textbooks, with their overly complex descriptions of gender terms. If you’re writing for teens then the last thing they’re going to want is to feel like they’re still in the classroom rather than reading for enjoyment.
Finn, Ivan and Adrian are such likeable characters that you can’t help but feel for them. There will be many teens out there who will relate to them, and I think it’s great that we’re seeing more books like this that deal with the subject of gender and sexual identity. The only negative thing I would say is that I don’t think the book was long enough. I wanted to learn more about the characters and would love to know what happened to them after high school and college. I’ll definitely be keeping and eye out for new books from the authors and would recommend giving this a go if you’re looking for something diverse and not too heavy.
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review.