Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Review: Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman

Title: Chasing Hope
Author: Kathryn Cushman
Author Info: Website|Blog|Facebook
Genre: New Adult
Source: Netgalley
Publication Date: 15th September 2013

Tell Me About It
A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances
A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice's future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running--something that's become far too painful to think on.
Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy's best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled...that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.
My Thoughts
Sabrina Rice was a runner from a young age until something stopped her.  Now she lives with her Grandmother and attends a community college.  This is where she spots Brandy, running from the campus security with a spay can of paint in her hand.  Seeing Brandy brings painful memories back to Sabrina's thoughts, the feeling of sadness, loss, giving up on a dream that meant so much, and while those feelings are easily felt by the reader, we don't actually know what Sabrina has given up on and why.
Sabrina and Brandy run in different circles until Sabrina is enlisted by her Grandma to keep Brandy on the straight and narrow to avoid being taken away by the judge.  This is Brandy's last chance to stay with her Grandmother, who is also friends with Sabrina's Grandmother.  After some deliberation Sabrina accepts, and approaches the cross country teachers to let Brandy join team.
As you can imagine, Brandy and Sabrina don't start out as the best of friends, but the more time the duo spend together training the more they begin to form a tentative friendship, that seems to get stronger when they each reveal personal secrets.

The journey for this duo is in no way an easy one, with both having setbacks along the way.  But on the journey Brandy soon realises how much Sabrina is sacrificing, and how hard she is working to help Brandy.  After this revelation we see changes in both of these girls, and see how far they are willing to stretch themselves to the limit.

Chasing Hope was a fantastic read from start to finish.  Each page only made me want to know more about Sabrina's past, want to see how far Brandy was willing to go, and most of all would this duos dream become a reality.  Chasing Hope is on of those books that instantly draws you in and takes you along for the ride, letting you experience all the emotions along with the characters.  I laughed, cried, and cheered for the characters.  But Chasing Hope is also about the journey you can take to let go of your lost dreams and put that loss into something wonderful, to help others achieve the dream you once had but also to put your trust in another person so they can help you too.  I love how Sabrina and Brandy are completely opposite in every way, yet they manage to work out their differences and form an alliance, enabling Sabrina to work over her own issues, but help Brandy become an excellent runner in the process.  A moment that stands out for me, and shows how far the girls have come, is when Brandy stands up to Kayla Ratcli and tells her what she thinks of her badmouthing Sabrina, this part made me cheer and shake my invisible pom-poms for Brandy.

Like in all books, the past is always revealed, and Chasing Hope is no different, except Sabrina's past is a heart breaking one.  My heart literally broke for Sabrina, having the talent she has and then not being able to use it, but seeing her carry on, and after some coaxing, even share this talent with others is remarkable and unselfish, and I really don't think if I was in this situation I would be able to do what she does.  Chasing Hope is the first book by Kathryn Cushman I have read, but after finishing this one I intend to check out some of her other books.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I've never heard of this book but would like to read it now after your review.


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