Running Scared | Lisa Jackson

One sentence:

Awesome storyline, but the writing could use some work.

Three thoughts:

  • I wish there were a genre for “fucked up fiction” because I’m learning that that’s my favorite.
  • This book had it all: incest, bribery, murder, hitmen!
  • It was often hard for me to enjoy what I was ready because the author’s writing was so awkward.


  • Characters: 5/5. I think the characters were all incredibly realistic, and the author did a good job of demonstrating their inner turmoil through their actions. Kate behaved the way a woman with a secret that could endanger her child should have: her anxiety and fear affected literally every move she mad. The teenager, whose name I forget, was SUCH A FUCKING ANNOYING TEENAGER. And Daegan. He was a bit TOO much of a good guy, doing the right thing, but even so, he fucked up in legitimate ways and I appreciate that. Also, I want an entire book about Bibi.
  • Plot: 5/5. I was into the whole ‘adopted kid whose family comes looking for him’ plot from the start, and when the SUPERNATURAL factor kicked in, like, okay, I am totally on this bus. Also, incest and murder and some snobby rich people. ALL GOOD.
  • Setting: 2/5. I didn’t feel like the setting played a particularly important role in the story, although I feel like it could have, and perhaps that would have made things a bit more connected. Supposedly Kate went to this tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and her house is described as being in the middle of basically a dense forest, but… her kid can see into the next door neighbor’s house? I had a hard time visualizing it.
  • Style/Voice: 2/5. I guess ‘style’ is where I can talk about the awful fucking writing in this book. I’m too lazy to get up and go get my copy to give examples, but so many of the sentences are just things that actual humans don’t ever say. And PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I wish authors would stop feeling obligated to describe a woman’s pubic hair. You can just skip that part. It’s always terrible and it’s always unnecessary. So odd to me to hear a woman describe it so awkwardly.
  • Theme: 3/5. Definitely some good vs. evil here, and it was very clear who was the good and who was the evil. I think the author made an attempt to blur some lines so it’s not so cut and dry, but it is what it is. Also, the whole power of love thing with Kate and Jon (I think that’s the son’s name!).

Overall Rating: 3.5

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