~~ Cut & Run
by Abigail Roux & Madeleine Urban
(Cut & Run series book #1)
The papers call Maude notorious. But 12-year-old Sallie knows her big sister didn't do the things the stories say . . . not on purpose anyway. In fact, she and Maude have made a fresh start and are trying to live on the up-and-up. But just when the girls are settling into their new life, Maude is arrested—and before you can say "jailbreak," the orphaned sisters are back on the run! In the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Misadventures of Maude March, Newbery Honor winner Audrey Couloumbis once again takes on a dizzingly fast, delightfully rowdy, and altogether heartwarming ride through the old west—proving that half the fun of any journey is the getting there.
The saga of the March girls continues! Maude is now sixteen while little sister Sallie is twelve. They're still technically in hiding, and keeping their true identities on the DL proves to be a continuous struggle. Maude started insisting on taking back her womanly way of dressing while tomboy Sallie prefers to keep on with the menswear look they've been rocking. Maude potentially blowing their cover stresses Sallie out but she tries to keep her calm by keeping her nose buried in her beloved dime store novels (though now she reads them from a different perspective, having now lived the "novel" life herself).
My heart went out to him. I'd learned there was more to being a hero than the glory parts. The glory parts wore a little tarnish if you looked real close. It didn't make the hero any less of one.
To make matters even more complicated, local outlaw the Black Hankie Bandit has recently been apprehended and brought to trial in the girls' new town of residence. All the lawmen suddenly in the area has the March girls sweating a bit! At one point, Maude IS recognized at the diner where she works. She's arrested but Sallie and friends bust her out, forcing the sisters back on the run yet again.
Speaking of these adventures, this book includes a much more detailed map of the March sisters' travels than the last book offered. While I found the first book's actual adventure elements more entertaining than in this sequel, I feel this sequel offers more humor and as readers we get deeper into the emotional bond between Maude and Sallie. But seriously though, there are some really great one liners in this one:
Re: a gunfight: "The earlobe is a surprisingly messy place to get shot."
"Reputations are easier to pick up than put down."
"Things happen in this world that cannot be properly understood unless you were there in the midst of them."
"If the story won't make you cry, the spelling will."(Maude)
The feminist undertones are slightly stronger in Maude March on the Run than its predecessor. The novel as a whole spotlights Maude wanting to be her own boss while Sallie pushes to get the same level of respect as the boys around her. She points out how people only use the term "you girls" when someone wants to silence the girls' opinions or objections. Certainly important themes young female readers will benefit from experiencing! Hopefully these stories, historical fiction though they may be, will serve as a source of empowerment for the young female audience they draw in.
Plus, super cute telegram style dedication at the start of the book -- I've never seen anyone else do this before!
My review for Bk 1: Misadventures of Maude March
It'll soon be Christmas and Callie Aspen has returned to Heart's Harbor, Maine, where her great aunt runs a vintage tearoom aptly named Book Tea where every treat contains a bookish clue. Preparations are under way for a special tea party at Haywood Hall, the huge house of Heart's Harbor's oldest resident. Dorothea Finster is rich but widowed and has invited her estranged family to hear about her will. Callie's old friend Sheila complicates things by using the tea party to announce her daughter's engagement even though her daughter doesn't want to marry the young man her mother thinks is perfect for her. Everyone has their own agenda but Callie didn't think it would lead to murder.
I felt as though I was reading a book. It felt like I was dropped in a few pages after the story began. I didn't get to fully know Callie herself or her story. There wasn't a lot of depth to the characters. I wasn't excited to pick the book back up when I set it aside; in fact I was going to DNF at 39%, why I picked it back up after three months I don't know. There should have been more focus on the book and tea shop and the potential murder suspects in order for this book to be a standout for me. The mystery itself was just okay. Although things got a little better as the story progressed (I did come to like the victim), it's not a memorable book for me.
Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC.
***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***
Dak Parrish has family issues. That's what he'd jumped at the opportunity to come back to Oregon to fight fires—his father, mother and little brother live on the reservation nearby. While his mother appears not to want to have anything to do with him, his father makes an impromptu visit, blackmailing Dak into helping an arsonist investigator look into suspicious fires...A prickly female investigator that quickly gets under Dak's skin...
Like its predecessor this story also didn't bring much to the table. The characters were bland (although the heroine was slightly too bitchy for my taste), the suspense had its moments, but the final reveal (without much motive behind it, or a worthy resolution) left everything to be desired, the pacing was plodding...
Another puffed-rice-cake equivalent.