Cover Image: Run, Rebel

Run, Rebel

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Member Reviews

The protagonist, Amber, is torn in so many different directions. Her frustration and desperation almost flies of the page as she deals with friendship, love, family and abuse. She also has issues finding her place in the world with the cards she has been dealt. She questions her father's ideas of how a woman should be and tries to come to terms with her own (family's) poverty that contrasts her friend's wealth. This is a story about race and unfairness, feminism and the difficult task of Amber discovering who she really is.

The whole novel is written in verse and this was my first verse book ever. I have to admit that it was quite difficult for me to understand and to grasp a lot of the issues while knowing that there was something important on the page that I didn't fully understand. Maybe I should've read an easy love story in verse before this, but I doubt that it would've made the same impact. Because an impact it did make.

I liked Run, Rebel and I recommend it to everyone who loves reading about difficult subjects, about being hit with emotion twice as hard because the words Manjeet Mann finds and the way she displays them are very special. I also recommend this to anyone who likes a good book about a strong heroine, because Amber definitely is one!
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Oh wow I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. This story has some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read as it has both light scenes that make you smile but some of the darkest scenes that make you want to cry for the characters. These characters I think will stick with me for a long time especially the mum and Ruby as they were both such strong females but don’t get me wrong I also loved David I don’t know I have a soft spot for him and Amber. Overall I loved that this was written in verse and it was so down to earth so thank you to netgalley and the publisher for allowing me this early copy.
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I expected to learn a lot from this book but I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. Run, Rebel, is a raw, emotional verse novel about an Indian-British teenager as she rebels against her abusive parents and tries to live her life on her own terms.

It was only my second verse novel but definitely not the last one - damn, they hit HARD. There is less of a wall between the characters and the reader and the emotions hit straight into you. This one would have been a powerful story on its own, but the medium made it all the stronger.

It's a story of injustice, of rebellion, of fighting for the right to be yourself, of family and friends and belonging. It's the story of the struggle between staying true to who you are, staying true to your family and community but without sacrificing yourself. I believe that a lot of people will relate to the protagonist in one way or another and, since I can think of only one other UKYA written by a POC (Black Flamingo), it's this much more important. Everyone deserves to see themselves in fiction and I hope that it's another book showing that the publishing industry is moving in the right direction.
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Books written in verse can be incredibly powerful if done well. Run, Rebel is done EXTREMELY well! I am actually in awe of how the author is able to pack such a gripping narrative into such punchy and sparse text. It is an incredibly emotional book, as you continuously want to reach into the pages and help save the characters.
A particular highlight for me is how imperfect everyone is - even Amber has her flaws and gets things wrong, as she's only human. We can understand her mistakes more easily than she can, and we're allowed to simultaneously see the characters' darker sides but still love them deeply.
The intertwining of slowly revealing secrets and the anatomy of a revolution is very clever, and gives the whole story a solid structure that keeps you reading on.
I think the characters and storyline maintain cultural sensitivity and avoid stereotyping, whilst also managing to explore issues faced by real people in the real world (from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds). This feels very important, as a book that allows some readers to see themselves represented on the page, while others have a chance to better understand others' experiences.
I have nothing negative to say about this outstanding book at all, except that I'm not physically able to climb inside and embrace Amber, her mum, and Ruby!
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Run, Rebel is a trailblazing verse novel that thunders with rhythm, heart and soul - perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan, Elizabeth Acevedo and Rupi Kaur.


I did worry beginning to read this book how powerful it would be as I felt there was a lot of internalised misogyny going on, however as the book delves deeper and gets into the story, you begin to understand why and it becomes a powerful and brilliant learning curve for our brilliantly written and perfectly flawed lead in Amber, who leads a brilliant cast of relateable and well developed characters in this book.

The poetry moves in different directions to allow us better depth to these characters and the story, giving us a more rounded tale and though sometimes it feels like it moves in a place where it is not needed, as the book goes on, it shows actually those moments were in the perfect place the entire time - how this collection of poems builds to create this story is done so incredibly well and makes for an emotional and powerful read from start to finish.

How in moments we see the poems move from the focus of Amber to her mum and to her sister makes this book a whole new level of brilliant, their perspectives adding to the story and giving us glimpses of these women and the impact of their father on their lives in different ways and it makes for heartbreaking but brilliant reading.

for me when a book makes you both not want to read but carry on anyway, that is a book that deserves five stars and that's why this book has it. Intense, emotional and euphoric, I was in tears at the end and it makes for a very quick but wonderful read.
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Disclaimer - I received a free digital download of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Page turning becomes a necessity as you start to unravel the dark secrets in the Rui family and discover what the future holds for Amber. I find myself haunted by the sufferings of Amber and her female relatives and the thought that so many women are still suffering in tyrannical households. This book was both heart warming and heart breaking at the same time, a definite recommendation that I think everybody should read.
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Trigger Warning : Bullying, Abusive Father & Patriarchy.
You should pick this book if you loved The Poet X! 
Run Rebel is a story written in verse for the women that chose to live their lives on their own terms, in a patriarchal society that call them rebels. There are so many underlying themes this book covers but the one that touched me the most was the emphasis on having a healthy household, education, freedom to choose and so called "societal judgement". Amber is not perfect she is a bully herself. But, she has her struggles and you end up empathizing with her. You try and understand why does she feel the need to bully when she has been bullied by her father every day? She comes from an Indian background where as much as talking to a guy will get her in trouble. Her parents aren't educated. Her sister was married to a man  at a very young age even though she wanted to get a degree. Her father is an alcoholic and is abusive. Even so, she chose to rise up and rebel and fight for what she wants. I love how much hope this book gives even though how dark the themes get. 
This book is the kind of feminism least discussed in society. I am so glad I picked this up in March as the women in this book are exceptionally inspiring. Especially Amber & her Mother. And, we have a bit of romance and it's cute and fluffy and everything how has the high school love vibe. I honestly, wasn't into it much as I was more interested in Amber's Family and her more. My heart went out to her and her mother and Ruby and Beena and Harpreet and all the women that had to give up their dreams or be looked down upon all because they were born in a patriarchal society.
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I have found a new love for novels written in verse recently and this is another wonderfully powerful addition to this emerging genre.
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I didn't expect a verse novel and so it took a while for me to get into the book. I did at a few points consider not finishing the book.but I actually really enjoyed the book, once I got more into the story and rhythm. I've read a few other verse novels which I've love but I did struggle with how to write a review for this. 

The characters are well developed and the story, once it got started was good. I enjoyed how it dealt with issues of immigration, ignorance, and bullying.
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Run, Rebel is the perfect example of why I adore verse novels. I've read a few verse novels so far and I have loved every one, and Run, Rebel is no exception. Verse novels always have a depth of emotion that I don't usually find in some books. When I saw this book on Netgalley, describing it as a diverse verse novel I knew I needed to read it!

The author discussed heavy topics within Run, Rebel, including domestic abuse and bullying. Although I was a little confused as to the point of the harassment and bullying of another character within the novel, the reason is played out through the storyline in an interesting way that shows the possible repercussions of abuse.

Something I particularly liked about Run, Rebel was how it focused mostly on self-worth. Amber knew she deserved to be happy and running made her happy, so she was determined to find a way of achieving her dreams. There was a hint of romance but it took a back seat to the major themes.

Amber's story comes alive through the use of verse and the formatting of the words and sentences. We feel her anxiety about her friendships, we feel her hope in her favourite sport and we feel her pain in dark times. This novel was utterly captivating, I could hardly put it down, the words flowed from page to page.

Run, Rebel is a powerful, feminist verse novel full of emotion, heartbreak and hope. It's an inspiring read about resilience and rebellion. I would most definitely recommend Run, Rebel to everyone, and particularly to fans of novels told through verse.
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Run, Rebel is a compelling debut novel written in verse and I found myself flying through it. It explores many prevalent real-world issues such as feminism, identity, poverty, class, friendship, family and the many forms of abuse and it really hit home for me having grown up with a narcissistic and misogynistic abuser. The story follows teenager Amber who grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father who targeted both her and her mother. Her father wants her to conform to his ideals like her sister Ruby did, but Amber is not so pliable and knows she needs to escape this situation before she can achieve her dreams. For such a short novel it packs a powerful emotional punch and all I wanted was to see Amber escape and live her life by her own rules. She doesn't want the arranged marriage they insist upon as they search for a ”perfect” suitor. 

Mann has created a story whereby you feel the claustrophobia and sense of tension emanating from the pages, and I know the feeling of constantly walking on eggshells and so you try to keep out of the abusers way completely. If feels so authentic that I feel Mann either experienced this herself or researched the topic of abuse thoroughly. This is a heartbreaking and rather heavy read for me as a lot of what happens actually happened and is still happening to me. But it also features a character who has hope despite the adversity which is empowering and inspirational. It is beautifully written with stunning characterisation and one of the toughest and best books on abuse that I have picked up. It very much reminded me of Rupi Kaur and it's clear that talented Mann has a bright future in the publishing industry. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin for an ARC.
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A fantastic novel following characters that felt so real to me. The novel is written in with an extraordinary use of verse that adds so much to the story and makes it impossible to put down. This book tackled difficult subject matter in such an heartbreaking yet hopeful way. I would highly recommend this book for fans of The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. This is undeniably the best book I have read in a long time.

Thank you to NetGalley and to Penguin Random House Children's UK for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A hard hitting, feminist YA novel. Written in verse and the perfect way to tell this story. The way Amber deals with all her emotions come through beautifully because of the form. Heartbreaking but hopeful at the same time.
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I have only recently started reading novels written in verse, but from those I have read I have loved. So, I knew from the get go that I needed to read Run, Rebel and immerse myself in beautiful verse once more. From the moment I opened the book and started reading I already knew this was going to mesmerise and captivate me.

Run, Rebel follows teenager Amber, who lives with her parents who speak little English and are illiterate. Her father, an alcoholic, is abusive to her mother both physically and mentally, and wants Amber to conform to his ideals, just like her sister did. Amber, however, wants to break away, make her own choices, live her own life the way she wants and achieve her dream of being a professional athlete. Amber wants to rebel.

WOW! What a read. Run, Rebel literally blew me away so much that I read it in just two sittings – I found it really hard to put down. The writing was stunning, almost lyrical and I honestly was in awe of the author for being so talented at writing verse. Everything just flowed together so well, and I feel that if the story was told in a different way it wouldn’t have been so impactful. Also, despite the subject matter, you can get through it rather quickly, it’s almost as if the writing is going at the same pace as Amber running, wanting to keep going despite everything.

Like I mentioned the subject matter within this book is quite heavy and could trigger some people. Mind you, it is all dealt with in such a sensitive way as to not purposely trigger any readers. There were a few scenes that I did find hard to read, but I kept going as I knew there was going to be a light at the end of the dark tunnel. Despite being harrowing at times, Run, Rebel is ultimately a story of hope and that keeps you going when reading.

Amber was a heroine who, yes was flawed, but everyone has their faults and this is what made her feel all the much more real to me. I admired her determination and strength to choose her own life and how she did rebel against all the negativity in her life. Yes, she did make mistakes along the way but that essentially made me root for her more. In my opinion she was such a strong, feminist character and I love that!

Run, Rebel was such a beautiful, heartfelt read full of hope and also courage. This is one book that I will be thinking about for months to come and one that will always stick with me..I can promise you that.
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I am definitely in the minority with this review. 
While I enjoyed Amber's story, I had some issues with the overall lack of depth. For a novel with #ownvoices narration, I missed more concise information on Amber's ethnic background and her parents' emigration. Though this is one of the most important parts to the story (the fact that her parents don't speak English), the reasons behind it were never explored but simply put into a few words of the father not wanting anyone to be smarter than him. This wouldn't be an issue if it was explained or at least showed the father's desire to be the smartest of them all but really, there was no ambition on his part, either. It just confused me, to be honest. 

I also had some issues with the verse the story was written in - where you needed more information as the reader to immerse yourself in the narrative, it lacked the depth necessary to connect to Amber. Then there were moments where it almost seemed to drag which is unusual for a novel written in verse. I think it could have benefitted from a more prose-style narration. While the verse style definitely made for a fast read, I just wished for more.

Despite this, I still enjoyed reading this story and would be open to reading the author's next releases.
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Unlike other in verse books i've read, i didn't really enjoy this one and i felt that it was a bit style over substance as this could have been conveyed better in a different format. The idea behind this was good but i didn't like how it was presented..
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Straight off the bat this story will most likely become a favourite in 2020!

An amazing feminist story written in verse following Amber Rai through her struggles, fears and rebellion. This book delves into such hard and scary topics amazingly. This story was so brilliant and flowed so beautifully. The emotions was portrayed so strongly throughout this book, I felt like I was there with Amber, which was scary but also empowering.
I can't wait to see more of this type of empowrig literature emerge in the oncoming years. 
[I received a copy on NetGalley for an honest review]
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I don't even know where to start in explaining how brilliant 'Run, Rebel' is. I sat down yesterday to start it and just sped through it in a couple of hours as it is in verse and quite easy to read. However, the topics were anything but easy. It is amazing how something so quick could hold so much emotion and power. We are only in February and I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favourite books of 2020 - everyone needs to read it!
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From the first page, Mann’s writing had utterly hooked me into Amber’s story. The verse almost pulses with such emotion and seethes with scarcely contained anger from the first line. 

Trigger warnings: physical abuse, bullying, emotional abuse, parental and domestic abuse, alcoholism, panic attacks and mentions of an honour killing. 

When Amber runs, it's the only time she feels completely free - far away from her claustrophobic home life. Her father wants her to be a dutiful daughter, waiting for an arranged marriage like her sister Ruby.

Running is a quiet rebellion. But Amber wants so much more - and she's ready to fight for it.

It's time for a revolution. 

The way she explores family, friendships, class and identity was brilliant, particularly the discussion around abuse and the feeling of constantly walking on eggshells. There’s an underlying uneasiness to Amber’s voice that resonated with me, giving me an atmosphere of paranoia whilst I was reading.

The formatting and the way that Mann plays with language & form within her verse was so unique and captivating to see. I flew through the pages in just one sitting, unable to extract myself from Amber’s voice. She was a brilliantly complicated narrator, authentic and flawed but you could understand her motivations even if her actions were completely wrong. There was so much rich character development for several of the characters and I enjoyed being able to see their perspectives through the verse, handily signposted by different styles.

For me, the form Mann chose to tell this story was perfect. It allowed room for the intense emotion and subject matter of the story to shine through precisely selected, often sparse language, reflecting their controlled lives that gradually widen. This is a dark and fierce book, but Mann ultimately allows for there to be hope and dreams to be explored past the final page. Some of the most beautiful moments in the book centre around friendship, love and light amongst the choking, dark atmosphere.

There are no simple answers in this powerful dissection of patriarchy, female empowerment and trauma, but nor should there be. Run, Rebel is a brilliant verse novel that will completely captivate you.

Review will be up on my blog tomorrow morning.
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I requested this because I saw it was a diverse verse novel. I'm a huge fan of verse novels, so that was all I needed to know.

I knew from the prologue on that this would be a truly beautifully written, feminist novel. And it honestly only got better.

This book is about Amber Rai, who wants to be an athlete. She lives with her illiterate parents who hardly speak English, and so they need her to translate for them and to help them navigate in a society they don't understand. Her father is an alcoholic, he's abusive, and he's very misogynistic. All Amber wants to do is be able to make her own choices, and not have her life planned for her like her sister's.

The themes made this quite a heavy read, but it was also very hopeful and empowering. There's a lot of depth and a lot of character development, and not just from the main character. I'm honestly in awe with how well written this was, and with how the author needed so few words to make such a strong point.

Rep: Indian MC

CWs: parental and domestic abuse, alcoholism, panic attacks, bullying, mention of an honour killing, vomiting, mentions of diets
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