Author: Eliza Rich
Title: Escaping the Rainfield
Theme: danger, tragedy, escape
I received an ebook copy via Eliza Rich (author) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion of this book.
(From Goodreads) – “April 12, 2003. “Beep. Beep. We interrupt your radio station to bring you this important message. The counties of… no. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and southern portions of Iowa and Nebraska are in a Flood Warning.””
This was no typical flood warning. With eleven states expecting three to ten inches of rain for an unprecedented number of days, the United States was in a frenzy. Families were evacuating their hometowns in hopes of locating refuge on dry land, but Hannah Davis’ family thought that they could out wait the storm. When their panicked Grandmother reaches out to them, requesting help, they find themselves fighting the weather and time to rescue her. As if that wasn’t enough, shortly after joining forces with two of Hannah’s classmates, Adrian and Ophelia, they come face to face with a gang that wants Adrian dead. As the days go by the family grows increasingly wary whether or not they will reach their Grandmother in time. Will the Davis’ be able to come together to outwit the storm and its surrounding catastrophes? Or will Hannah’s affection for Adrian put her family in more danger than it is worth?
First off, happy (almost) pub date to Eliza! “Escaping the Rainfield” is set to release literally 2 weeks from now (February 17). May this be the start of an amazing writing career for you!
I’m not one to pick up YA novels, since I’m more of a mystery/thriller kind of girl. When Eliza messaged me though, I thought “why not try something new?” I’m genuinely happy that I agreed. “Escaping the Rainfield” was a fun, easy read that kept me guessing the whole time: is Hannah and her family going to make it to grandma’s house? Will the grandmother even be there, unaffected by the flood? How are they going to survive this long, impossible journey?
All these thoughts were just running through my mind; I almost didn’t care that I was out of my reading comfort zone. The beginning of the novel had a much bigger impact on me than the ending, because I felt like the ending was dragged out just a little too long, but the plot line made up for it like 100 times over. Even though this novel is more plot-driven than character-driven, I still found myself loving it. As some of you know by now, I’m not a huge fan of plot-driven books. So for me to be saying that I enjoyed this novel is something you should pay attention to!
The characters … *swooooonnnn *
All of them are so interesting, and I felt like their personalities match people I’ve met in real life, which I think is great! I puzzled over one thing though the entire time I was reading “Escaping the Rainfield.” Hannah’s siblings are named Nahum (lil’ bro), and Abishai (lil’ sis). So I had to ask Eliza: why is Hannah’s name so plain compared to her siblings, and what was your decision behind that?
Here is Eliza’s amazing answer (that has been slightly edited):
“I really like incorporating subtle thoughts into my writings, [and] most of the characters have a meaning behind their name. Hannah’s name means to have favor or grace. Nahum means to be a comforter, while Abishai means giver of a gift…I could have chosen a more distinct name for the main character, Hannah, but I believe Hannah sees herself as a very simple individual. She believes in her ability to conquer things when needed, but doesn’t expect to be favored or have things handed to her on a silver platter…I could have chose[n] more typical names for her younger siblings, Nahum & Abishai, but their names resemble some of the conflict that they experience in their sibling rivalry…”
So there you have it! Pretty awesome answer, right? Yes!
I appreciate the approach Eliza had to such a difficult topic – what if the world as you know it drastically changed right before your eyes? How will it affect you emotionally and physically? She captured all the rollercoaster emotions perfectly with Hannah’s family. This book is also a great reminder for everyone, to ALWAYS have a safety plan with your family or whoever you live with. Always be prepared, because you just never know. We can all take some direction and safety tips from Hannah that we should apply to our lives.
Personal Opinion: 4/5. For Eliza to make me love this book as much as I did is no easy feat! I tend to stick with the genre I know and love best. Despite the ending, I still appreciate this book and how it captivated me despite all the odds against it that I’ve mentioned above.
Technical Opinion: 3.5/5. I honestly can’t say for sure about how true YA lit fans will respond to this book, which is why you should take this grade with a grain of salt, this is just my opinion about how well the book as a whole fits/represents its intended genre. I think it was pretty good, but again, I’m really not sure how YA readers will think.
FYI, Eliza is giving away a SIGNED copy of her book, so head over to both her Instagram AND Website (links above) for more details! Winner announced February 15th!
Release date is February 17! I hope you get the chance to pick up this book. It will make a great addition to any reading challenges you are running / participating in, especially if there is an Indie Author requirement, new genre, or new YA book!