I picked this book up at my local library. I had never heard of the author, Rachel Toor, but decided to give it a try, since I had yet to read a story that involved running as a main theme and am an aspiring runner myself.

The story is told from the perspective of Alice Davis, a high school senior who has the typical life of a teenager; the only child of an affluent family and a perfectionist, but is devoted to her pet rat. After her best friend Jenni insists they make New Year’s resolutions, Alice decides to start running as a way to get exercise and try something new.

I liked Toor’s message of having an outlet to help relieve stress and create new opportunities. Alice ends up forging new friendships and making new decisions with the help of running.

I could relate to Alice in many ways; a main aspect of the story involves her having been rejected from her dream college and being uncertain about her future.  It reminded me of myself back in early 2010, when I was starting to feel the pressure of choosing a college and realizing that I only had a few more months of being with my high school classmates and friends.

I could relate to the running theme as well, on a certain level. Alice describes her first run as getting tired fast and getting a cramp almost right away; the very familiar feel of being new to running. I was never a runner throughout high school, instead taking daily dog walks with my dad and being on the tennis team my junior and senior years.  Since moving to D.C. a year ago though, I’ve become more encouraged to run. Being in a city means there is always something new and makes for a great place to explore while running. I’ve ended up on the north side of the Capitol building where there’s a small resting place with a drinking fountain. My outings are still run/jog/walk, but it’s a work-in-progress.

One last tidbit: I initially thought that title of this book related to the theme of running, but when I googled the title, I found it was actually the title of a Cat Stevens song, one of Alice’s favorite singers. It only encourages me to start running even more.

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