Author: Jamie Canosa
Pages: 231 e-book
My Rating: 4/5
Source: I received an e-book in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review as part of this blog tour
Keep your head down.
And look out for number one.
These are the rules Jay has lived by for the past two years. The rules of surviving life on the streets. But when Em comes bursting into his life, in all of her disastrous glory, the rules go right out the window.
Flee what’s been left behind.
And never look back.
Emerson’s plan was simple. Though, it was easier said than done. The city streets are dangerous and unforgiving to a new arrival. Especially, a seventeen-year-old girl who’s never known anything but life in the suburbs. Sometimes, however, what’s lurking behind those white picket fences can be more frightening than any dark alley.
Both of them made the same decision when life got overwhelming—to run from their demons. Brought together by fate or circumstance, Em and Jay find the kind of love neither of them ever expected. But, when those demons come back to haunt them and their love is on the line, which instincts will they choose to follow this time . . . Fight or Flight?
Fight Or Flight by Jamie Canosa proved to be an honest and heart-wrenching story. The two main character’s lives are filled with an incredible amount of struggles and hardships but despite all they have stacked against them and how easy it would be to just give up, Em and Jay prove to readers and each other just how strong and brave they each are.
When this story first started, I had an idea of what Em’s past consisted of but I did not find out for sure until halfway through the book. Even though I was unsure, I was still able to understand that she was running away from a life full of a lot of pain. People do not give up their home, consistent meals, warmth, clothing, and a place to sleep for something minor. The fact that Em was able to leave all of that stability behind, regardless of what her home life was like, proved to me just how brave she was. Even though Em had the right to absolutely hate the world and the hand that fate handed to her, I was shocked to find just how positive and upbeat she was able to remain in some hard situations. Sure there were moments when the severity of the situation she was in became too much and she lost it, but there were those moments where she refused to let negativity take over and I really appreciated that about her.
From the very first moment Em runs away from home, she is faced with one obstacle after another. Living on the streets takes a certain kind of person, someone with street smarts in the most literal way possible. As brave as Em is, she lacks a lot of the knowledge needed to survive on the streets. This is where Jay comes in. We don’t get to hear Jay’s side of the story quite as much as Em’s, but from what we do know, Jay is a loner, preferring to do things on his own as it is hard enough to keep yourself alive let alone someone else. However, there is something about Em that draws him to her, and pretty soon he takes on the role as her knight in shining armor. Jay does so much to protect Em and keep her safe without thinking twice about it, often times putting himself at risk, and it proved just how great of a person he was. Seeing Jay transform from this gruff, hardened, and angry guy into someone with so much love and compassion was truly a great thing to witness. Even though he took care of Em in nearly every tough situation, you could also see how Em certainly played her part in saving Jay too.
Just because Jay and Em join forces, does not mean that things get instantly easier for them. In fact, they get much tougher and their situation seems to get worse and worse as the story goes on. When they side-step or survive one dilemma, there always seems to be another one lurking around the corner. I certainly appreciated how Jamie did no sugar-coat the troubles that come with living on the street. Eating, showering, falling asleep in a bed with pillows and blankets are things we often take for granted but these characters considered themselves lucky if they had any one of these necessities. My heart did not appreciate the constant worry of something horrible possibly happening to Jay and Em but it sure made for a gripping, on the edge of your seat type of story.
Despite all of the dark and horrible things this book consisted of, there were still those moments that melted my heart, made me smile, or a combination of the both. Jay and Em’s relationship starts in what is clearly not the best of situations. That means it was a romance unlike anything I have ever read before. Jamie had the option to make their relationship just as sad as the other stuff they were going through but she instead used it to filter in some sweet, light-hearted moments in the book. I think this worked so well for the story. Just when I would think that I couldn’t handle the sadness anymore, Jay would do something for Em, and my heart would get happy again.
Fight Or Flight was an incredibly honest portrayal of how life can be while living on the streets. Jay and Em are certainly faced with a lot of hardships, so much so that it at times seems they will never see an end to their problems, but in the end it left me with a smile on my face and a happy, if slightly disgruntled (remember those catastrophes giving me mild heart attacks every five minutes?) heart. I would definitely suggest this book to anyone looking for a gripping story full of ups and downs, two loveable and honorable characters, and an ending that will make all the tough parts worth it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jamie Canosa is a full-time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the dog, the bird, and the rabbit.
Her debut novel, Dissidence, was published in 2012 along with several novellas, including the first in her Heart and Soul series, ‘Temptation’.
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