Skip to main content

Run the Risk

Review

Run the Risk

Grace is finally getting her life back on track. She spends her days volunteering at a daycare center, puts in long hours at the local cinema downtown and is taking online courses in order to graduate high school. She is determined to be accepted into her local college after being rejected six months earlier due to an incident with her brother, Alex. But with Alex continuing to hang out with the Locos --- a dangerous local gang --- Grace’s worries begin again.

So when Grace’s ex-boyfriend, Mateo, begins working at the theatre with her, she sees an opportunity. Mateo once left Grace to become a member of a gang, but swears he has gotten out. She knows he is the only one who can save her brother from himself…and prevent Alex from taking her down with him. As Mateo gets closer to Alex, Grace begins to rekindle her attraction to him. But has he truly changed or is it all just a façade?

"Allison van Diepen draws much-needed attention to serious, real-life issues in her novel RUN THE RISK. Readers will love the main character and will be eagerly anticipating the final outcome of the novel."

Allison van Diepen draws much-needed attention to serious, real-life issues in her novel RUN THE RISK. The plot of RUN THE RISK centers on gang activity in Miami. Grace’s little brother, Alex, has fallen in with members of a local gang called the Locos. Grace is firmly against gangs, especially after she broke up with Mateo when he chose gang life over a life with her. But Grace knows there is nothing she can really do to convince her little brother of the dangers the gang could pose on his future.

Allison van Diepen has crafted a main character who deserves a lot of admiration. Grace is not your average high school student. She volunteers at a daycare, works countless hours and studies hard to achieve good grades. She knows the only way to make her dream of attending college and studying education come true is through hard work, and readers will be inspired by her determination. While Grace is a good character, there is not a lot of complexity to her personality. The dialogue between characters also tends to be lacking. However, readers will be rooting for Grace until the end of the novel.

Overall, RUN THE RISK by Allison van Diepen is a great quick read with an important message. Readers will love the main character and will be eagerly anticipating the final outcome of the novel. Although the dialogue feels a bit forced at times and the characters lack complexity, RUN THE RISK is still a worthwhile novel!

Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member on May 9, 2017

Run the Risk
by Allison Van Diepen