At seventeen years old, Courtney Apuzzo is fed up. With a dead mom and an alcoholic father that beats her every chance he gets, Courtney decides that enough is enough. Packing up only what she needs, Courtney leaves home without telling a soul and heads off to find her new life.
Life on her own is not exactly as she thought it would be. With nowhere to stay, Courtney finds herself sleeping on an old stoop in an abandoned apartment alleyway. A chance meeting with a new group of friends seems like a great beginning to her second chance at a real life. But everything is not as it seems.
Tricked into a life she never wanted and fears, Courtney needs to run away, again. She needs to find a way out of this new and dangerous life. With the help from a man she barely knows, will Courtney find her way out? Or will she find herself on the run from a dangerous past, and a hopeless future? Faced with a choice that will change her life forever.
Review by Lisa Markson
I absolutely loved this book. I met the author recently at a signing in Arizona and she had read the first chapter of this book after hearing it I knew that I must read it. The flow of the book was seamless and hard to put down. The author was able to fully describe the story in so much detail that you were able to fully feel all of the emotions of the characters and couldn’t help but feel such empathy for them. Life sucked from the beginning for seventeen year old Courtney Apuzzo. Her father was a abusive drunk that drove her mother to suicide and left poor Courtney alone to deal with the daily beatings for no apparent reason. No child should ever have to deal with that. Running away was her only option but with that there is uncertainty on what will happen to you from the world and if you are ever found and sent back to the abuse of the father that is supposed to love you and take care of you unconditionally. But never feel safe in that decision cause it can get worse. When Courtney falls into a group run by Mr. B. her life takes on a dangerous and sometimes terrifying turn. Now not only must you run away from your own family member now you are trying to run away from strangers where their only goal is to make money and have total control over a individual and will use any means to achieve that. I highly recommend this book can’t wait to read more from this author in the future. The only bad thing was the ending was alittle rushed and left a opening although it didn’t take away from such a amazing storyline.
S.M. Knowles was born in Elmira, New York where she was swept away in a whirlwind to the Land of Oz—Independence, Kansas. Her parents were relocating for working opportunities and decided that this would be the perfect place to start new roots. Little did she know that this place would contribute to the inspiration for the first book she wrote in her Rylee Everley Series.
While growing up, S.M. would travel the roads around her house while imagining she was somewhere else. Her imagination would take her everywhere, making the long hot summer days seem shorter throughout her fantasies.
At the age of twelve, she decided to write her first book. Filled mostly with dialog, she filled up one-hundred pages, front and back. After taking the book downstairs to show her mom, and persuading her to buy her more paper, she excitedly ran back to her room. As she barreled through the door, S.M. tripped over items left on her floor, and her papers came raining down in her room. Discouraged, she stood there in tears, picking up her papers and throwing them in the trash. Her work had no organization, no numbers on her pages, just a child fulfilling a joy that she would put down and not pick up again.
When she became older, she joined the military for something different. In that time, she was able to explore many places and even met her husband in Iraq. After coming home, she started her family in Arizona and went back to school, earning a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training.