OUT NOW! No Turning Back by Kim Flowers
The punishment for a seventh-grade dropout runaway is probably pretty harsh, but Ash Barker doesn’t care. She can’t waste time or emotions on anyone but her brother, Matt. They were placed in separate foster homes, so Ash runs away to find him. If she fails, she’s headed back to juvenile detention.
Everything is going right on schedule until two kids, Dayna and Kevin, barge into her hideout — which just happens to be in their house. She ditches the pair fast, but can’t stop thinking about those bruised, skinny kids.
Dayna and Kevin live with abusive parents who force them to stay in their room most of the time. If they go to the authorities for help, they’ll be split up, too. Ash knows how that feels, and she goes back to help, taking the two with her. With any luck, they’ll all help each other along the way.
Meanwhile, as Matt waits for Ash, he can’t resist telling his foster brother and best friend, Jon-Allen, about the plans. They stash food, earn money, and keep watch for the night Ash appears at their bedroom window.
Ash is so happy to be reunited with Matt and to discover she’s falling in love with Dayna that, at first, she doesn’t worry about what they’ll do next. But life on the road begins to take its toll — they have to resort to shoplifting and scavenging to survive. Ash feels a growing sense of guilt at the disaster she’s made of everyone’s lives. Can she somehow keep her newfound “family” together despite hunger and sickness? Or will she be able to find the strength to reach out for help?
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