Thursday, December 13, 2012
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones
If you like: runaways * crime * conspiracies
Blink & Caution is the story of two teens who have run away from home and meet up in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Blink accidentally witnesses a faked kidnapping, and his desire to meet the beautiful daughter of the kidnappee leads him to entangle himself in the coverup. Caution is in danger from her drug dealer boyfriend and uses every skill she has to survive on the run. Eventually their stories converge, leaving each of them life-alteringly changed and able to survive.
Blink is a child of a broken home. A child with an absentee father and an abusive stepfather. Blink lives on the streets, scrounging what he can to survive, but he is not cut out for it. His days have made him wary, but not street smart. Though he is not stupid, he does not possess the kind of cunning needed to thrive on the streets. It is hard to know which is worse, the assured violence at home, or the unknown danger of the city. In the end, his desire to find companionship leads him to trust others foolishly, and nearly get himself killed by his own curiosity. At the same time, he discovers an aptitude he never knew he had. Blink did not thrive in school, but unraveling the mystery kidnapping plot makes him realize that he has an aptitude for business and solving puzzles. He gains the confidence and hope that he needs in order to change his future.
Caution is running from an altogether different type of danger: her own past. She blames herself for her brother’s death, and the guilt drives her into increasingly dangerous situations as a way to punish herself. When everyone else absolves her of blame, she is the only one left to dole out a punishment. She is a stern disciplinarian, forcing herself to live a destitute and tenuous life that is full of pain. Though leaving her boyfriend helped her start down the road to recovery, meeting Blink is what allows her to finally stop holding herself accountable. Caution realizes that there are an infinite number of variables that lead to a multitude of conclusions, and that killing someone and killing someone on purpose are two distinctly different things. Though both Blink and Caution experience life changing epiphanies, Caution’s story transcends her circumstances. So many readers will empathize with her guilt, and her discovery of self-forgiveness will guide many to do the same.
If you have been running so long you can’t see what you’re running from, read Blink & Caution.
Wynne-Jones, Tim. Blink & Caution. Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2011. Kindle Edition.