Book Review: She Runs Away, (Sheridan Hall, #2) by Jessica Calla

Front Cover, She Runs Away, by Jessica Calla

About She Runs Away

After tragedy strikes New Jersey University’s Sheridan Hall, freshman quarterback Ben Riley’s stable, normal life is turned upside down. Sidelined from playing the game he loves and on the verge of losing his scholarship, Ben wants nothing more than to escape the chaos of college and return home to rural Pennsylvania and his family.

Yet, there is something that keeps him from running. Or someone. A cute blonde he had a chance with but blew off for all the wrong reasons.

Megan Smith has secrets. Secrets that have burned her in the past. Secrets she’s unwilling to share with anyone at Sheridan Hall—especially Ben, her sexy, rough around the edges floormate who broke her heart in a matter of days after moving into Sheridan. Meg decided early on that it’s easier to live life on her own than to share her secrets and let people in.

Meg runs and Ben follows, but sooner or later the clock on their chance at love will expire. With inner demons dragging them both down, they must find a way to stop running and trust one another, or risk losing their perfectly-matched love forever.

My Review

She Runs Away (Sheridan Hall #2)She Runs Away by Jessica Calla
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a sweet, hopeful love story, with humor that offsets a touch of tragedy; a lovable cast of quirky, relatable characters; and a storyline that will keep you turning pages until the wee hours of the night, do yourself a favor and pick up the Sheridan Hall series by Jessica Calla. It’s one of the most refreshing new series I’ve read in 2016, and I’m already craving the next one.

The first book in the series, She Laughs in Pink, introduced us to the small group of freshman students who occupy the basement dorm rooms in Sheridan Hall. It also nearly killed us with an unforgettable, tragic twist near the end. She Runs Away begins a few months after the tragedy that changed their young lives forever, and gives us a realistic, painful look at the way it affected each of them. Although you might be tempted to read it as a standalone – and you can – you will appreciate it so much more if you read She Laughs in Pink first. Both are effortless reads, thanks to the author’s seamless, engaging style.

She Runs Away tells a powerful new love story – a second chance romance – that develops in the aftermath of their experience. Ben, whose college football career has been cut short by an injury during the incident, is struggling with multiple losses and a heavy dose of survivor’s guilt. Megan, who had a brief and painful fling with Ben before the tragedy, has feelings for him, but feels it’s hopeless to pursue him after their short fling went south. Megan is also hiding a secret from her dorm mates, which leads her to withdraw — and literally run away — whenever the going gets especially rough. The tragedy has left her with a deep fear of attachment – or so it appears. But is there more? You’ll have to read it for yourself…no spoilers here.

You will fall in love with Ben – the boyfriend to end all boyfriends. In a desperate effort to protect Megan from what he perceives as a threat, he makes some serious missteps, which, combined with Megan’s determination not to trust anyone, makes for a frustrating, up and down relationship from beginning to end. Sometimes I wanted to shake Megan. Sometimes I wanted so smack Ben in the back of the head. But mostly I wanted them to heal – and heal together. And that, my friends, is the heart of this story — beginning to heal, finding yourself after a devastating loss or the death of a dream.

Is it hopeless? No way. This book, if anything, is full of hope and opportunity. There are no cliffhangers and although I won’t give away the details, you can always expect a happy ending in each book in the series. There are more characters to explore, more stories to tell, and I can’t wait to read them all.

View all my reviews

Buy It On Amazon

Sheridan Hall, Book 1:

She Laughs in Pink

Cover Photo - She Laughs in Pink - Jessica CallaFour years after her twin is murdered, Juliet Anderson still struggles with guilt, her parents, and her relationships. Two things keep her from falling into a deep, dark place—dancing and her best friend, Ben. So when Ben decides to play football for New Jersey University, Juliet doesn’t hesitate. She follows. Finally away from her past, there is nothing to stand in the way. Juliet will win Ben’s heart.

Then she meets Ben’s roommate, Chase.

On probation and hell-bent on adhering to a “new life plan,” aspiring artist Chase leaves his New York City home for New Jersey University and meets Juliet before even stepping foot on campus. For him, their connection is instant. She’s the most vibrant girl he’s ever seen. Her colors explode on his canvas, and he’s never been more inspired in his life.

Too bad she’s madly in love with his seemingly perfect, good guy roommate.


Published by

Paula Radell

Always a passionate reader and a somewhat more casual writer, Paula Radell started her first book review and promotions blog, Curl Up and Read, in September of 2013. In early 2014, she left a career in nursing to become a freelance project management consultant. She also turned her part-time hobby into a full-time passion by becoming a freelance editor, publicist, and a hopeful author. She is a Goodreads Librarian, Group Moderator, and a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. She has also taken advanced internet and social media marketing certificate courses at the University of San Francisco. Born and raised near the beaches of southeastern Virginia, Paula now lives in Mendocino County, California with her husband Ray, a couple of stray tabby cats, Matthew & Diana, and a 2-year old rescue Greyhound, Willow. When she is not catering to the dog’s every whim, touring and tasting the latest California sparkling wine vintages with Ray, or sitting in Starbucks reading a great book, you can find Paula at her laptop – writing, editing, reviewing or avidly promoting the books and authors she loves. Two releases are planned in the coming year: Where Angels Lie, a dark romance; and an inspirational novella (name still under debate).

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