A List Of Cages
Author: Robin Roe
Genre/Themes: Contemporary, Social Issues, YA
Release Date: January 10th 2017
Page Count: 320
Format: eARC via NetGalley
*Disclaimer* I would like to thank NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an ARC of A List Of Cages in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my personal rating.
“But why can’t good things feel like forever? […] I want to spin it back…slow it down. Why is time like that? Why does it slow down in the places you don’t want it to, but it speeds away when you’re happy?”
This book. This book completely broke me. It was devastating, yet beautiful. Does that even make sense? Probably not, but honestly…read this book. Please. If you have to choose just one of my recommendations, choose this one for your TBR in 2017.
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years. Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.
What I Liked
Absolutely everything. Okay, I promise to delve deeper into what I liked in the next few paragraphs, but honestly…this is probably going to be the book that I recommend to everyone in 2017.
The friendship. Who wouldn’t want a friendship like Julian and Adam’s? They hadn’t seen each other in years and yet Adam acts like Julian has been a part of his life the entire time. He makes sure Julian shows up to his counseling sessions every week at school. He makes sure Julian has friends to hang out with. He makes sure Julian has a place to sit at lunch everyday. Most importantly though, he instantly knows when something is wrong. Julian genuinely cares about Adam. Adam makes him feel safe even in the worst situations. They both need each other and their friendship is beautiful.
That it didn’t hold back. A List of Cages deals with the heavy topic of child abuse. It’s not an easy topic to write about and it definitely is not an easy topic to read about. I found myself not wanting to read the next sentence, not because it was written badly, but because I just couldn’t bare to find out what horrible things would happen next. A List of Cages did not hold back. This book is heavy and dark, but it’s so important that this book exists.
The writing. I read this book in 3 sittings. If I had the time to read it one, I probably would have. It was super fast-paced and a really quick read. Even though it felt like I read this book in 5 seconds, so much happened. I just couldn’t put it down. While I was at work, I was itching to read it. While I was taking the bus home, it was all I could think about (damn you motion sickness). It was beautifully written and everything flowed perfectly.
The dual perspectives. A List Of Cages is told in the dual perspectives of Julian and Adam. It didn’t alternate at every other chapter, but changed perspectives at random and yet it was still super easy to follow. It was great to see the story told from both characters as it provided a look at two very different lives and how they ended up connecting.
What I Didn’t Like
As you can tell, I loved everything. The only thing that maybe bothered me a little was that I really wanted to know where Russel was going when he would disappear for days on end. But that detail is so small and insignificant when the rest of the story was so amazing that I’m not going to dock any points for it.
As you can tell, I absolutely adored this book. It’s beautiful and devastating all at the same time. This book will break you, but I promise you will also fall deeply in love with it. Please read this book!
About The Author
Robin Roe has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Harvard. She counseled adolescents in Boston before she moved to Dallas to run a mentoring program for at-risk teens. She later became a high school special education teacher.
Her debut novel A List of Cages comes out January 10, 2017.
Thank you for reading!