17 July 2017

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

Published: January 10th, 2017 
# of Pages: 320 
Source: Library E-Book 
Genre: Contemporary

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 kindhearted. 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…

A List of Cages was not on my list of debuts to read this year; however, I saw it on my library's Overdrive page and could not resist putting it on hold. You see, I had heard nothing but good things about the writing and representation. Trust me this gem of a book did not disappoint. 

The novel develops in the from of duel perspectives. One is Julian, a freshman with many dark secrets, and the other is Adam, a kind and patient senior who is just an overall great guy. In both of these characters I found solace and appreciation for their strength, courage, and resilience. I've never felt more connected to characters who were actually facing real life problems, realistic ones at that. Adam is particularly observant. For example, he is capable of noticing that even though Julian lives in a beautiful home, his clothes have a tendency to be a little too worn. Julian is skittish, but kind especially towards Charlie who has absolutely no inclination of liking him. 

What I loved most about this book was it's emphasis on friendship and kindness. The reader is given the opportunity to view these themes in a variety of ways. This includes the relationship that Adam shares with his friends, the love and kindness Adam and his friends share with Julian, and Julian's ability to exhibit love and kindness even when placed in the toughest of situations. The vibe between Adam and his friends is beautiful and heart-warming even though it proves to be a sad contrast to Julian's narrative. Nevertheless, Adam extends this sense of kindness to Julian who in turn spreads it on giving the novel a "pay it forward" atmosphere. 

I can't extend further into the narration of the book due to the fact that it would ultimately spoil the novel. Nevertheless, I can say that any reader should be prepared for a gut-wrenching tale that really illustrates the perseverance of the human spirit and what a touch of kindness can do for a person when they least expect. One of my favorite quotes of the book was stated by Julian and it couldn't be more true especially with the amount of hate and anger in the world today: 

"Hate ricochets, but kindness does too."

If you have not read this empowering and amazing book, I would highly recommend picking it up soon!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if it's accurate to say that I "enjoyed" this one, but it definitely made an impact. Adam was the friend everyone should be o lucky to have. And Julian absolutely broke my heart. That precious boy who went through so much. I just wanted to hug him, make it better, and keep him safe.