I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no affected my thoughts. The review below is my open and honest opinion.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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…
My Thoughts on A List of Cages:
This book is heartbreaking. I will warn you right up front, this is a tough book to read and could be a trigger for anyone who has faced any kind of abuse. This is the story of two young men. One who has everything and the other who has nothing. The boys were together as children when Julian was brought into Adam’s house as a foster child. But then Julian was taken away by his uncle and Adam hasn’t seen him since. Until one day, Julian shows up at Adam’s school.
Adam has always had a soft spot for Julian and I love that about him. I love that he reached out to this quiet, shy, eclectic kid. Julian is this scrawny little freshmen and Adam is one of the more popular seniors in school. But he never cares what anybody thinks of him. He reaches a hand out to Julian. He continues to check on him, making sure he’s okay. He invites him to things with his own friends. He brings this quiet boy into his circle without a care for what anyone else thinks.
Adam was a purely good person and I absolutely loved him.
Julian is another pretty amazing character. He is quiet and eclectic. He’s mentally younger than he really is which is understandable due to what his home life looks like. He loves to write and read picture books. Julian is adorable. He’s awkward in the cutest possible way. It was a pleasure to see him slowly come out of his shell with Adam and Adam’s friends. At first, he’s quiet and unsure, but he begins to like Adam’s friends. He begins to talk to them. He begins to become friends with them himself.
Ultimately I think the friendships he formed with Adam and Adam’s friends saved him. If not for these relationships he may have been stuck in a horrible situation for much longer.
This book teaches an important lesson. No one is too quiet or too weird to reach a hand out to. You have no idea what they’re really facing every night when they go home. Maybe they’re quiet because that’s what they’ve been trained to be.
The world needs more Adams. We need more kind people that will reach out to those paralyzed by fear and horror. To help them and show them there is a way out and life doesn’t have to be this way. Adam is an example for all of us, young and old.
Okay, Rebecca, you’ve raved about the two main characters and the lessons learned. What’s with the three stars? I just couldn’t quite invest emotionally like I wanted to. But I really think that’s due to the tough subject matter. I distanced myself from it and I couldn’t connect to the characters because I’ve never been in such an awful situation. Because of that lack of connection, I had to rate it a bit lower. I liked it – a lot, I just didn’t quite get to that loved it feeling.
I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a book that will really make you think. That will make you open your eyes and see how far a little kindness can go.
Have you read this one yet? What were your thoughts? Were you able to get emotionally invested or did you distance yourself like me?