Publication Date: January 10, 2017
5-fabulous stars!! It is finally time for me to struggle through writing a review for this book. I just don’t know how to adequately express the way I feel about this one. It was quite honestly one of, if not the most, moving story I have ever read in my life. It was just so amazingly well done and I feel like it should be required reading for young people.
The story follows the point of view of two characters, Julian and Adam. Julian, the younger of the two, lost his parents to an accident when he was just a child and due to lack of immediate family is forced into ‘the system’. Adam’s Mother, a social worker, takes Julian in as a foster and thus, the boys essentially become brothers for a time. Once a distant relation (by marriage) of Julian’s comes forward and claims him, Adam and Julian have no further contact until Julian enters high school. This is where our story picks up.
These characters are so well drawn. Julian, so sweet, innocent and trapped in his loss. Adam, fun, popular and extremely caring. I love the relationship of the two boys and how it evolves over the course of the book. I tabbed a lot of sections, passages, sentences during the course of reading this as there are a lot of very important ideas in here. I feel like Robin Roe’s real life experiences working with ‘at-risk’ teens really helped add to the reality of this novel. This will be a hard one to forget. It was heartbreaking. I was shattered after reading it but also filled with love and hope. I ended up feeling a strong connection to these boys, just such good eggs, the both of them.
This book teaches a message of kindness and empathy. Being kind is free – we should all try it – you never know what someone else is going through; what someone’s reality is. I will be recommending this book to everyone in the world from this day forward but definitely do not expect a light fluffy read here. There are definitely moments of humor, Adam’s character in particular is very funny, but this book deals with very serious issues of abuse, both mental and physical, death, grief, loss, self worth and self preservation. Absolutely brilliant!