Goodreads Rating: 4.45 / 5 stars
My Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: January 10th 2017
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
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.
I received an ARC from Disney Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A List of Cages is a beautiful, touching debut novel and fighting back the tears is impossible. It’s well written, there are parts that broke my heart and I can’t help but shed tears on it. It’s a story about two boys, Adam — a senior student who has ADHD and Julian — a dyslexic boy whose parents passed away and is now under the care of his abusive uncle. Also, he’s Adam’s former foster brother.
I love the friendship Adam and Julian shared in this book, their bonding is strong and genuine. These two boys are imperfectly perfect. Adam is a loyal, sincere, helpful and caring friend. His friends might not understand why he cares on a weird boy like Julian and yet, defends him like a big brother. He’s concerned on Julian and feels there’s something wrong. He always makes him comfortable whenever he hangs out with his friends. Such kindness brought happiness to Julian in his darkest moments.
Mostly, my tears are for Julian. He’s aloof and people distance themselves from him. It really breaks my heart to see him lonely and no one is kind enough to him especially he lives with someone cruel. He’s longing for love and kindness and he felt secured when Adam is around. I bawled more when Adam’s friends finally come around and shown kindness to him. Deep down, Julian cries for joy and despite of them being mean at first, not once he’s mad at them and instead, he remained humble.
Overall, this is really a great novel. I recommend you have a box of tissues if you’re going to read it. I’m giving this 4.5 / 5 stars because the pacing is slow and it took me a while to get into it.