A List of Cages by Robin Roe

a-list-of-cagesWhen 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.

Pages: 320

Published: 10th January 2017

Rating: Must Read, 5 stars

Read from 15th to 18th January

First off, if you haven’t read this book then consider going into it blind knowing it’s a contemporary that looks at a relationship that is rekindled.

Ok, so I only picked this book up because of the hype and I really love it. I got through it so quickly because whenever I was going to put it down to do other more important things like studying or a dissertation I would have to continue on to a natural stopping point. Seriously, this was such an issue that I considered staying on the bus for a few more stops so I could continue reading.

I think the best thing about this story is how well it is written. It makes you feel so part of the world and part of the character’s lives. I struggled at points reading on due to the emotions happening, I just felt so lost and alone and helpless while characters were going through things that I have no clue how the author plucked up the courage to write them.

The pacing of the story is also really good. It really reminded me of the Perks of being a Wallflower in that sense, time was fluid and was made for the situations present. Adam and Julian had this great brotherly connection that I just wanted to explore more but the characters also have flaws; some more obvious than others. I think some people may find it hard to relate to Adam because he does seem pretty perfect but we all know someone like Adam so it was really interesting to get in his head and understand how he stumbles through life (literally and figuratively)just the same as us. Julian was much harder to connect with and as the story we learn why and the things he’s going through as well as growing to wanting to look after him.

The one comment I want to make is that this book has a lot of mature content and concepts so I would be knowledgeable about that and what you’re going in to. I think it is a YA book but it’s kind of bordering on new adult with some of it. I work with kids Julian’s age so that may be me placing myself closer to the situation and taking a lot of difficulty from it.

I’m not a massive contemporary reader but every so often something comes along that reminds me that I have to keep reading contemporary and I have to keep trying them. This book does contain some teen love struggles, some fluffy moments, and some down to earth hard to take situations. And that’s why it’s so good. It confronts a lot of things but it does show how people cope with life alongside it. I struggle with books where the issue of the books becomes a central focus and the author forgets about how so much else is meant to be going on and how the characters manage it.

It has an open ended conclusion but I’ve come around to these more often after reading the end of Eleanor and Park and Rainbow Rowell’s comment of the ending is only the beginning for our characters.

Have you read this or do you plan on picking it up?

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