A List of Cages
by Robin Roe
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (January 10, 2017)
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Genre: YA | Abuse
Print Length: 320 pages
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.
First-time novelist Robin Roe relied on life experience when writing this exquisite, gripping story featuring two lionhearted characters.
A List of Cages by Robin RoeImagine one horrendous accident ripping your life apart in an instant. Now imagine being a young child, secure, happy and loved who must now face life without his parents through no fault of his own. With no family, Julian entered the foster system, found a loving home and began the slow journey of recovering from his loss. Now the “system” tells him they have found an uncle by marriage who will take him in and with that same “wisdom” of an overwhelmed, under 'compassioned' “system” it is decided he will be better off with “family.” It is that very man who vowed to protect and nurture him that will become the sadistic bastard that will make his life a secret hell.
Fate smiled on Julian the day he needed to see the counselor at his new school. It brought him back together with the older foster brother he had. Adam thought his job working in the office would be a piece of cake, but little did he know it would be instrumental in bringing out the most compassionate and caring side of him.
One look at Julian and something seemed off to Adam, he could never put words to his feelings but his actions spoke louder than any words ever could have.
Robin Roe’s A LIST OF CAGES is a brutal look at another of society’s failings and humanity’s inability to reach out and bravely go where no one else will, because there might be consequences. The power of youth may seem frustrating at times, but it is that power and determination that Adam had, along with his generous nature learned at home that gives Julian shards of hope for the future when he is at his lowest and most vulnerable.
Child abuse runs rampant and Julian is a prime example of being lost in a world that has let him down as the victim of a twisted mind who saw his actions as “discipline.” What is awakened in Julian’s lost memories is terrifying and will bring readers to their knees, while Adam’s heart will give us hope for a brighter future.
Beautifully written, raw and far too real to not become invested, Ms. Roe has made a statement that will leave scars down to your very soul. No one should have to live like Julian, but everyone should be like Adam. Love, friendship, loss, pain, joy, terror, hopelessness and hope, it’s all here and Robin Roe uncovers each emotion with her bold style and compelling words.
I received an ARC edition from Disney-Hyperion in exchange for my honest review.