Review Detail

A List of Cages FeaturedHot
Young Adult Fiction 3411
A List of Cages
(Updated: December 03, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Adam Blake is excited that he lucked out with an easy elective class in which he serves as the aide to the school psychologist. Then he finds out that one of the students he’s supposed to help is Julian, a former foster kid he hasn’t seen in five years. Julian is quiet and ‘different’. Adam remembers him though as his reading buddy in elementary school. Other kids made fun of his learning disability but Adam caught glimpses of a very bright boy and encouraged him. Then Julian’s parents die and he goes to Adam’s house. Only a so-called relative shows up and Julian is gone. Adam doesn’t hear about Julian until now.

Adam wants to help Julian. He finds that there are many mysteries about Julian like how he’s out of school a lot and very secretive. Only when Adam includes Julian into his inner circle of friends, does he realize how much he wants to help Julian. But by getting close to Julian he ends up finding a terrible secret. One that might put both of their lives in danger.

What worked: Page turning tale that shows the power of friendship and how love does conquer all. I’m a huge fan of books that show protagonists with ADHD and other sensory issues in a positive light without all the clichés and stereotypes. Adam has ADHD but he’s the one that is the leader of his friends and someone that everyone, including Julian, look up too. He also doesn’t let his diagnosis of ADHD hold him back. He’s smart, funny, talented, and a great friend to everyone.

Julian has dyslexia and I think some kind of sensory impairment issue. It doesn’t help that his parents had died as they were the one source of support in his life. His abusive uncle ends up raising him. The scenes where Julian shows readers how he feels invisible are painful and very sad. I wanted to hug him. Adam’s friendship cracks open the shell Julian has around him. These scenes are haunting and powerful.

There’s so much to love about this novel which includes how powerful love and friendship are to those who feel abandoned and lost. Also it shows how you shouldn’t give up on someone if you think that friend might be in an abusive situation. It takes courage to stand up for someone in that kind of situation. But by standing up and being a true friend, you might save a life.

Powerful, courageous story with two characters that stand up to insurmountable odds and end up saving each other.
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