A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

Blurb: 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 kindhearted. 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 am sitting here, tears streaming down my face trying to write a coherent review that does justice to how great this book is.

“Hate ricochets, but kindness does too.” 

Its a story of friendship, of survival, of pain, of happiness…Its a story about being alive.

“It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered…. When you know you’re going to tell someone everything, you see your day through your eyes and theirs, as if they’re living it alongside you. But when you don’t, it isn’t only not seeing double–it’s not seeing at all. Because if they aren’t there, you aren’t either.”

ADHD, Dyslexia, Anxiety, Child Abuse, PTSD…each condition more complex and trying than the other, each real as life itself and each depicted with clarity, respect and emotional accuracy of astounding level.

“when you’re between two shores and no one can see you, you don’t really exist at all.”

This book had me crying and then smiling the goofiest of smile within the span of a few pages. I couldn’t put it down. It was so…real. Each Character so well crafted that you wanted to know more, about every single one of them whether it was Julian and Adam or any of the side characters.

My heart broke a million times into a million pieces for Julian, I don’t think I have this desperately wished for a character to find happiness, ever. I can’t say much without spoiling things. There are no major plot twists but believe me they are not needed. The writing is so beautiful and the author has such deep understanding of emotions that you won’t be able to help but feel that all that you are reading is real. Brutal, painful, raw and real.

The bond between Julian and Adam, how Adam was a friend, a brother and a father figure for Julian, how these two people thoroughly disconnected became so inexplicably entwined in each other’s fate…I have no other word to describe it other than Beautiful.

The moment I finished this book I put my kindle down, opened a tab for amazon and ordered a physical copy. My library would forever feel incomplete if I don’t have this in my collection. I have read over a thirty books this year I’ll probably read thirty more but I can say without a doubt that at the end this will be among my top reads.

I really don’t want to spoil anything when it comes to this book so if anyone is reading this then I implore you to please read this book. You won’t regret it.

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