“Hate ricochets, but kindness does too.”
Title: A List of Cages
Author: Robin Roe
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…
This book was absolutely and utterly phenomenal. I was awake at midnight in tears as I read the last page of this book, it was so good and I wish I’d dragged it on for longer – I loved this so much!
A List of Cages by any means isn’t a fun read. Yes, there are instances which make you smile; of course, not every single page is negative. However, if you are looking for a happy and light read, this isn’t for you. A List of Cages is a story about friendship and emotion and hurt and abuse, it is by no means a happy story. Nevertheless, it’s an important book.
This book is predominantly centred around the friendship of Julian and Adam. The book switches between their POV’s, and for once I could tell the difference between characters! They were both written realistically and portrayed such raw and real emotion that was honestly what made this book.
I will admit that for some people this will either be a book you cannot read or one that is extremely hard to read. It deals with graphic abuse, Stockholm syndrome, and doesn’t hold back on any of these topics. It’s blatant that these things are happening, and yes, they are a main focus of the story.
The friendship between Adam and Julian really broke my heart. It was such a beautiful and sweet friendship, it was so innocent which made it so much worse to read with the juxtaposing themes also happening at the time. I really appreciated the fact that Robin Roe didn’t hold back or sugar coat what was happening. It would have been horrible to finish this with some cliche ending that would have ultimately ruined the book. So thankfully that wasn’t the case!
The fact that Adam also had ADHD was a factor that I liked to see in this book. For once this wasn’t a book where the main character was alienated for something they couldn’t control. It was acknowledged that he had it but the writer didn’t let that become the main focus point of the story because it wasn’t supposed to be.
Overall, I would honestly recommend this book to those who feel they’d be able to read it. Personally, it was hard to read at times for me, but I did continue on, of course, though that is not something everyone is able to do. This was a devastatingly beautiful story of friendship and love and a book which I’m sure I will read again soon.