Hey, guys! I am so excited to be coming at you with a review of A List of Cages by Robin Roe. This book was absolutely fanfreakingtastic, and it was definitely my favorite read of February. This book deals with so many different and important topics, and I highly recommend it. It deals with trauma, mental illness, abuse, and so many other important topics. This book was fantastic. But let’s just get into the review!
“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 fanfuckingtastic.
I am feeling kind of speechless as to how this book made me feel. I cried several times while reading it, and I think this is one of the most moving books I have read in quite a while. The trauma that Julian had to deal with just made me sad and mad because nothing was being done about it. Which I completely understand. In the mindset of someone experiencing trauma, they never want to tell anyone, especially the police, because it will get back to the person who is causing the trauma, they will be pissed, and then they will cause even more trauma on this person. But it was so hard to read.
Julian was somebody that I just wanted to protect and let him know that there are people that actually care very deeply about him, and that what Russell was doing to him was not love. Adam truly cares about him, and Russell tries to put it in his mind that Julian did not care about him in the slightest, and that really pissed me off. Julian is just this little special snowflake that you want to protect from harm for forever, and I just wanted to fucking kill Russell for trying to snuff out that light that was in Julian.
I freaking loved Adam, first of all. I loved how much he cared about everyone around him. He was popular, but he wasn’t like a jerk. He was actually super nice to every single person, and his energy just lifts people up. And he really, really cared about Julian, even before he knew what was going on. And all he wanted to do was help Julian, and that is exactly what he did. He helped him. Seeing Julian in pain really just put him in pain because he did care about Julian so much. He was like a little brother to Adam, and he wanted to fucking kill Russell, and I was right on board with that.
Russell was a character that obviously I despised with every fiber of my being, and I personally wanted to see him rot in hell. I hated what he was doing to Julian, I hated why he was doing it, and I fucking hated him because he’s an abusive asshole. He would try to put these ideas in his head that all of his friends weren’t really his friends; they just wanted something from him. He tried to get Julian to believe that Adam and his mom really booted Julian out when it was all Russell’s fault that Julian had to leave. I just fucking hated this man.
The trauma described in this novel just brought tears to my eyes. I just was crying every time something happened to Julian. Like I am seriously about to cry just thinking about what that despicable man did to Julian. The trauma seemed very realistic, which is how I ended up crying because it felt so real, and very accurate and I just wanted to murder Russell for pretty much the entirety of the book, and then I wanted to keep young Julian safe and away from harm. This book just made me feel a lot of things.
Overall, this was an absolutely fanfuckingtastic debut book, and a fantastic book in general. I loved the characters, the really heartbreaking story line, and the beautiful writing. This book was just fantastic, and I know it will stay with me for a long while. Highly, highly recommend you check this one out!
And there you have it! That was my review of A List of Cages by Robin Roe. What’s your favorite book that deals with mental illness? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!