Hey guys, HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY!
Today is the day where I can read all the time, and have a perfectly good excuse for it.
Oh, who am I kidding. I do that everyday 🙂 .
Anyway, I asked (read: thoroughly annoyed and spoke of nothing else for a month) my mom to order a few books for me. That’s why there are now ten brand new YA novels in my drawer, waiting to be read.
In honour of World Book Day, I’m starting a new segment on my blog called ‘BOTM’! That is, Book Of The Month. On the 23rd of every month, I will be posting a detailed book review, of the best book I read that month.
Also, every review will be completely SPOILER FREE, so don’t worry 🙂 .
April BOTM is ‘A List Of Cages’ by Robin Roe, one of the best novels I have read in a long time. Let’s get on with it!
April 2017 Book Of The Month: A List Of Cages by Robin Roe
A List of Cages is an amazing story, told by the two perspectives of Adam Blake and Julian (I tried so hard to find his surname in the book and on the internet, but to no avail 😦 ). Adam finds himself in the company of his former foster-brother, Julian. The two haven’t seen each other in five years, and coaxing Julian out of his shell seems to be harder than Adam thought. As both boys reconnect after so long, their unique and inspiring friendship is threatened by Julian’s secrets. Julian, suffering from the death of his parents, has retreated into his own little world, and doesn’t tell anyone where he goes during the middle of the school day, or what really happens in his house. Robin Roe beautifully weaves a tale of friendship and trust, and handles sensitive issues like child abuse, with care and delicacy.
The characters in this book are two of my favourites, out of all the books I have ever read, and that says something. Adam Blake is a senior in high school, the kind of boy who you just can’t help but like. With an infectious smile, an always-positive attitude, and the permanent affection of all his teachers, this is a guy who seems to draw people towards him. On the other hand, we have Julian. I really took a liking towards this character, because I thought he was just so fascinating, with a very special personality. The demise of his parents in a car crash, (and a few other events) led to him ending up in the care of his uncle, Russell. Julian is always in a world of his own creation, with his head in the stars. I think both the characters complemented each other really well, and they were portrayed beautifully by the author. Aside from the main characters, I also took a liking to the portrayal of Charlie Taylor. He’s so hilarious and tremendously flawed, but that’s what makes him so interesting and such a loyal friend.
What really stood out about this book, was how incredibly different it was to any YA novel I have read. Too many young adult novels seem to revolve around a tragic teenage romance, and although I love reading those from time to time, it was so refreshing to see a book centred around friendship. Adolescent friendships are usually portrayed as something along the lines of two girls chatting until midnight and going to the mall together. Robin Roe proves that friendship is so much more than that, and I thought that was so wonderful because teens need to know about and develop strong friendships probably more than any other age group. The theme of child abuse was one that I haven’t seen in YA very often, and it was great to see it shown so sensitively and written so well.
The writing of this book was very easy to follow, which made the whole book a very pleasing read. Robin Roe manages to make each sentence so impactful without using over-the-top vocabulary, which I really respect her for. It was a refreshing break from the heavily-worded books that I have been reading lately 🙂 . Also, one of the very best things (I’m sorry if I’ve said this a lot, it’s just a crazy good book) is that it was written in the dual perspective of two boys. I have never read a dual perspective novel which was told from the point of view of two male characters (not a boy-girl thing, or two girls), and Robin Roe has just handled it so well.
I know, I am probably the only one to include a ‘Binding’ section in a book review. But I truly feel that the way a book is bound, adds significantly to the overall experience I have while reading it. First of all, it’s a HARDBACK! I just love hardbacks so much, so this one got the thumbs up right off the get-go. Also, this book is actually really, really pretty without the paper jacket too, and the pages were super stiff and hard and I became obsessed with turning them. I get it, I’m crazy. But, isn’t everyone ? 🙂
Stellar. Magnificent. One of the best books I have ever read. I LITERALLY could not put it down. Just read it. Robin Roe is a god.
5/5. This book deserves nothing less.
That was my review of A List Of Cages by Robin Roe! I hope you liked it, and please let me know what you thought in the comments below 🙂 .
ThePastryPoet, signing off.