A List of Cages by Robin Roe Release Date: January 10, 2017 Publisher: Disney Hyperion Stand Alone Novel Number of pages: 320 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Fiction/YA (read review for notes on YA classification) Rating: R Read 1/5/17 to 1/6/17
This book gutted me. Julian gutted me. I could see what was coming…not the exact how or when, but the main idea of what was to come; yet I was still gutted when the story got there.
I very recently talked about not quite understanding how books are classified. In everything I’ve ever seen, YA is listed as for 12-18 years of age. There are many, many, many important lessons to be learned from this book. That does not mean I will be handing it to a 12 year old to read. Just because the characters are teens doesn’t make it okay for all teens to read. I will STRONGLY suggest this be read by an adult close to any teen before it is given to them to read.
I was hooked from the beginning of this book. Julian tugged at my heart. He reminded me of both of my sons in different ways. It was great how Robin Roe made him so child-like in his understanding of the world around him. It’s noticed by Adam in the book, Julian has a before and after. Only one seems real to him. Part of that is because of how close he was to his parents; part because he’s become so sheltered from the real world the last few years.
Adam is fun. I love a character that is so beloved but not conceited. Adam doesn’t even realize the pull he has on people and that’s what is so great about him. He’s not consciously trying to make people like him, he’s a genuinely good guy and those around him see that shining through. There’s also an innocence about him that is endearing. He truly wants others to be happy so doesn’t even realize when he is the object of affection to a couple of the girls in his group.
A character that I slowly came to hate as the book progressed ended up being a favorite of mine by the end. Charlie is a real piece of work. He becomes more and more of a jerk as Julian becomes more a part of their circle of friends. I’m not one for spoilers but just know he experiences his own growth through this story and it’s amazing to watch him grow up as the story unfolds.
As a parent and an adult, there are some decisions the teens in this book make that made me yell at them through the pages. It was gratifying to see these bad decisions get addressed later in the story instead of swept under the rug. The author really didn’t have to revisit them. Her decision to circle it all back around was more realistic and really helped the character of Adam learn to deal with some things.
I can’t wait to see what else this author will bring us in the future. As far as I’ve been able to find, this is her debut novel and it’s beyond wonderful.
**I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review**