Wow… Just… wow.
Sometimes, you find a book on a whim. You see it at the bookstore, read the synopsis and put it back, whispering “next time.” It took me 5 months before I bought A List of Cages but I am so glad I did. I had heard nothing about it, but the girl at the bookstore got excited when she saw me with it, saying that she had heard it’s supposed to be fantastic. Rightfully so: this book definitely deserves more hype, because it is a gem.
Okay, first off, this book deals with some SERIOUS topics, but it does it in a very genuine way. If you’re like me and you read the publisher’s summary, then you know exactly what this serious topic is (and here we go, I’m about to tell you, cover your eyes if you don’t like spoilers!!!!!!!! … it’s child abuse). There are lots of stories dealing with this issue, but A List of Cages is special to me because everything feels so real: the pain, the confusion, but also the happiness and hope. This isn’t a “they all get better the end” type of story, but rather a story where the effects of pain are addressed, with a hopeful outlook in the end. There’s so much life in this book too, so that even when the story ends, you know there’s so much more left in the lives of Adam and Julian. And while I would love to see a slice of that, I’m glad we don’t. Let my boys heal together, and love together, and be the family they always should have been.
Both Adam and Julian are fantastic characters, each with their own issues that are addressed but not entirely solved. There’s a lot more healing both need to do, and I know that they can do it together. There’s so much love in this book, so much that it feels almost like it can heal you too (which is nice when you’re clutching the book to your chest so the pain you feel for them doesn’t seep out everywhere). They’re both so lovable, it’s hard not to fall into their story and desperately wish for the best for both of them. They deserve the world.
(Also can I say that Adam’s voice– of the popular, extroverted kid with ADHD– is actually one I’ve never read before in fiction and I’m highly grateful for it? He’s so fun, and I love how he has his problems too. He’s sunshine, while Julian is the stars being washed out by the moon).
I don’t want to say much in fear of saying too much, but this book is phenomenal, and the ending had me screaming and falling onto the floor. It’s incredible story, dealing with serious topics in a gentle, but realistic, voice. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes YA and sad (but ultimately uplifting!) books.
5 (thousand) out of 5 (thousand) stars in the sky.