Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

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BOOK review
Started on: 27 August 2018
Finished on: 6 September 2018

Title: A List of Cages
Author: Robin Roe
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 310 pages / 320 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2017
Price: Rp 266,000 (https://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 4/5
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"For the millionth time I wish she'd titled her lists, because the entire notebook is like this. A list of places. A list of colors. A list of songs. But no titles. No context. No way to understand what they mean."
Adam Blake is a cheerful and friendly guy with ADHD. Despite his condition, Adam is always loved and adored by the people around him. Until one day, the school psychologist asked for his help and that is when Adam is reunited with Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years. Adam is thrilled seeing Julian again, but it seems like Julian doesn't feel the same way. Julian is still the same kindhearted person that Adam once knew, but slowly he discovered that Julian has been keeping secrets that no one else knows about. Adam is eager to find out and help Julian; however, his eagerness might actually endanger Julian's life even more.

"It's strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered."

As I'm reading this book, I was quite shocked by its similarities with the previous book I just finishedCounting by 7s, which involves the main character losing both of their parents. Compared to that book, A List of Cages feels a lot darker and has a somber mood surrounding the story because it involves physical and verbal abuse (I don't know if that spoiled too much, but it is one of the main themes of this book that I have to discuss in my review). I've read a few books related with abuse in the past, but it's still difficult to read every single time. I felt so many emotions while I was reading this book; and I was completely immersed in Julian's life story.
"I've cried in pain and I've cried in fear, but these tears are different, like I'm breaking apart."
"But why can't good things feel like forever? It was all so fast...before they left. I want to spin it back...slow it down. Why is time like that? Why does it slow down in the places you don't want it to, but it speeds away when you're happy?"  
There are two sides of the story: one is written from the perspective of Julian, and the second one is from Adam's perspective. The start of this book seems very mysterious because there are a lot of things we do not know yet. But slowly, as Adam got closer to Julian, the mysteries started peeling off piece by piece until we are exposed to the heartbreaking truth behind Julian's life. I'm not going into too much details to avoid spoilers, but I have to say I felt really bad for Julian throughout this book 😟. I feel like no one should be treated that way, and I'm sure at that moment Julian would feel very alone in this world. There are several parts in this book that is sickening to read because it's just so horrible πŸ˜₯. But I'll gladly say that the story ended on a good note. A bit bittersweet and it made my heart ache a little, yet it feels like the perfect way to end this book.

The more lighthearted side of the story is when Julian started opening himself up to Adam and his group of friends. It's like a breath of fresh air after reading all the harrowing part of this book. I'm really glad to see Julian's character development and how he was able to influence the people around him with his kind and innocent heart. It was quite touching to see his interaction with Charlie, Adam's best friend, who at first had a difficult time accepting Julian who's exceptionally quiet and awkward around other people. It proves how a loving and kind heart will touch other people's life in ways we never expected.
"Hate ricochets, but kindness does too."
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though it was quite difficult to read at the same time. It taught me about a lot of things, especially about overcoming our fearsjust like Julian did. This book also reminded me how words can be so damaging to a person if used badly. Even when the things being said might not necessarily be true, the person on the receiving end might perceive it as the truth and live their lives believing it. That's why it is just beyond me why someone would intentionally use words to hurt or even manipulate other people 😟. Anyways, I might read more of Robin Roe's works in the future because I really liked her writing in this one! 😊
"The things I know stay in my head as I stand on my own two feet at the end of the day, and I walk back to my room with my journal to write my list of cages."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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