5 “my heart broke so many times” stars
I can’t believe this is a first work!
What I do believe is that Robin works with at-risk teens.
I read “A List of cages” based on all your recommendations that I’ve seen for more than one year.
After having read this story, which is a masterpiece by the way, there is something remarkable: the way Robin fleshes out her characters.
It was the first time that when reading about book characters I could imagine the author drawing them first to make them alive and ready to spring from the pages.
Julian looked like an anime character. Small, thin with huge eyes and mop of curly hair.
He was walking hunched, shoulders curled inside. Trying to be smaller, invisible. I pictured him like a mouse hiding from the big scary cat in a tight dark corner. Or a beaten dog curling on himself to protect his belly from hits.
Here is how Adam described Julian to his mom when he told her he had met him at school again:
“How did he look?”
“About the same.” Still small for his age, still too much black hair falling into huge round eyes. Only he seemed different in ways that would just worry her-too quiet, and flinching away like a skittish kitten when I got too close.
Adam would be all springy and lean with a perpetual smile attached to his face. Bright eyed, curious. Always moving as he suffered from ADHD. He had a solar personality, brightening any room he would enter. Adam was the one always helping others to cross the street, do homework, fetch the cat in the tree, listen to your sorrow. He radiated kindness and warmth. If he could have had a superpower it would be kindness.
I don’t want to write much about the plot which is simple as the story is above all else characters driven.
The topics broached in this story are really really hard. Julian is hiding a secret and Adam will regret not following his instinct. Not digging deeper. Not doing something.
At one point in the story, it was so hard for me to read what was happening that I skipped some pages near the end. I can read dark and twisted adult romance but I just couldn’t stand it. I could not read it without dissolving into tears. I JUST COULDN’T.
Julian is the epitome of kid you need to protect. I already know that I have the savior syndrome so I would have exploded the bad guy!!
In spite of everything this is a luminous story. Mainly because it makes us realize that for every bad guy there are lots of good guys ready to help you like Adam’s great bunch of friends did.
“Nothing they’re doing hurts, but it feels as if something is tearing away the center of my chest. The cold is dissolving. Their hands are soft. Everything is quiet except the tears that are climbing from somewhere beneath my ribs. I’ve cried in pain and I’ve cried in fear, but these tears are different, deeper, like I’m breaking apart.”
Adam’s crew of friends added that “teen touch” to the story with their banter, their on/out love stories, their love for weird bands basically everything nowadays teenagers are experiencing in their lives.
The writing was effortless and Robin Roe has her own “signature”, writing in such a way that every word hits you in the chest be it to bring warmth or sadness.
I hope Mrs Roe will write another story because I am ready to read anything she’ll write. She just won one more fan with her sensitive and bright writing.
Have you read this story? Because you should! Or have you read other YA stories making you cry and sigh and …?
Thanks for reading!