(Review) A List of Cages

A List of Cages by Robin Roe
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Pages: 320 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult 
My Goodreads Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

My Review: 
When I received an email from NetGalley saying I was pre-approved for this title I was super excited! Okay, so that excitement was more about me being "pre-approved" for anything rather than the actually book (sorry), but the book was great, too!

The story starts from Julian's perspective, even though the synopsis is mainly about Adam. You get a little glimpse into Julian's mind and you can automatically tell that he's just different. He's shy and withdrawn with some apparent anxiety that he's dealing with.  

It doesn't really help that his uncle is a sociopath, either. 

Adam is an interesting character. He's always up, everyone loves him, and he just wants to make people happy. I love how much he just loves life. And I especially love how much he seems to love Julian. 

For a while this seems like a sweet story of friendship. Adam takes Julian under his wing and doesn't seem to notice much of what's happening with Julian. He knew Julian as a little boy and wants things to be the way they were, but it doesn't happen that way. 

Slowly, we learn more and more about Julian's situation and it's heart-wrenching. It's definitely a powerful story and there is a lot of growth between these two main characters. I love that their friendship is what brings everyone in the book together, even Adam's "cool Senior friends" who rally together for Julian. 

There are a lot of what felt like "graphic" scenes of abuse, so I suggest a trigger warning, but all in all this was a great story. It was definitely a story of triumph and how love can certainly conquer all. 

Definitely check this out in January.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the ARC.