I very rarely find a book that truly hits me on an emotional level. This was one of those books.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe
This book was absolutely incredible. When I started reading, I could not put it down. Once I had finished the story, I sat here in front of my computer desperately trying to find the right words to write my review... It's not that I'm speechless, exactly. It's just that there is so much I adored about this book, and so much that I had a hard time reading, but I don't want to give anything away.
If you are reading this, please go pick up this book. It's such a emotional rollercoaster, but I could not recommend it any higher.
First of all, I need to say that I think this author is absolutely incredible. Her writing is so beautiful and real. She writes the story from a duel narrative, which I have to say I don't usually like. But in this case, I thought it was beyond perfect. Everything just flowed so well. And I loved that I kept pausing to write down quotes I enjoyed. I will definitely be on the lookout for any book that Robin Roe publishes in the future.
The storyline itself was heartbreaking, but also very moving. It is one that I know I will never forget. There were scenes that made me feel so warm and so happy, but others were horrifying and made me sick, while others still made me feel truly afraid. There are so many very important topics that are discussed in this book, ranging from child abuse and trauma, friendship and growth, even to ADHD and the use of homeopathic remedies.
And the kindest.... The kindness in this book was incredibly awe-inspiring. I seriously want this book to reach the hands of every single person out there.
I have never loved characters in a book so quickly or so wholeheartedly. They were all so well developed and seemed so realistic! The majority of them were absolutely lovely, though one was downright wicked. I was immediately drawn to the two main characters, Adam and Julian. Very early on, I realized that I felt really protective of them, like they were my own little brothers. Adam was so thoughtful and clumsy, while Julian was shy and had a true heart of gold. I thought that all of Adams friends were incredible as well. I loved how kind and supportive they all were.
There was a very slight romance, but I thought it was lovely. I really enjoyed that these two characters seemed to have a real bond, not just your typical insta-love we seem to get in most YA books.
My favorite passages:
Out in the hall, I try to breathe, but I'm still shaky the way you'd be if you were nearly clipped by a speeding car but had leapt out of the way at the very last second.
When I enter Child Development, all the girls lift their heads like a herd of deer sensing danger.
What happened next was like a time warp where you'd swear you didn't do it- or at least you didn't plan to do it. But I guess sometimes, without thinking, you find yourself tilting over glass cases full of mice. One interesting fact: scared mice are fast.
Some word stay in your head long after they're spoken.
“Getting smacked in the face with a Harry Potter book does not qualify as a fight,” Charlie says.
“First of all, it wasn’t just any Harry Potter book. It was Order of the Phoenix.”
Matt gasps. He knows that Order of the Phoenix is the longest and most potentially dangerous of all the Harry Potter books when used as a weapon.
Hate ricochets, but kindness does too.
"Maybe you shouldn't," he says. "You'd have to jump and..."
"You fall down a lot. Even... even during normal walking."
Charlie stands and places the baby in a little rolling crib, then he raises his arms like Frankenstein's monster, or if he were someone else, like he's about to hug someone. But if Charlie Taylor actually hugged me, it would mean the End of Days. His monster arms get closer.
It's the End of Days.