January 10, 2017
Why I Read: I had been seeing so many rave reviews for this book
Spoiler Rating in Review: None
Star Rating: 4.25/5 stars
Thank you Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing an early copy of this title to me.
A List of Cages was the wonderful debut novel of Robin Roe. I don’t want to say this was the most enjoyable read, but it was definitely an important story that was almost flawlessly executed. The characters, the plot, and the writing were all beautiful. I definitely recommend reading A List of Cages once it comes out next week.
In A Little of Cages, seventeen year old Adam Blake is the aide to the school psychologist. His job is to escort Julian to the appointments that he has been dodging with the psychologist. Turns out that Julian just so happens to be Adam’s foster brother who he has not seen in five years. As Adam gets to know Julian once again, he begins to uncover secrets about him.
Many contemporaries I have read lately have been trying way to hard to be special. They are written extravagantly, with extravagant plots and characters. A List of Cages was not like that. It was simple but meaningful. It achieved what it wanted to achieve, if not more. I also thought that the writing matched that. It was simple yet beautiful.
I absolutely love every single character in A List of Cages (well not Russel, but who does?). My favorite character was probably Charlie. He had this little character arc that changed his view of life but not completely his personality. It was interesting to read and the end really capped off his character. Adam was probably the most likable to read about. He was so kind to Julian and really everyone around him. I also really liked Connie and thought that she was hilarious, but Emerald could be really annoying. The character that I cared about the most was Julian. I almost immediately sympathized for him after page 1.
Probably the most refreshing aspect of this story was the friendship that Adam and Julian formed together. Do you know in stories when people are either in a friendly or romantic relationship and one friend gets mad at the other friend for not telling them something? This could have easily happened in A List of Cages, but it never did. Adam was always so understanding of Julian and all the secrets he hid. I also loved how Adam really helped Julian find his strength and stand up for himself. A relationship I did not love was between Emerald and Adam. It was always kind of unnecessary and weakly developed. They also kind of broke up then got together at some point, and it really did not make sense.
The major lesson and theme in this book is really quite simple, but it is elegantly done. The theme is kindness and how happy you can be because of it. Adam and his mom were both really positive and happy characters, but they were also incredibly and genuinely kind. Russel was a completely cruel character and he was definitely not happy. The moral in this story that I found was the kinder you are, the happier you will be.
Overall I really loved A List of Cages by Robin Roe. It was a refreshing, beautiful, and thought provoking book that I will not be forgetting for quite sometime. I cannot recommend picking this book up enough. What did you think of A List of Cages? What did you learn from reading it? Will you be reading it if you have not read it?
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