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.
I had heard a lot about this book before I picked it up so there were some definite high expectations going into it. And this book every single one of them and surpassed them. It sucked me in, broke my heart, repaired it, had me laughing, had me crying, had me yelling in rage. It had great characters, great friendships, just everything I could have wanted.
The book alternated between the two POVs of Adam and Julian. Adam was a senior while Julian was a freshman. Julian had stayed with Adam and his mom for a while after his parents’ death before his uncle came forward and they lost track of each other. Their friendship, the protectiveness Adam felt toward Julian, was just amazing. They were very opposite with Adam being very open, outgoing, and people seemed to flock toward him while Julian was reserved, secretive, and sought to be alone. I loved seeing them reconnect and connect in new ways that was beneficial to them both.
I fell in love with the supporting cast of characters. Adam’s group of friends were so amazing. Definitely the type of group I would want to be in the middle of if I could. Some were more prominent than others but they were all around a good group of friends and often added a lightness when the plot was getting heavy. Adam’s mother was so present through the whole book and the guidance counselor also had an important presence. It was great to see adults caring about the boys to contrast the ones who didn’t care.
This book didn’t hold back at all. It took on a heavy subject that isn’t easy to write or read about but happens and handled it with sensitivity. What Julian went through was horrifying and he was failed by so many people before someone finally took interest in him for the right reasons. There were so many great quotes through the whole book and between the characters and the writing, I found it impossible not to get completely absorbed into Julian and Adam’s story.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.