“It's strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.”
This book was so difficult to read at times, that I just don't how to write review of such a heart-breaking book. I'd also like to mention that this book deals with child abuse (physical and mental) and Stockholm Syndrome. I just felt like I needed to mention it so if anyone decides to read it, they know what they're getting into.
Now coming to the book, it's a story about two boys, Adam who is in his senior year and has ADHD, and Julian, who has dyslexia and has just started his high school. Adam has know Julian from his childhood when he was his foster brother, but then Julian's uncle came and took him away. So when he sees Julian again after few years, he doesn't know much about him, but there's something about him that has changed.
What I loved in this book was how Adam was always there for Julian. As much sad as it was reading through Julian's life, and how his uncle treated him, Adam always gave me hope. He was such a bright child, and would always cheer up everyone around him. Although he was struggling with his own past and troubles, he always made sure that Julian was okay. He was practically like Julian's older brother. And I don't even want to think what would've happened to Julian if Adam wasn't there to motivate and push him on every step in his life.
While this book is overall intense and deals with very serious topics, it's also funny during some parts. Adam has very cheerful personality, which I think was really necessary in this otherwise emotional story.
I went into this book knowing nothing about it, I hadn't even read the blurb so I didn't know what to expect. But I certainly didn't expect to read a gut wrenching story which left me all teary at the end. The first part was a bit confusing and also slow paced, but it picked up very quickly after a while and then I just couldn't stop reading it. The story got very intense, especially when Julian's uncle (who makes me sick !) finds out that Julian has been hanging out with Adam. He had made Julian so isolated that he wouldn't even let him talk to anyone. And it's more horrible than it sounds, there were some parts which I just wanted to skip because of how intense and horrible it got with Julian.
Having said all that, I think it's a very beautiful story about friendship. Friendship was the only thing Julian had, and I was so happy that he had Adam, Emerald, and even Charlie as his friend. I could see, how their friendship helped Julian throughout the story, made him attempt to take part in school activities he never would have tried to if not for them. I just love how this story portrays friendship between characters. Not to mention Adam's mother, who was always supportive but also knew when to take charge of the situation and help her child.
While I loved this book, I also had few issues with it. I really wish this book had showed more about the side characters. Especially Charlie, who in the beginning came off as a very arrogant kid, but actually turned out be a very caring and kind. And I would have loved to know more about him as a person rather than just seeing him in some scenes. The other issue I had was that the ending felt too rushed. After reading the book, I wasn't surprised with the ending, and I think it was perfect too, but still I would've preferred it a bit long and detailed than just finishing it in one small scene.
Other than that, I really loved this book and would definitely recommend it. If you're not triggered by the topics I mentioned in the beginning, you should definitely check it out!