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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Finding Home by Garrett Leigh

Math was never my strong side so when I put on the equation - a new book by Garrett vs. a Young Adult novel I did and didn't know what to expect. Thing is, I LOVE Garrett's books, I enjoy the misery she puts me and mostly her characters (!) through, I love the feel of the story, the uniqueness of the characters, the emotional ride that is SO worth it even when my heart is breaking. Yet I dislike Young Adult novels.. I just don't have the patience for it. Not for their issues which seem too far away for me, and not for their interests which seem even MORE distant from the place I am in today and that without mentioning how miserable I was at these ages, which means I have NO desire to revisit these times in someone else's head. Nope! 

That being said, it's no wonder really I LOVED LOVED LOVED this story. For me, the fact that Charlie and Leo were teens is such a non significant detail. It was about love and trust. It was about life disappointing you for too many times for you to expect something wonderful that you couldn't even imagine would happen to you. It's about finding a home in the most unexpected place, it's about finding love when you thought you don't have anything more to give or to feel. I really don't think it matters what genres you read, and if you've ever read a YA or MM novel before you SHOULD give this one a go. It's beautiful and it's different than the usual YA with the issues it deals with that make it not about age but about experience and the MM part is there naturally but there is very little sexual interaction which makes it appropriate for younger reader or ones who feel uncomfortable with (gay) sex. 

So after my rambly start how about I write what it's actually about? 
15 years old Charlie de Sousa was adopted to the Poulton family when he was two years old. He loves Kate and Reg, they are his parents as much as Fliss and Andy are his older siblings (Bliss is adopted as well, Andy is Reg's son from his first marriage). The Poultons have given a home to other kids in the past and now they are about to have a family discussion about two challenging kids - Leo and Lila Hendry.  

Charlie's life is the same as most teens. He has a "love-hate" relationship with his 20 years old bigger sister and he idolizes his biggest brother Andy. He has his little circle of friends at school (though they are all girl) and he have a hard time with a few seniors who taunt him about being gay. Though it's obvious to charlie he is in fact gay, he isn't really to come out just yet. He's a good kid, the silent artistic kind. He is sensitive, sweet and giving so it's no wonder that Leo's walls crumble around him when he looks into his brown eyes. 

Leo and Lila have been though hell together and they aren't actually over it even if they are far away from the person who hurt them. There is no timeline to exactly how long it's been, but probably not very long.. Their abusive father has killed their mother in front of their eyes and then burned the house down while they were still in it (hiding in the closet). Leo has always been protective of his younger sister. He has made his best to take her out of any dangerous situation concerning his father and now that they are on their own it's the same. So when they arrive at the Poultons he makes sure everyone knows his part. 

Leo is a troubled 15 years old which is no wonder. He got into fights in the previous school he was at, he smokes (cigarettes and weed), he drinks and he skips school. That without mentioning his "bad temper" or rather the fact that nothing seems to affect him. Yet Charlie does somehow. Kate and Reg HOPE that Charlie's good nature would be a good influence on Leo and they couldn't expect what actually happens between the two. As they spend more time together they both fall for one another. It takes time for both of them to learn to trust each other but when it DOES happen they each put their best effort to protect one another. So when Charlie makes a mistake and Leo defends him all hell breaks lose which puts Leo in the worse possible place he can be. Now it's time for the Poulton family to decide what to do with an explosive teenage boy who might actually dangerous to their family which is the one thing they can't accept. 

I could say so much more about Leo and Charlie. But also about the so realistic connection between Andy Fliss and charlie, as well as how tender and loving Leo is to his 6 years old little sister. I could talk about Kate and Reg and how perfect they were for all of these kids. I could mention a disability that was handled beautifully. There is so many touching moments in this book with ALL of the characters even Wayne "the junky". I loved that though this book isn't very long we got so many realistic relationships. So much emotion, caring and love with a background of such horrific experiences. 

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. As all of Garrett's books are. Yet this one IS different and not just because it's YA, it's gives so much hope in the most unexpected places. 

Read on:
9 October 2017

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