He’s only four years younger than me, but I feel so much older, or maybe he feels so much younger. I used to think struggle was what aged you, but if that were the case, Julian should’ve been a hundred years old. Now I wonder if the opposite is true. Maybe instead of accelerating your age, pain won’t let you grow.
This was a painful read in so many levels. I actually cried reading the abuse young Julian experienced with his uncle Russell. This story is about friendship, pain, high school, and the loss of parents. The narration is done with two narratives. Julian and Adam. Julian is now living with his uncle Russell after the tragic death of his parents. He is experiencing that loss but also learning and social disabilities that everyone assumed was tied to his parents death but it becomes apparent that it is tied to the relationship of his sadistic uncle.
Adam has taken the role of assisting the school counselor with Julian’s struggles with school. They develop a friendship and Adam takes the role of protector when things do not seem right with Julian’s home life. In the end it all comes to Julian believing that he is loved and worthy.
It is hard to believe the Disney that I grew up with published this. Disney has come a long way to the liberal left. This book is geared towards young people but if I knew of this book and my children were interested in reading this, I would want to read it with them. Very heavy stuff! Heavy stuff that parents need to have conversations with their young adults. How to handle when a friend is abused by a parent or guardian. Also conversations about sex and expectations that each family have. Do I recommend this read? I would use extreme caution.
A Special Thank You to Disney Book Group and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.