In her debut, Roe tells the story of a friendship between two young men who will linger in the thoughts and minds of readers long after the final page is turned.
Told through alternating first-person narration, the story of 14-year-old Julian and his former foster brother, 18-year-old Adam, is equally heartwarming and heartbreaking. Five years after losing his parents in a tragic accident and being taken from a loving foster home to live with a cold and brutal uncle, Adam Blake quite literally walks back into Julian’s life. Plagued by antsy feet courtesy of his ADHD, Adam is happy to be assigned the job of escorting Julian to the counseling sessions that he’s been frequently skipping. Though both boys are thrilled to be reunited, there’s an uneasiness that lies between them. Reclusive and wracked with self-doubt, Adam quickly realizes that this Julian is much different from the one he used to know. Roe deliberately unspools her story, keeping readers wondering why Julian, who clearly desperately craves connection, keeps Adam at arm’s length. Emotion courses through every sentence of this novel, whether it is love, compassion, or bone-chilling cruelty. Julian and Adam are dark-haired but otherwise racially indeterminate.
A triumphant story about the power of friendship and of truly being seen. (Fiction. 14 & up)