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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,733 ratings  ·  435 reviews
Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn’t fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden’s father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked nation
ebook, 352 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,733 ratings  ·  435 reviews

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Sue (Hollywood News Source)
“This is why I hate when people tell me I don’t know how you’re surviving—because that implies you get a choice. What do they think, you’re actually going to die? Because that’s not how it works. You don’t get an escape into nothing.”

An authentic, emotionally devastating book about abuse and faith.

I picked up Conviction a few months ago and during that time I wasn’t genuinely feeling it. But out of the blue, I decided to pick it up again. This time, the magic finally work. It is one of the wises
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book knocked. Me. Over.

The emotional depth of the characters and their emotional journeys is incredible, the writing is beautiful without feeling purple or pretentious (there was a paragraph about pitching that actually gave me real-life chills), and the integration of life and baseball is spot on and resonant. This book hurt me in the best way--it was so deep and heart-wrenching and totally riveting. Five RESOUNDING stars.
Stacey Lee
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored Conviction. It had me turning pages well into the night. Braden's father, a popular radio minister, is accused of the murder of a policeman. Braden's brother, estranged from the family, comes to watch over Braden while the father is on trial. Baseball is the thing that grounds Braden during the tumult, not only giving him his sense of identify, but ultimately providing metaphor for his life choices. Gilbert writes with tenderness and authenticity, inviting the reader to share ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Conviction was actually a surprise to me. I was very lucky to receive and ARC of this from Hyperion. I wish I could have quoted some of this book but since its an unedited/corrected copy I decided not too. So I'll just get straight into the review.

I have a hard time relating too a male's POV. This wasn't at all an issue for me when it came to reading this. With the book starting out earlier in his life and sliding into what his situation became it made it a lot easier for me to get into his sto
I.W. Gregorio
May 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had the words to describe how gripping this book is. How well-written, deftly plotted and emotionally devastating. It's been a long time since I've read such deftly drawn and deeply human characters. I agree with the others who have said: This should win awards. ...more
Jessica Taylor
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
CONVICTION is simply one of the most compelling books I've ever read. It's the kind of writing that grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let me go, the kind of book where it was late at night and I kept telling myself just One. More. Page. Braden's voice is authentic and heartbreaking. The way baseball operates as metaphor throughout the story is executed with skill I don't believe I've ever encountered. The relationship between Braden, his father, and his brother is complex and subtle, building to s ...more
Hot damn. I just stayed up til 2 am reading this, so hopefully I'll have more coherent thoughts in the morning. And also I'll feel less like I was just punched in the stomach. ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fearless-15ers
Heartfelt, multi-layered, and not afraid to deal with BIG questions, Kelly Loy Gilbert's CONVICTION leaves the reader with so many things to think about. I love the complexity of the characters, the honest portrayal of faith, and the relationships that form, grow, and develop throughout the novel.

Also, there's baseball.

CONVICTION is a homerun for any YA reader. (Sorry. I couldn't resist. Plus, it's true.)
Marci Curtis
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had the absolute pleasure of reading this book recently, and IT. IS. INCREDIBLE. Clear, developed, authentic voice? Yes. Beautifully drawn characters? Yes. Compelling plot that surprises, keeps you guessing, and hooks you from the very first page? Oh YES:

Baseball champ Braden is thrown the biggest curveball of his life when his Christian-talk-show-host father is arrested for the murder of a police officer. His father's arrest not only prompts Braden's older brother, Trey, to return home, but a
Braden's baseball "pitcher think" and standards of honor on and off the game field gave me the impetus to continue with this book. Those core points framed the book and were much the best components. His intelligence, common sense and strong senses of loyalty and individual spirit held the plot (sometimes confusing to actual details)together on a path of interest.

Otherwise, it was much the standard and extremely common (since 2010 endemic)- family dysfunction, young person in terrible angst dish
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Whoa. This is a hell of a book. Unpredictable, painful, dangerous, and so well-written that no easy answers are possible. It also captures, maybe more than anything I've read since Bastard Out of Carolina, the desperation, crippling anxiety, and shame known by abused children (and adults). ...more
Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it
**This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review**

Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars

I wasn't expecting to get caught up in this story as much I was, especially because I was in the middle of reading a really good book series. However, I felt that if I didn't read it now, I might not ever get to it. And I'm pretty glad I did.

First off, I wouldn't label this a Christian book, although there are themes of religion and Christianity involved. Being raised in a Christian church and going to
Trigger warnings: domestic violence, emotional abuse, homophobia.

I.......did not like this book. I didn't even really want to read this book. But it was for book club, so I did.

I've seen a lot of people talking in their reviews about the baseball metaphors and how well it all worked. I know nothing about baseball. I have zero interest in baseball. To be perfectly honest, I skimmed over a lot of the baseball stuff because I gave zero fucks about it. Maybe if I'd paid more attention, I would have
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

A gripping story that tells of one boy’s struggle to understand who he is and where he came from. Conviction is one of those books that will resonate with its audience on so many levels. Kelly Loy Gilbert has created a novel that provides readers with a relatable protagonist, deals with many issues that need to be explored and uses baseball as an amazing analogy to tie it all together.

Braden, the main character in Conviction, is a teenage boy who appears to be an a
Lee Kelly
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got a sneak peak at Kelly Loy Gilbert's upcoming title, and it absolutely WOWED me. Compulsively page-turning, CONVICTION is the examination of one family's dynamics in the wake of a crisis that has rocked their faith (in every sense of the word).

Gilbert's characters jump off the page -- her main character Braden has a voice that is both accessible and startlingly poignant -- and her supporting characters (particularly brother Trey and Braden's father, one of the most complicated characters I
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
CONVICTION is the kind of story that holds onto you and won't let go. The characterization is flat-out brilliant. The plot is rich with tension and conflict, and keeps you turning pages well after you should have gone to bed. And if you know anything about baseball -- or sports mentality in general -- you'll realize how perfectly accurate Kelly Loy Gilbert's descriptions are.

It's a beautifully written book that will leave your stomach in knots and your heart in your throat. It's unforgettable.
Maya White-Lurie
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Though the characters are unlikeable (and in Braden's case moronic), the writing was initially tight enough for me to be drawn in. Unfortunately, the story falls apart at the end and no characters develop. Also, this could have gone without all the heavy-handed baseball metaphors. A few would have been fine, but they distract from the story. ...more
Kim Liggett
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-must-read
Poignant, gutsy storytelling. Stunning writing. Characters that will stay with you & take up residence in your heart. I'm officially a fan of Kelly Loy Gilbert. ...more
Ashley Blake
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqiap
Oh my god oh my god this book, y'all this book. So beautiful. So...jeez. Honest. Heartbreakingly honest. ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!

Warnings for Conviction: suicide attempt; gaslighting; physical, emotional, medical abuse of a child; toxic masculinity; racism; homophobia

Upon finishing Conviction, I loved it. The experience was deeply emotional and took a lot out of me as it painted a complex picture of a teen who’s been brainwashed, gaslit, abused, etc. by his racist, fake-Christian dad.

After thinking on it for a while, I now despise Conviction and its bad case of White Boy Plight. My
Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader)
Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader!

Conviction is a haunting examination of a family in crisis after a single, gruesome event catapults three people into the spotlight and forces them to confront the secrets that have long brought them together and torn them apart. Between his mother’s abandonment, his father’s volatile temper and his older brother estrangement, sixteen-year-old Braden Raynor’s life has always been one of turmoil, dysfunction and, fa
Amanda B
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, read-in-2015
I am blown away by this debut novel. On one hand it moves so slowly, so intimately, so very in the point of view of the main character, Braden. But despite this measured, careful pace I felt on the edge of my seat for most of the book. Like Braden I analyzed every gesture and word of the people around him--sometimes I figured something out before Braden did, other times he surprised me by later filling in backstory that revealed the subtext of what had just happened.

Most of all, I was relentless
Lori Goldstein
This book could turn me into a baseball fan. And for those who know me, they know what an incredible feat that is! This book is about a high school pitcher and it's about baseball, but it's also not about baseball. It's about a family struggling to be a family. It's about working hard for what you want in life and where that can lead you. It's about challenging what you believe and becoming the person you want to be versus who you are told to be. It's weighty stuff, yes, but it's told in a voice ...more
Charlotte Huang
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are books that I admire for beautiful writing or a skillfully developed, intricate plot. Then there are books that I can't put down because the characters feel so real and relatable that I get completely invested in their stories. Conviction is the rare book that manages to be both. I was lucky enough to get to read this before it came out and I can't recommend it highly enough. Conviction explores complex relationships and social dynamics without resorting to easy, neat answers. The concl ...more
Kara Babcock
I got asked a lot about why I was teaching Lullabies for Little Criminals because it is such a dreary book. Why teach something that is so raw, so traumatic? Why can’t I find something more uplifting? And hey, I’m not saying I’ll never teach a fun or funny book. But I like YA that is raw, because that’s real. Growing up is hard. This is an idea we might pay lip-service to as adults, but it’s a truth the shape of which we tend to forget as we get older. I like to think this is because we’re e ...more
Richie Partington
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: CONVICTION by Kelly Loy Gilbert, Hyperion, May 2015, 352p., ISBN: 978-1-4231-9738-6

“Alex is a senior and he plays second base for La Abra, so I’ve played against him all my life. La Abra churns out good players, Latino kids who make you wonder if they’re lying about how old they are, but Alex is just mediocre and I wouldn’t think much of him if it wasn’t for this: despite his .249 average, he’s not an easy guy to strike out, and I’ve never been able to figure out why.
I’ve talked
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was a home run! Gilbert is a young writer to keep our eyes on future publications. She is a very talented, sensitive writer building emotions in the protagonist and reader. Heartfelt and raw prose with sad, damaged souls and outcomes. No one is a winner in this game of life, family, parenthood, and truth.
Set in the Central Valley of Northern California, Braden Raynor is sixteen and a baseball pitcher prodigy. He pitched a perfect game. His father, Mart, is a former pitcher and Braden'
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my absolute favorite books that I read last year. It's a devastating and brutally honest story that explores the meaning of faith and family. I couldn't get it out of my head long after I read it: it made me cry, it enraged me, and it left me hopeful. The story features religious elements and baseball which I wasn't too sure about since I don't respond well to either. But the writer weaves both into the story so beautifully and brilliantly that I don't see how the story could wor ...more
Linda Owen
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The worst thing about this book is the cover. It is not at all inviting and really doesn't indicate much about the contents.
The main character, Braden, is close to his father, who is a manipulative former baseball player,a radio preacher, and a very conservative Christian. The two share a fascination for baseball and a lot of the baseball action relates to the thoughts and situations. Braden's father is arrested for murder and Braden is the only living witness. Will he tell the truth or save hi
Bec Bec
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
So, I usually don't write any kind of review because I'm not very good at it. But I was so against this book for the first half that I think it deserves one.
I really felt like the first and second half were two completely different books. The beginning moved so slowly and was so focused on religion and baseball that I almost put the book down and moved on but, I am so glad I didn't. The remainder of the book was focused on the trial and how it was impacting Braden and his brother, Trey. There w
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Kelly Loy Gilbert is the author of CONVICTION and PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT (Disney-Hyperion, spring 2018). She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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