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A List of Cages

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  23,485 ratings  ·  4,605 reviews
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodg ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Disney-Hyperion
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Amanda Definitely not middle grade, as it deals with some very heavy topics in detail. I think it's more suitable for older teens.…moreDefinitely not middle grade, as it deals with some very heavy topics in detail. I think it's more suitable for older teens.(less)
Shannon Fay I have a list of issue books that I really like. They aren't all exactly like this, where the kid is abused, but all of them have one thing in common:…moreI have a list of issue books that I really like. They aren't all exactly like this, where the kid is abused, but all of them have one thing in common: characters that you fall in love with, who are struggling with very real trauma (like abuse or eating disorders or whatever.)

I'll list them here, but I also keep a shelf of these tyes of books that I think are amazing, so I'll link that shelf at the end too.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins
What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard
Some Boys by Patty Blount
Faking Normal by Courtney C Stevens
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Reason to Breathe (and the 2nd and 3rd book in the series) by Rebecca Donovan
Girls in Pieces by Katherine Glasgow
Shatter Me (NOT a YA book) by Alex Grayson
Paperweight by Meg Haston
More than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Normal by Danielle Pearl
The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra ClareKing's Cage by Victoria AveyardCaraval by Stephanie GarberCarve the Mark by Veronica RothFlame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
YA Novels of 2017
1,095 books — 7,706 voters
Caraval by Stephanie GarberThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasWintersong by S. Jae-JonesGilded Cage by Vic JamesBlood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
YA Debuts 2017
215 books — 1,570 voters

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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,485 ratings  ·  4,605 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
wow. this book has one big emotional punch. it's gonna take me a few days to recover. i went into this book not knowing anything about it & i instantly added it to my list of favorite books when i finished it. ...more
chai ♡
I don’t know how a book can splinter in my mind with a haze of pain around it, make tears spring unbidden to my eyes and generally feel as though I was seeing into a bottomless well of anguish, but then, right when I thought the flint shell of my heart would crack, it hits me with a keen pang of hope and sets like a little ball of tingling warmth in the pit of my stomach.

A List of Cages is a beautiful, soul-crushing love letter to friendships that heal the broken pathways of your heart and hope
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, owned, ya
What an incredible, heart achingly beautiful story. This book surprised me by how engrossed I was. I cared for the characters immensely. I was sent this for review/ to do a sponsored video surrounding it by Disney Hyperion (thank you to them!) so stay tuned for a review and that video coming soon!!
Lala BooksandLala
This book just destroyed me.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
OMG!!!! This book was so horrible and so wonderful at the same time!

I loved all of these characters with the exception of a few choice adults.

Julian's freaking uncle, Russell!

For him I wanted to add all of the hulk smash, blowing up, gun shooting gifs I could find but I kept it nice. You will hate his guts if you read this wonderful book and find out what all he puts Julian through. I CAN'T EVEN, PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The book is told through Julian and Adam. It's not confusing just their diff
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
every once in awhile i am truly blown away by a story. i will read something that exceeds all of my expectations and more. the book will cause me feel a range of emotions that i didnt expect to experience. its a story that burrows itself deep into my heart. it doesnt happen often, but when it does, im left astounded. like i am this very moment.

this was very heavy for a YA contemporary novel, but i am so thankful for that. it shows that really tough things happen to young people. it shows that ev
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing

My heart.

While I understand this is not a perfect book, for me, it opened my eyes to the world of hard-hitting YA Contemporary writing, and for that, I will always be grateful.

I knew that I would struggle trying to write an adequate review of this book.

I just cannot express the way I feel about this one.

It was quite honestly one of, if not the most, moving story I have ever read. Amazingly well done and I feel it should be required reading.

The story follows two characters, Julian and Adam.

elena ❀
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I know what I think, but people don't want you to say what you think. They want you to say what they think. And knowing what that is isn't easy.

Mental health books are some of my favorites to read because they're so powerful and beautiful, capturing you in the struggled lives of the people suffering and living with this illness they have. Every book I've read that is labeled as a "contemporary mental health book" has been one I've loved, like and enjoyed. I haven't ended up disliking
Drcong O '
Honestly, don't touch me right now because MY EYES ARE A SWEATY MESS AND I DON'T EVEN CARE IF THAT SOUNDS EXTREMELY GROSS. I knew this book was going to be an emotional punch in the gut because everyone has been crying and raving about this. This book was heartbreaking from page one because my little Julian.

If you don't know already, I love sad, depressing, and heartbreaking books because I just love the suffering and pain sad books bring. But what I love most about "sad, depressing, and heartbr
Larry H
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

This book is at times harrowing and heartbreaking, at times hopeful. But what adds to this book's power is the fact that its plot isn't fantasy, and there are children dealing with these issues every day.

Life changed for Julian five years ago when his beloved parents died. He lived with a foster family until a relative took him in. He misses his parents every day, and this loss truly encompasses him, because they understood him, they supported his creativity, and made lif
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m numb. Mainly due to the part that I almost had to numb my feelings because of the injustice, the anger and the trauma that all takes part in this story. Partially numbing myself was the only way I could get through this story. The only way I was able to read so consistently, because once I started it, I latched on to the story. Or the story latched on to me.

It’s heartbreaking. Heart-wrenching.
Trigger warnings for psychological, physical and emotional abuse.

It was perfectly paired with goodn
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
2.5 Stars

“Hate ricochets, but kindness does too.”

This is a book that says some beautiful, important things, but uses an exploitive, painful abuse storyline to do so.

…okay. Bear with me. I know that’s a big statement, and I know the majority disagrees with me. But the whole time I read this… I just felt unsettled? The overwhelming focus is on the physical manifestations of abuse and very little on any healing? Sure, the narrative mentions healing, but the plot is just one horrible, horr
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I may have already found my top book of 2017, because I don't know how something will top this. So sad I didn't read this in time to include it in an OwlCrate box. It comes out on January 10th and I highly encourage everyone to pick it up! ...more

Out today!

(I received a free arc from Netgally in exchange for an honest review. This book comes out in January 2017.)

"I used to think that if I concentrated, I could make myself disappear. I don't believe that anymore, but sometimes I still have to try."

Trigger warning: (view spoiler)

Holy guacamole.

I think I've just been eaten by a giant blob of feels. This was one of easiest five stars I've given so far this year. This book is definitely the next big thing. Li
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a mistake to listen to this audiobook at a wedding.
Well not the actual wedding but the preparations for it, either way holding tears so relatives don't see you cry is the worst!
Irena BookDustMagic
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A List of Cages is not a book that grabs your attention immediately.
At least, it was not in my case.
I saw it’s cover on Netgalley, but didn’t pay much attention to it until I got an invitation to review it.
That invitation made me read what this story is actually about, and, since it sounded interesting and like something that could possibly make me learn something new, I decided to give it a try.
I am so glad I did! This book ended up as one of the best books I read in 2016, because of the powerf
An EXTREMELY emotional book. I cried like a baby, sobbed. Unfathomable what was endured. I NEED a follow up to this book, ten years from now, what happens, how are they coping as adults???
♛ may
Warning: Only read this book if you’re prepared for intense feelings of pain, anguish, and some awesomesauce friendship/brotherhood.

From the reviews I’ve read from my friends, I knew this book would be heartbreaking, but I didn’t expect it to be the rip-your-heart-out-of-your-chest-and-stomp-on-it-until-it-desingrates type of heartbreak.

. . . turns out it was.


The chapters switch alternatively between Julian ((my baby))’s perspective and Adam ((my baby)’s perspective. Julian needs to be pro
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars

Do you ever finish a book and know you're going to be thinking about it for a long while after? That's how I feel about this book.
The sentiments are so powerful, as is the story. I love that it was mostly about friendship and helping people through that. I LOVED both of these characters so much, especially Adam. He was a picture of unconditional love to Julian and I literally just teared up thinking about it.
Everyone was very right about this book - it's amazing and wonderful and real
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
This easily could have been an episode of Criminal Minds.

The amount of child abuse was a lot even for me. I sobbed through half of the book, and I'm not an emotional person.
I guess what made this even more brutal is the fact that Julian actually thought he deserved it and that it's normal. Like ?? Baby, no!
And the scene with the trunk? That was when I lost it completely.

I really want to look inside his uncle's mind. Yes, I would have killed him myself if I could, but he seemed so sick and twist
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
First and foremost, I loved the message of this book. It’s not often that you find a YA book that primarily highlights the meaning of friendship and kindness. It was refreshing to read a book that didn’t focus on romance. I absolutely loved Julian. He was an adorable cinnamon roll. The second half of this book is absolutely heartbreaking and I just wanted to give Julian a big hug.


My main critique with this book is the writing style. While there were some very meaningful and quotable exc
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book shook me! The best YA novel I have ever read. 👏🏼😭
Adam is serving as an aide to the school psychologist in his senior year and is looking forward to a period sitting around texting his friends. One day she asks him to go find a freshman who keeps dodging his appointments, Adam discovers that the boy is Julian, the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years and is ecstatic to see him again until he realises Julian is keeping secrets he can’t share with anyone...✨
To be
Aj the Ravenous Reader

An unexpected heartbreaking and yet inspiring read. A List of Cages is a story of an unusual friendship between an ADHD diagnosed senior superstar ( Adam) and a dyslexic freshman “nobody” (Julian). The story is told in their alternating perspectives and both their voices seem very genuine.

While Julian is timid and easily intimidated being a victim of domestic abuse, Adam is everybody’s darling. While nobody seems to like or care about Julian, everybody loves Adam which he doesn’t seem to notice
Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Disney Book Group and NetGalley.)

This was a YA contemporary story, about a boy with ADHD and his younger friend.

Adam cared for Julian in this story, and he certainly went above and beyond to try to keep him safe and to work out what was going on with him.

The storyline in this was about Julian being abused, and Adam trying to help him. The pace in this was pretty slow though, and I struggled to keep reading because I was so bored. Thing
Charlotte May
Another online order because I have no self control 😊😊😊😊😊
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story, heartbreaking that teaches you the power of kindness and friendship just heartwarming... BEAUTIFUL.
Its better get into the story with knowing nothing about it but...
Well, the two main characters are Julian a 14 year old kid that have Dyslexia and Adam a 18 year old senior who has ADHD.
Julian is shy, always frightened, kind of broken, he's afraid of everything( of talking, moving, Spider-Man movies EVERYTHING) he's in freshmen year of high school but every classmate makes fun o
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
"People heal a whole lot faster when they're with someone who loves them."

A List of Cages will be the most emotional book I read this year, I feel. It was painful. It was so damn good that I couldn't put it down. If you know me, you know I go to bed before 10pm every night without fail, I'll usually stop talking to you at 8:30pm as well. However, I was up until midnight finishing this book and crying into my pillow.

I've thought about this book for a week and I still can't possibly formulate
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
The beginning of this book I loved really and truly. The entire ending I had huge, giant problems with. The biggest one being that for the level of abuse and trauma that occurred- and it was major, probably the worst I've ever read- there's no way to write light into this story. For me (emphasis on personal opinion), it ended without an ending. The recovery from everything Julian went through would be in a way harder than the events, and we didn't get to see his recovery... hardly at all. There ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
EMOTIONS HOLY HECK. Video review to come!
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a powerful read. I'd highly recommend. RTC. ...more
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Robin Roe is the author of A LIST OF CAGES, named one of the Best YA Books of the Year by Buzzfeed, EpicReads, Goodreads & more.

Her new novel DARK ROOM ETIQUETTE will be out in 2022.


“Intense and visceral… an unforgettable story about trauma, resilience, and hope.” — Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

“Haunting, beautiful, and

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