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Raise It Up

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Secrets can only stay buried for so long before they poison everything. But dragging them into the light is never easy—and it isn’t something Cyrus Hood can do alone.

Amidst the atmosphere of suspicion brought on by the Cold War, Cyrus struggles to keep a lid on his family’s dark secrets, like the reason for his little brother, Charlie, being “not right in the head” and his
ebook, 350 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Harmony Ink Press
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Raise It Up is set in a small Michigan town in the fall of 1980. Ronald Reagan will be assuming office soon and Bob Seger's Night Moves and Rod Stewart's Da Ya Think I'm Sexy still get a lot of radio play. To Cyrus (Cee Cee) Hood's parents, Reagan will usher in the One World Government, signaling The End Times. His deeply Catholic mother hates all the Vatican II changes and his father is a firm believer that the Holocaust never happened. But as Cee Cee thinks: "Whether all of it was true or not— ...more
Lisa The Novel Approach
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this novel. I have never read this author before, but I must tell you that I will be remedying that in the near future, as I have already begun to check out his backlist. Nick Wilgus writes with a truly distinctive voice—one which is genuine, compelling and rich in emotion. Raise It Up is not an easy story to read. With physical and sexual abuse running as concurrent themes, and restrictive religious overtones, you will be constantly amazed at how our hero, Cyrus, manages to survi ...more
I almost passed on reading this latest Nick Wilgus book. I adore this author, but his books are, almost always, quite a few Kleenex for me. My good sense won out however, because I knew if I didn't read it I would regret it. An author who can bring out the kind of emotions that this one can has to be treasured because he makes me feel. Society today, with all of its advances, its reliance on technology, its social media obsession (of which I am one of the faithful), has generated more and more d ...more
Mickie Ashling
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 + Stars. I was prepared to shed a few tears, judging from my past experiences with this author, but Raise It Up knocked it out of the park. Wow. This is the story of Cyrus Hood, one of five kids living under horrible conditions caused primarily by an abusive father. Instead of being crushed by it all, Cyrus manages to hold it together, until his mother dies. Then everything unravels.

This isn't your typical YA novel. The author has created an astonishing character in Cyrus Hood, a brave young
Jeff Davault
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Solid read, but not for the squeamish due to the slow reveal of all the abuse dealt out over the course of our young lead's life. It ends on a solid note of closure regarding those events, and with questions left open if the author chooses to write a companion piece.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: angsty
Nick Wilgus never fails to make me cry
This book definitely has hard hitting themes, so if you can't read about abuse - physical and sexual - then it's not the book for you.

We follow Cyrus, who has a really shitty home life. His mum has just died, his dad is an alcoholic who abuses the kids, his older brother is the only person bringing in money, and he pretty much has to care for his younger siblings - one of which is 'not right in the head' ...because of reasons (that are spoilers)

On top of this he is a teenage boy coming to terms
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Well, when I review a book, I the first thing I look at is characters. If I feel connected to them. These were heartbreaking characters and I don’t know how anyone that reads this book couldn’t feel them. The story definitely brought tears, many times. Very well written.
4 stars!

Raise It Up is an heartbreaking story, that takes place in 1980 and has characters you're bound to love and feel lots for!

It's the story of Cyrus Hood, a 15 year-old boy who, even though he knows it is sinful, can't help but have feelings for his friend, Oliver Kowski.

“I loved Oliver. That was the truth of it. Loved him desperately. But… it was wrong. It wasn’t just that I would go to hell. It was that people like George and everyone else would think I was a pervert.”

Cyrus' family lif
Rynn Yumako
Sep 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt-ya, mm, drama, historical
Jesus Christ was this sad and depressing.

Beautiful writing, great tone, but it was incredibly difficult to get through because of the horrible subject matter. It was unsettling, fucked-up and there seemed to be no respite to the pain Cyrus was subjected to. The author didn't shy away from anything, even at times I kind of wish he did, especially in the beginning. Reading about kids being abused in any way always makes me furious and here it was especially true.

Cyrus was just a sweetheart, trying
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Its not nice to make comparsions, but after the first sides of this story I had to think about one of my favorite movies "Gilbert Grape". The relationship between Cee Cee and his brother Charlie is wonderful and one of the main parts of this story. Beside this there is Oliver and its very well told by Nick Wilgus how the relationship between him and Cee Cee slowly developed.
It is not a pure love story, because Cee Cee has to deal with much more than with his first great love. This is heartbreak
Russell Sanders
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With Raise It Up, author Nick Wilgus has presented finely drawn characters, a plot full of twists, and enough food for thought to feed our brains for days. He tells the story of fifteen-year-old Cyrus Hood, a boy who, when the story begins just before Christmas of 1979, has endured the sudden death of his mother and the lunacy of his abusive father. Wilgus guides us through Cyrus’s life over the next year or so as the boy tries to keep his torn family together and make some sense of the events h ...more
Heather Rawlins
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and it’s my favourite book of the year so far. I actually had to look up when the Cold War was and I lived during part of it and I’m sure we discussed in school. I remember learning about bomb shelters and I didn’t know that people didn’t believe in the holocaust until the last 20 years or so. It definitely was a great story reading a perspective of a kid in a time I actually grew up in too, but from a point of view I just never knew. And that’s one of the great things about thi ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, y-a
Wow, this was quite a read! The main character in this book is a 15-year old boy who is trying to hold his terribly dysfunctional family together. He himself has been the subject of abuse by his father, witnessed a horrible crime also committed by his father, knows that he is gay and saw his mother die from a heart-attack when she saw him wearing her lipstick and one of her dresses. So, needless to say this is a gritty, sometimes hard to read story (with a few tears) and my heart just ached for ...more
Alec Clayton
This is a compelling read. I could not wait to get to the end and yet did not want to finish it, because I didn't want it to be over. The protagonist, Cyrus, called Cee Cee by his friends, is a 15-year-old gay high school student raised by strict traditional Catholic parents. Taught from an early age that being gay is a mortal sin, he is ashamed and fearful. And that is just the beginnings of his problems. The abuse he and his brothers and sisters must endure and overcome are almost unimaginable ...more
Duane Colwell
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I simply loved this book. Absolutely wonderful. Cee Cee is such a wonderful kid, you can't help but love him. I hated to see the story come to an end. This is the first book of Mr. Wilgus that I have read, but I can assure you, before I do anything else, I'll be checking out all of his other books.

Update. I enjoyed it so much, I read it again. It was just as great the second time. Highly recommended.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-young-love
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Christie-Erickson
Definite must read!

I was very skeptical of this book when I first started reading it. It was because it's not the usual type of book that I would read. This book definitely pulls at the heart strings. I fell in love with Cyrus and Charlie almost immediately. I could not put this book down and found myself deep into this book losing track of time. Great story line.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always Nick Wilgus has such an individual voice. Love his stories and this one is no exception. While it was not my favorite its one of the few books on my shelves that I finished and that's saying something - it certainly kept my interest and attention.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, favorites
Heartbreaking. Amazing.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay
Great story, though I found the writing a bit too simplistic and I wished Oliver's interest in Cyrus wouldn't have been as sudden as it didn't feel authentic considering the rest of the story.
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I sold my first short story to The Horror Show Magazine at the age of seventeen and I've been writing ever since. An award-winning movie was based on my first novel, MINDFULNESS AND MURDER, and I was also nominated for a Lambda Award.

A former newspaper editor and author of more than a dozen novels and two screenplays, I currently live in Tupelo, Mississippi right down the street from the house wh
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