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 dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives…



5 “my heart broke so many times” stars

I can’t believe this is a first work!

What I do believe is that Robin works with at-risk teens.

I read “A List of cages” based on all your recommendations that I’ve seen for more than one year.

After having read this story, which is a masterpiece by the way, there is something remarkable: the way Robin fleshes out her characters.

It was the first time that when reading about book characters I could imagine the author drawing them first to make them alive and ready to spring from the pages.
Julian looked like an anime character. Small, thin with huge eyes and mop of curly hair.

He was walking hunched, shoulders curled inside. Trying to be smaller, invisible. I pictured him like a mouse hiding from the big scary cat in a tight dark corner. Or a beaten dog curling on himself to protect his belly from hits.

Here is how Adam described Julian to his mom when he told her he had met him at school again:

“How did he look?”

“About the same.” Still small for his age, still too much black hair falling into huge round eyes. Only he seemed different in ways that would just worry her-too quiet, and flinching away like a skittish kitten when I got too close.

Adam would be all springy and lean with a perpetual smile attached to his face. Bright eyed, curious. Always moving as he suffered from ADHD. He had a solar personality, brightening any room he would enter. Adam was the one always helping others to cross the street, do homework, fetch the cat in the tree, listen to your sorrow. He radiated kindness and warmth. If he could have had a superpower it would be kindness.


I don’t want to write much about the plot which is simple as the story is above all else characters driven.

The topics broached in this story are really really hard. Julian is hiding a secret and Adam will regret not following his instinct. Not digging deeper. Not doing something.

At one point in the story, it was so hard for me to read what was happening that I skipped some pages near the end. I can read dark and twisted adult romance but I just couldn’t stand it. I could not read it without dissolving into tears. I JUST COULDN’T.
Julian is the epitome of kid you need to protect. I already know that I have the savior syndrome so I would have exploded the bad guy!! 

In spite of everything this is a luminous story. Mainly because it makes us realize that for every bad guy there are lots of good guys ready to help you like Adam’s great bunch of friends did.

“Nothing they’re doing hurts, but it feels as if something is tearing away the center of my chest. The cold is dissolving. Their hands are soft. Everything is quiet except the tears that are climbing from somewhere beneath my ribs. I’ve cried in pain and I’ve cried in fear, but these tears are different, deeper, like I’m breaking apart.”


Adam’s crew of friends added that “teen touch” to the story with their banter, their on/out love stories, their love for weird bands basically everything nowadays teenagers are experiencing in their lives.


The writing was effortless and Robin Roe has her own “signature”, writing in such a way that every word hits you in the chest be it to bring warmth or sadness.


I hope Mrs Roe will write another story because I am ready to read anything she’ll write. She just won one more fan with her sensitive and bright writing.


Have you read this story? Because you should! Or have you read other YA stories making you cry and sigh and …?

Thanks for reading!


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  1. OMG – you skipped??? Cheater! Just kidding, and I love a good book that draws me in enough to want to do that…The struggle is real or whether to do it or not, so I totally get it. I haven’t read her before, but this sounds like one I’ll have to read for sure and loved your review!

  2. It sounds like this was one emotional but also wonderful book! It takes a lot for an author to be able to handle such topics so well, and it sounds like the author does it spectacularly well. Thank you for letting me know about this one!

  3. This sounds so wonderful! I’m quite glad you had such a wonderful time with it. The fact that characters come to life is one of the best things ever too. I sort of giggled at the thought of them being seen as anime characters too. That’s cool hahahah

  4. I love it when an author can make the characters come alive like that. It does sound like a difficult book to read. I am not a fan of dark reads and sometimes skip parts too when things get too dark for me. But it does sound like it has an uplifting message and focuses on kindness too. Great review!

    1. It is not depressing AJ. Hard to read but Adam is such a solar personality that he won’t allow you to get depressed! Pinky promise 😉

  5. I do love a character driven story but it sounds like I would need to be in the right mood to take this one on. Of course, I’ll read this. Just needs to be the right time. How could I not after your thrilling review, Sophie:)

    1. Yes pick the right frame of mind and once you do read it holler and tell me all about it Laura! 🙂

    1. Trisy it IS awesome but as a mom you would need tons of tissues. And wine. And ice cream. And a shoulder to cry on…

  6. *adds this to her TBR*
    *backs out of room slowly so as not to disturb the other books*
    *hides in the kitchen to bake cookies*
    Thanks Sophie!! This book sounds amazing!! x

  7. Wow, I see you really like this book. If it wasn’t YA i totally would’ve picked it up too. But I just avoid YA like the plague lol

    1. Jacquie honestly you would have your tiny (or big) heart crushed LOL But it would be so worth it I swear!