A List of Cages by Robin Roe

{Before getting into this review too deeply and forgetting about it eventually, I want to thank Robin Roe for her book with it’s message about friendship and the power of kindness. Thank you, Robin.}

What it is about- Adam and Julian, Julian and Adam. A fifth-grader and a second-grade-kindergartener as reading partners. When Adam hears about it, he still isn’t sure if it’s going to be fun or not really so, but then he get’s to know Julian.

“The boy assigned to me – Julian – looked like and anime character, with too much shiny black hair that fell just short of his enormous round eyes.”

Julian, the second-grader that has to take reading practice along with the kindergarteners,

“‘If you are a second grader, then why are you here?’ I asked. ‘I have dyslexia,’ he said. ‘I’m in Reading Improvement.'”

and Julian the most talented singer, the one that draws the best pictures. Julian, the happy kid.

“I can’t remember what Julian sang, but he was good. Not just little-kid-good, but really good.”

The two drift apart and find back together at a time in which too much has changed. There is no Julian, the happy kid.

“When he looked up, his enormous eyes were like glass, something reflective instead of animated. ‘Julian?’ I said.”

And they drift apart again only to find back to each other another time. That’s where the story begins.

“‘Julian?’ I spin around. And the moment seems to slow. […] He breaks into a grin. I glance around to find who he’s smiling at, but no-one is there. ‘It’ me,’ he says. ‘Adam.’

Adam’s and Julian’s, Julian’s and Adam’s. A friendship that is meant to be, but hard to accomplish. When Adam wants to help, Julian pushes him away as far as he can, refusing help that is desperately needed.

“I panic. ‘W-who are you calling?’ ‘The police.’ ‘No, don’t!’ I plead. […] ‘Please.’ He takes a deep breath. ‘Okay. Okay.'”

But their story grows and shows the power of kindness, of friendship, even in moments where there should not be hope or the slightest possibility of healing. While talking of loss and immense pain, Adam and Julian show, that there is always a way to work life out, taking it however it may come.

Why I picked this book up- I received this book as my February book of the month in my Bookish Box. Actually I didn’t plan on picking it up so soon, but after I had read Adam’s short review on it, I couldn’t help myself. I started reading it an hour later. About forty eight hours later I sat in my room crying, the book opened on it’s last page. And people, I want you to know that I have been in a reading slump since finishing the hours by Michael Cunningham a whole month ago. Yes, the book was that good. Buuuut, it’s time for my opinion only now.

How I liked it- This book and it’s message mean far too much to me. Kindness is a value I respect more than almost any other. Kindness has power just like hate does.

“Hate ricochets, but kindness does too.”

It did so much to me. I will never, never be able to feel how Julian felt, because little have I lost compared to what he has suffered through, but I can understand now. I understand as much as a person who did not live through it can and the loss of a person is something we all have experienced.

“It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.”

Especially this quote makes me remember a special member of my family that has passed away when I was only five. Five, an age that you can already, but far from enough, remember. I am said to look like him, be like him. I am said to have his eyes and hair and humor and music talent. It is more than just sad knowing that you shared so much with someone you barely had the chance to get to know. But I know, he would be so proud of me and that is everything one needs. 

Even under the message this book can put in an appearance. And a good one it is. With a simple and easy-to-get-into writing style Robin Roe tells the story that is other than the writing a lot more difficult on every level. The characters, to get to them are all their own individuals and there are a lot of them. A lot. There is none of them taken less care of than another one. They have their very own opinions, strong opinions and that’s a good thing. Another thing about this book is that it is so fast paced you probably have to calm yourself down. Fast readers will most likely read it in one sitting, but let me tell you, A List of Cages deserves more than a few hours of your time. It deserves all your time and after and even while reading you should set it down for a moment now and then to think, just do it and thank me afterwards.

To come to and end, this book is a book for everyone. Adults just as teens, as it’s a young adult novel, but it’s far more than that, so don’t let that make you shy away from picking it up. But above all it is a book to talk about. A book to one’s characters should look up. And I wish it all the luck on the big bad book market. It deserves to be admired, read, hugged and loved. Just as it deserves to be presented from one person to another, not obligatory for a birthday or another yearly festive, but just like that. Out of kindness, because this is what it is supposed to teach. The Power of Kindness.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

a spoiler-free review of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller follows…

What it is about- Everyone knows him, the hero of the greek, the fallen one. And with his Name they know his tale, the one of Young Achilles, half-god and half-human, Born to be a hero, died as one. But there is another Boy, one only few know, one just as much of a hero as his companion. A Young Boy who bad things have happened to, banned from home by his father, sad and rather lonely.

I would have no parents, no family name, no inheritance. […] This was how I came to be ten, and an orphan. This is how I came to Phthia.

Until the lifes of both collide and for them both nothing will ever be what is was again.

He yawned, his eyes heavy-lidded. “What’s your name?” […] “Patroclus.” It was the name my father had given me, hopefully but injudiciously, at my birth, and it tasted of bitterness on my tongue. “Honor of the father,” it meant. […] He rolled onto his side to face me. A stray lock of Gold fell half into his eyes; he blew it away. “My name is Achilles.” I jerked my chin up, an inch, in bare acknowledgement. We regarded each other for a moment. Then he blinked and yawned again, his mouth cracked wide as a cat’s. “Welcome to Phthia.”

The Song of Achilles is a Tale of Gods and Godesses, Kings and  Queens, Immortal fame…


“Name one hero who was happy.” I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason’s children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus’ back. “You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward. “I can’t.” “I know. They never let you be famous AND happy.” He lifted an eyebrow. “I’ll tell you a secret.” “Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this. “I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”
“Why me?” “Because you’re the reason. Swear it.” “I swear it,” I said, lost in the high color of his cheeks, the flame in his eyes. “I swear it,” he echoed. We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.

…and the human heart…

“He is mortal,” she says. “And mortals die.” “I am mortal!” he screams. “What good is godhead, if it cannot do this? What good are YOU?” “I know you are mortal,” she says. She places each cold word as a tile in a mosaic. “I know it better than anyone. I left you too Long on Pelion. It has ruined you.” She gestures, a flick, at his torn clothing, his tear-stained face. “This is not my son.” His chest heaves. “Then who is it mother? Am I not famous enough? […] And who else? Send them before me. I will kill them all!”.

It tells the story of the rise and fall of two heros, one known for it, famous, the  other one not. But above all it tells the tale of two lovers, who fought to be together until their last breath and after. After all it is a tale of love and what we are willing to sacrifice for it.

Why I picked up this book- The Song of Achilles was recommended to me by two of my dear book-companions Tringa and Morgaine. And then, because I fully trust them and because it was said to be an emotional Story, I ordered it this summer, took it to London with me and read it.

How I liked it- This will be the messed up part. I finished this book over a week ago but it’s still hurting me and when I see it lying around in my room, I pick it up and hug it to my chest. I like to Keep it Close These days though I have finished it, i always have it around. I would have never picked up this book myself. I don’d usually read a lot of historical fiction and I’m not a huge fan of it but.. this BOOK! Everything about it is just precious: 1) It actually makes you learn something. 2) Every Character is absolutely amazing. 3) The writing style. The writing is one of the most beautiful things in this book. It is so poetic. I just died every second sentence.Okay, so yes, I liked this book. I liked it so so much I’ll never let it leave my heart and my copy of it is already so worn out. I underlined in it and it had a dog-eared page and honestly, I just don’t care. For me it gets even more beautiful with every single crack in the spine, every dog-eared page. So, whoever you are and whatever book-genre you like, read this one because it’ll make you grow mentally, it’ll do something to you and that’s why it’s so prechious and everyone should read it. Okay, so my Job is done now, I’ll go hug my book again now. Writing this review made me cry and while I’m being emotional you go run and to the next bookstore and get this book. We’ll talk again when you’ve finished reading it and are emotional unstable, just like me. GO GET IT!