During his senior year, Adam was assigned to be an aide for the school psychologist. At first, he had a lot of downtime, which was kind of hard to deal with (since he had ADHD), but he found small ways to keep himself busy. After all, he didn’t want to complain and end up with a much harder job. All of that downtime went away, though, when the psychologist asked that Adam become an escort for a student who kept missing/avoiding his appointments. As it turned out, the student was a freshman named Julian — and Julian actually used to be Adam’s foster brother! Adam was overjoyed, at first, to be reunited with Julian, but then he started to worry about the younger boy. Julian was much quieter and much more sullen than he used to be, and he didn’t seem willing to open up to Adam anymore. Adam wondered whether it was simply that Julian had changed a lot since they parted ways about five years prior, but he worried that Julian was hiding something about the “uncle” who took him in when he left Adam’s house.
Would Adam be able to reconnect with Julian to find out what, if anything, was wrong? Would he be able to, at the very least, get Julian to attend his appointments with the school psychiatrist and to open up to her?
While it is important to have “tough reads” like this out there — so some people will realize they are not alone in their suffering and others will be able to empathize with those who have suffered horrific abuses — I think it is important to warn people about the graphic descriptions of abuse in this book. I know there are far too many children who are living this horrible reality, but there is also no need to scar the emotionally immature tweens and teens who aren’t yet ready to learn about the darker side of humanity. (I would hand this to readers who could handle Living Dead Girl and The Lovely Bones.)