Series: Letters to the Lost #2
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN 13: 9781681190143
Published: May 2018
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Related Reviews: Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost #1)
Onto the second book I read in a day (but scheduled the review for the day after), we have the same characters, but the focus has moved to Declan’s best mate, Rev, who is the adopted son to two wonderful human beings.
Rev was abused as a child. His mother died close to his birth, and his father was a leader in a church… taking his beliefs to the level of starving and beating Rev into obedience. He was home schooled, never saw a doctor, the works. It’s only when his hand is held on the hot plate of the stove and his arm then broken in his struggles when he tries to run away from home, and his neighbour finally witnesses him vomiting, hurt, and absolutely petrified of his father.
His adoptive parents are beyond lovely and patient. When he first comes to them he can’t sleep for fear his father will come for him, and he’s also been raised to think black people are evil… but through their kindness and intelligence he slowly begins to trust and understand just how many things his father was wrong about. That was all when Rev was about seven.
In this novel he’s now eighteen. The laws restricting his father from him fell away along with his status as a minor, and within weeks of his birthday he receives a letter and then emails from his former-father. As if that isn’t enough his parents have taken in another child – something he’s generally used to – but instead of being a baby or kid it’s now a young teen, who has also been through hell to the point of grabbing a knife for protection and staring at people while they sleep.
Rev also has to be there for his mate who wants to go visit his father in jail for the first time, and then the girl he’s only just met is getting harassed online for being a gamer and her parents are getting a divorce. It’s all going on, and Rev is getting more and more worried he’ll turn out exactly like his father, and hurt the ones he loves.
Through this novel we see people who need lessons and patience in how to view a situation from eyes not their own, and give trust for people from the outside to reassure them that they are not bad, and everything will be okay. The hardest thing is understanding that some people out there aren’t just bad, they’re also misguided into thinking that they really are doing the best for the people they love – and that kettle of fish is so much harder to deal with.
This is a beautiful and hard book, and you just have to focus on the fact there are good people out there, instead of those who are really quite shit. The poor kids in this book. We just need more like Rev and his parents.