Friday, August 3, 2012

{Review} "Son of Rage and Love" by Thomas Raymond


Title:  The Son of Rage and Love
Author: Thomas Raymond
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Publication Date:  May 21, 2012
Genre:  YA Fiction
Format:  Kindle 267 KB  |  Paperback 146 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Edition  |  Paperback
Synopsis from Amazon: 
12 Year-old Daniel used to run, jump, and climb on everything in sight. He played, laughed, made all kinds of noise, took things apart, and built new stuff from the pieces. Unfortunately for him, such acts of nonconformity can make inconvenient ripples on the smooth surface of wealthy suburban bliss. Years ago, Daniel was judged to have ADHD, and soon, "Pills fixed all that. They quiet most of my imagination, and the video swallows up whatever’s left." 

Nowadays, Daniel just wants a little adventure, a bit of unscripted life to clear up the fog of his mundane existence. Every aspect of his life is under strict control of a narcissistic Grandmother, and the minions she hires to run the house. Disillusioned with the "remoras" who worship his mother's money and fame, and certain his older sister is becoming one of them, Daniel has all but given up hope. "I've learned not to fuss . . . A fuss is a big mistake. . . . At least I am smart enough to just take the pill and wait for the fog to roll in." But years of heavy medication coupled with long escapes into video games have turned his world to grey, blurring his perception of reality versus fantasy.

When Daniel's mother adopts a 13 year-old, free-spirited orphan, the two boys become immediate friends and allies. The absolute authority of Grandmother is finally challenged. The ensuing struggle at once gives Daniel hope, but also threatens his sanity.


The Son of Rage and Love is the intense, at times disturbing story of one boy's quest to reclaim his own mind. In a place and time where the appearance of the perfect life is more important than freedom itself, where strong will and disruptive ideas are quickly medicated into quiet indifference, Daniel and his new brother try against the odds to sever the puppet strings for good.
Diving in...
This book really wasn't my cup of tea, but it was a short book so I went ahead and read it all and really it was a quick read.  I think that I am just not the target audience for a book like this.  Honestly, I think I am a little too old to appreciate it!  I really see it appealing more to a young pre-teen audience.

Here are my thoughts in no particular order.  I was annoyed that it's printed with no page numbers.  I don't know why it bothered me so much but it really did for some reason!   

This story is written from the first person perspective of a 12 year old boy.  I didn't feel like the voice was that of a 12 year old though.  I have a 12 year old daughter with a pretty artistic imagination, and so I know the age well.  I felt like it was an adult forcing their opinions of society through the mouth of a child, if that makes any sense.  The whole nonconformity thing was way above the thought process of most 12 year olds especially one who is supposedly in a fog from his ADHD meds.  I think this is what really pulled me out of the story.  I just wasn't buying a 12 year old as the narrator.

I think that overall the book was well written.  I liked the supporting characters, especially the adopted brother, Jean-Maurice. I don't know much about ADHD and I realize that Daniel was probably not suffering from ADHD.  It was just his Grandmothers way of controlling him, which was also weird, but I know that it happens all over the United States.  I did also like that Daniel did develop and mature from the beginning to the end of the story.  Jean-Maurice came in and really did change the whole family for the better and it had a nice positive ending.

Like I said, it wasn't my cup of tea, but I think it's something that younger kids would maybe enjoy.

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book, courtesy of the author, in exchange for my honest review.

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