themadpoker (themadpoker) wrote in bookish,

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Book Review: Saints of Augustine by P. E. Ryan

Summary (from back of book):

Sam and Charlie used to be best friends. But then Sam cut Charlie out of his life - no explanation, no discussion, nothing.

Fast-forward one year, and both Sam's and Charlie's lives are spiraling out of control. Sam has a secret he's finding harder and harder to hide, and Charlie is dealing with an increasingly absent dad and a dealer whose threats are anything but empty. Now, during the sticky Florida summer before their senior year, the ex-best friends are thrown together once again when they have no one else to turn to.

My Thoughts (Spoiler avoidant so carry on)

-makes flaily hand motions- Charlie and Sam! They are awesome!

I had to keep closing the book because Sam kept being stupid and underestimating the people who love him (to be fair, he had me convinced which is why I kept retreating because I kept being afraid with him). I think Sam gave me trouble because I identified too strongly with how he was feeling so I spent alot of time going 'eep! I am going to cover my eyes until I can convince myself to peek through my fingers to see what happens next'.

Charlie though, Charlie is my boy. I mean, okay, he was stupid sometimes too but not in the same way Sam was. He was stupid in terms of making bad decisions, most of them before the novel began. Sam was stupid because he was afraid and didn't trust people as much as he should. I have some experience with both but I could sympathize more with Charlie's situation. I know exactly how it feels to screw up somewhere and then keep on screwing up till it feels like your life is an utter mess and there really isn't too much you can do to fix anything (which could be used to describe Sam's situation too. Huh. I think maybe I'm bad at this whole identifying differences thing).

Oh whatever, I love Charlie best because he was so supremely awesome at the end of the novel and he deserved cookies and balloons for his behaviour. I want a friend like Charlie.

Saints of Augustine has two beautifully convincing narrators and a strong message about being brave enough to confront your problems honestly. It's a completely absorbing read which I'd feel comfortable recommending to anyone 13 and above. Maybe younger if you've got a mature kid. Two thumbs up P.E. Ryan, I'll be keeping an eye out for your books in the future.

I recommend this book for: People who like novels with a strong friendship component to them (comme moi!), books with not just one but two well developed male character voices, anyone who likes books that are straight up awesome.

Rating: B+

Crossposted to yalitlovers as well as my book reviews blog
Tags: category: young adult, review, xxx author last name: r-z

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