Reviewed by Caroline and Cinnamon
TITLE: Finding Home
AUTHOR: Garrett Leigh
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 178 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2017
How do you find a home when your heart is in ashes?
With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.
Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.
Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him—except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.
Garrett Leigh is the master of grabbing our heart and squeezing it to the max. What a story. This is definitely not an easy ride, so if you are in for some light and fluffy, this book is not for you. On the other hand if you are up for some powerful writing, a gripping story with an emotional rollercoaster ride, unique characters and the promise of hope, Finding Home is a great choice. Leo’s journey is absolutely devastating and him finding a home with an amazing foster family gives an unforgettable tale of second chances and the power of true love in its best forms, be it romantic, friendly, brotherly and parental. We get all of them portrayed to perfection. I love how the writer can be so real and raw with feelings and human flaws. The brutal honesty and rawness shown here make this book truly emotional, heartbreaking and heartwarming.
Teaching and raising teenagers in real life make this topic and age group especially close to my heart. Being fifteen is not easy. Going through unthinkable, horrid, lifealtering events the way Leo ( and also Charlie) did makes it all truly unimaginable.
I love how the writer keeps the perfect balance. Nothing is overdone, overexplained but shown in a way that we all get to go through everything with our characters. I just wish there were more people like Kate and Reg in this world. All the secondary characters are unique and lifelike. I got attached to all of them and felt part of this mismatched collection of people who form a great family.
Leo and Charlie found their places in my heart and I hope you enjoy their story as much as I did.
There are only a few authors that I will read a YA novel from and Garrett Leigh is definitely on that list. Great writing and well thought and out and very real characters meant I was engrossed in Finding Home from the first page to the last.
Leo Hendry has been dealt a bum hand in life and has the troubles of the world on his very young and frail shoulders. He has seen, heard and witnessed things no child should ever have to and he has been left with physical and mental scars that bear witness to that journey. He has also been left alone in the world to take care of his younger sister and the care system is not proving to be his friend. Another move, another family and he finds himself in the Poulton household but his lethargy towards his situation does him no favours.
Charlie has had a very different upbringing from Leo. He is used to the different faces and characters going in and out of his family home but something about Leo draws him from the start. Like a moth to a flame he becomes entranced with the surly teenager and although neither of them realise it at the time a grounding of trust is building between them that might just end up saving Leo’s life.
Even as something builds between Leo and Charlie Leo’s emotions continue to spiral out of control. He is hurting and volatile and so at odds with the wold in general he appears unable to trust or reach out to anyone. The only person who has any chance is Charlie but he is hindered by youth and inexperience.
This is a very raw story that doesn’t hold back even though its characters are so young. It’s a heart-breaking account of what can easily go wrong and how sometimes it becomes so difficult to put right. Prepare to have your emotions pulled apart as Leo and Charlie embark on a journey that is painful and bleak but becomes hopeful and heartfelt.