I needed a day to try and gather my thoughts. Process. I still don't think I can express the right combination of words in my review on why this book should be read.
Because it should be. It's not for everyone. It definitely has triggers, hard limits some won't cross.
I didn't cry but I was taken on a journey of emotions - ripped from anger to sadness to hope to utter devastation.
A lot of it.
For a first time writer, this author got the job done. This is a book first time writers should dream about writing - a book that will force the reader to feel something. Let it be horror-that child abuse could happen so easily on everyone's doorstep and nothing was done, or anguish-for a bitter(sweet?) ending or grief-you'll need to read to understand, I'm struggling not spoil.
My sincerest kudos to the author.
The story is not without flaws but there's beauty to be found in the imperfections. It's not just an abuse book. It's not just a story without a HEA. It's more than that.
The in between. Oh God, that was like a symphony.
Rick and Kevin and their love. What they did for one another? *stares and just smiles*
What they meant to one another? The care, the friendship.
How to describe Violence Begets?
It was sorta like Voldemort choosing Harry as his equal and taking him under his wing, if they were the same age.
Add in some Romeo and Juliet but nix the chick and make it another Romeo.
Put in a heavy dose of mindfuck.
And sprinkle some Mean Girls: Bullying Boys edition.
"Violence Begets" will put the reader through the wringer. I find myself relating to the main characters in certain aspects, they were so well written.
Rick is sixteen, recently moved from California and now lives with his father, his step-mom and little sister in Salt Lake City, Utah. His father hates him and blames the boy for the deaths in their lives. This creates a stigma for Rick. He's a loner and just wants to make until 18 so he can get out of there. He's selected though by the local alpha-long-bully, Kevin to join his bunch of "friends" or else.
But the story opens with a different side of Kevin. So it's jarring to put both side of him together. Then we get another part of him. Kevin recognizes his three sides or worlds and it's hard work to keep them separate. I get his need for control. But it comes crashing down. They start melding in with the excess of booze, drugs, power once he gets closer to Rick.
They were victims.
I don't even think there are names for the type of torture I would perform on the parents in this book. Because it would take time for me to plan out the exquisite forms of pain they deserve. They are lower than bottom feeders. If shit could birth shit that even shit would revile, that would be them. The stepmother Sylvia, as a doctor, to ignore what was going on in your home? Rick's father? Kevin's father? *smh* Thinking about them just makes my blood boil.
All of the characters were integral to the plot. The plot is suspenseful and certainly will remain in my mind for sometime. The 'gay for you' was really great BTW. Believable, internal struggle. The tone very true to YA and easy to read. The boys.
I love it when a freebie was a great read. I'd have paid for this. Mad I waited until now.
Finally I have a favorite book in the new year.
Not recommended for the faint of heart or those with triggers. If you need a happy ending, move on.
I have quotes and passages marked down but I'm not sharing because it'll give it away and they were just that good.
I'm moved. Grateful to read this book. And mourning for the boys.
Reflecting on the in-between, that's when I smile and remember their happiness.
This book earned every star I'm rating it. Every single one and then some.