Title: House Arrest
Author: K. A. Holt
Review: This first thing I noticed about this book was it is told in weeks over the course of a year, we meet the protagonist Timothy was is on probation after stealing some money. He has been court ordered to keep a journal which is what we are reading. Timothy doesn’t have the best home life with an absent father, overworked mother and very sick little brother; Levi. Timothy bounces between several emotions but the main ones are anger, sadness and humour which makes for some interesting reading. I was pleasantly surprised at the themes present in this novel which seem a little heavy for a middle grade novel.
As we approach the 1/4 mark in the novel we begin to see a rounded version of Timothy and how he is dealing with everything going on in his life at the present time. As we head into spring Timothy is staying with his friend Jose’s family while his mother stays with Levi at the hospital and he begins to wonder if he actually wants to returns to his own life but deep down I think Timothy just wants to be normal. Timothy wants to help his mother and brother by getting more medical help for Levi but when his request is granted it isn’t what he imagined. The new nurse Mary is detached and doesn’t really care about Levi and Timothy feels he has made a huge mistake.
As we cross into the second half of the novel Timothy thinks he has found a solution but it costs a lot of money, money they don’t have and he is determined to find it somehow. We see Timothy’s declining mindset and how desperately he wants a doctor to response to his email, how desperately he doesn’t want his brother to go away. Timothy for a young boy harbours so much anger and pain and it is at times heartbreaking to continue to read but we do anyway. It feels at times that we the readers just want to hug Timothy and give him the solution, the quick fix he really wants and needs for his brother. The love Timothy has for his brother is truly unconditional and is an amazing thing to read, I truly commend the author on this.
As we approach the 3/4 mark in the novel, Timothy’s life is looking up as he is thrown the life line he has been praying for the entire novel, despite his strained relationship with his mother at time they make it work and it is inspiring to see the human capacity for love and compassion through various characters. And while this novel doesn’t have the traditional happy ending we feel that everything will be alright. Timothy actually achieved the one thing he set out to do and that was protect his brother and help him get better. I actually spent the majority of this novel crying my eyes out and loving every second of it.The layout of this novel was also very unique and just added to the enjoyment of reading it. This book was a quite and easy read and I highly recommend it to all.
This book was sent to me for review consideration by Abrams and Chronicle
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