Saturday, November 7, 2015

House Arrest by K.A. Holt

 Sometimes when a book gains popularity other books written in a similar style are quickly published. With the immense success of last year's The Crossover by Kwame Alexander it is no surprise that House Arrest by K.A. Holt has come to the forefront as it is written in a flowing, free verse style.

We know from the title that the main character Timothy, through whose eyes we see the novel's events, has done something wrong. As I read the book and discovered what exactly he had done I found his tone to be unrepentant and slightly cocky but as the novel progresses I understood why. His overworked mother burns the candle on both ends in order to make ends meet and his baby brother Levi was born with a serious birth defect.  In an attempt to help him deal with his complex emotions and the turmoil in his life, his probation officer James tells him to write his thoughts down in a journal.

Much of the book revolves around the family's search for a good in-home nurse and Timothy's attempts to get a doctor to help with the complicated surgery his little brother needs. This is not the only aspect of the narrative however as Timothy also finds himself developing a crush. His descriptions of the feelings he experiences when in his crush's presence are some of the lighter moments in the book.

This book is a testament to family, friendship and triumph in the face of adversity. A large part of the story revolves around decision making and the consequences of poor decisions. With such a tangled narrative a book like this can have no happy ending and this one does not, however it leaves the door open for future installments. I recommend it for ages 11+.

Some read alikes to this book are My Brother┼Ť Keeper by Patricia McCormick and Fallout by Ellen Hopkins.

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