Author: J. Leigh Bailey
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: 15th September 2016
No good deed goes unpunished, and for seventeen-year-old Isaiah Martin, that’s certainly the case. The gun he was caught with wasn’t even his, for God’s sake. He only had it to keep a friend from doing something stupid. No one wants to hear it though, and Isaiah is banished—or so it seems to him—to live with his missionary father in politically conflicted Cameroon, Africa.
However, when he arrives, his father is so busy doing his good deeds that he sends Henry, the young, surprisingly hot do-gooder with a mysterious past, to pick up Isaiah and keep him out of trouble. Even while Isaiah is counting down the days until he can go home, he and Henry get caught in the political unrest of the region. Kidnapped by militant forces, the two have to work together to survive until they are rescued—unless they manage to find a way to save each other first.
I enjoyed this book up to a point. The writing is good and the setting is certainly not one found in your typical YA novel. I liked the way that you learnt more and more about Isaiah’s background and the actions that got him into the situation he was in. It’s quite a shocking situation for a YA novel and I think it managed to convey the horror without being too shocking for a YA audience. It kept me gripped and I couldn’t put it down, as I needed to know what happened to Isaiah and Henry. But, I felt the ending let it down. Much of the book is very adult in tone, but when it came to the ending I felt it was rather rushed and implausible. I felt that if the author thought a YA audience could handle such a shocking story, then why tag on such a weak ending. I won’t spoil it for anyone wanting to read this book, but I just felt it didn’t fit in with the rest of the story
I’d still recommend this book, as it is well written and the characters are well fleshed out. If you’re looking for something a little different, in a setting far removed from the norm, then give it a go. I’ll still be checking out what this author comes out with next.
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review.