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.
Since I was trying to multitask, I snagged this on Audible thinking I could listen while I did other things. It was the holidays after all and I had loads to do. Might as well tackle some baking or wrap while I listened.
I couldn’t do anything (besides shallow breathing and trying to quiet my heartbeat) while listening to this intense and impressive story. Honestly, I found myself seeking my dark and comforting bedroom so I could eliminate as many other senses as possible. I needed to listen…and only listen. Once I began, I didn’t want to stop. I was lost in their world and panicked when the low battery signal beeped in my ears. I was really enjoying my new wireless pods until then. I told myself it was a blessing since it was after 2 am. However, my reading bug didn’t allow me to slip away for long and I woke before the sun to finish the final few chapters. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Just as I knew (okay, hoped and prayed) it was going to be.
I don’t read a great deal of YA but these are precisely the exceptions that I make. Leigh takes a wretched situation with a lost and broken soul and gives him the impossible. Hope. He doesn’t want to admit it, least of all to himself, but it’s there. Finding Home is so much more than you’ll expect. Please, allow me to try and tell you why…
As with anything composed by Garrett, the gripping pull of emotions was as undeniable as ever. Despite the title leading us to believe Leo discovers a home, it’s actually quite deeper. Spoiling aside, a home is indeed found but more importantly, so is Leo. He was lost. Shadowed by his vital roles of protector and defender, no one truly knew who Leo was. Until Charlie. Charlie had the cryptic “Leo Manual” that everyone else somehow missed and he simply…got him. Rather terrifying at first but then it became a lifeline, a fragile cord that strained under pressure. When affections sprang up from their fierce connection I held my breath until I nearly passed out. Not from anticipation or aversion to their ‘brotherly status’ but because I too, wished that the universe would just let them have this one thing. As much as there is to like you will undoubtedly find bits to dislike. I would be amiss to omit possible sensitivity warnings such as child abuse and the loss of a parent. Having said that, it would also be most unfortunate for you to pass up an opportunity to meet the Poulton’s. Each one is vivid and noteworthy in their own unique way. I might have a favorite but I’ll let you discover your own before I share mine.
This isn’t quite a romance but it’s certainly a story full of love. From motherly love and sibling love to maybe-my-boyfriend but definitely-mine love Garrett covers all the facets and then some. The horrific prologue had my heart in my throat and my momma bear instincts on high alert. I can’t tell you how grateful I was for Kate and Reg. They are true angels that I will never forget. Dan Calley delivers a striking narration that clearly identifies each person and held me spellbound. I did hesitate at times trying to decipher if the monologue was internal or not but that was no one’s fault but my own, for I rarely tune into audiobooks. I might have to readdress that because I adored listening to the British touches. Speaking of adoration, Charlie is a treasure. I loved how he cared for Leo. Leo isn’t accustomed to people caring for him. Of course, his mum did and Lila loves him like the father she never had but Charlie not only loves him but cherishes Leo. If only he can make Leo see that he is worthy. But you know what they say about ‘in the eye of the beholder’ right? Sad eyes only see sadness. Luckily for Leo, his new family is determined to share their joy and happiness. I hope you give him a chance as well and if you do, give him my love. He’s due all the love he can get.
Tears may fall but hearts will lift. The battles are hard-fought and hard-won. This quest for a home ends with not only shelter but love, happiness, and a proud reflection.
This is a special story with special people that will require extra care while handling…please bear in mind a PG-13 rating and set aside some time, I can assure you they will devour it.