Review: Finding Home by Garrett Leigh

Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

He pictured sliding his fingers lower to twine with Charlie's, because Charlie's hands were magic. Leo felt them on him every time he closed his eyes. Every time darkness flickered in his fractured subconscious and threatened to pull him under. Charlie had touched him that way only once—or twice, maybe; Leo wasn't sure—but even long after Charlie had let him go, Leo's skin had smouldered with the best kind of heat. A heat that healed every hurt Leo had ever known.

Garrett Leigh has proven how adept she is when it comes to weaving an angst-ridden love story peppered with trials and tribulations that her main characters have to face, but I've never read nor heard of anything she's written that even comes close to being considered young adult (YA). Until now. With Finding Home, one of my favorite go-to authors--and angst suppliers--isn't just dipping her toe in the YA pool. She dove right in, and goodness me, but it feels as if she's found yet another home for her to get all comfy in. The sex may be muted to a degree, but do not doubt that there is heat and intimacy, just more in a form that's nuanced and somehow more endearing, at least as far as I'm concerned. Whether you're new to Leigh or not, I'm seriously recommending you read Finding Home.

After years of witnessing and being a victim of his father's abuse, fifteen-year-old Leo Hendry's world is in a tailspin. His mother has been murdered and his father arrested, leaving Leo and his six-year-old sister Lila at the mercy of the fostering system. He's distrustful of the families they're sent to live with, making them difficult to place. When they end up with the Poultons, Leo obviously has his guard up, but maybe being around his new foster brother who happens to be his age will help him feel more comfortable. Charlie de Sousa hopes Leo opens himself up to everything Charlie's parents and siblings--and Charlie as well--can offer him and Lila. The two boys form a bond, but it's one that'll be tested when Leo allows the darkness to get the better of him. He risks losing any possibility of having the kind of family and home he and his sister deserve, unless he allows Charlie's bright light in.

I needed tissues for this one. Leo's story is a heartrending read, one that made me want to give him and Lila a hug, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have immediately welcomed such a gesture from a stranger. He's a victim of his circumstances and the environment he was once in. Being around Reg and Kate Poulton and their three children is an adjustment for Leo, especially since his home life has made him wary of older men, fearful that they'll treat their wives and children the way Leo's father did them. The relationships he forms with each of the Poultons is slow and unsure, but it all begins with his kinship with Charlie. Goodness, but how sweet this young man was. He wasn't perfect, but the goodness within him--that lightness--was something that I hoped would seep into Leo's veins, not because Leo was a bad kid but because he needed it so badly, like a little seed of hope that would blossom into more. It's that evolution of his that made Finding Home a more than worthwhile read. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 07 October 2017

Learn more about Garrett Leigh.

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