Published: June 29th 2017 by CreateSpace
Read Date: August 25th 2017
“Regret Comes in Every Color of the Rainbow”
Based on Erin Lee’s novella, Her Name Was Sam, Freak is the story of Kelly and Morgan, the mother and sister of Sam Harris, in the aftermath of her suicide. Bullied for being brave enough to show her true colors to the world, Sam has been gone exactly one year and Kelly and Morgan are left to tackle the grief that comes with regret in her absence.
But Sam’s story is far from over…
Through the love of Willow, a teenager intent on standing up for her “Freak” best friend at all costs, Ryan is able to finally come out to family and friends. His transformation from ashamed to proud with Willow’s help gives new meaning to Sam’s story and how things could have been.
Freak is based on Erin Lee’s novella, ‘Her Name Was Sam’ but I’m telling it can be read standalone as I haven’t read novella and I didn’t feel anywhere that I’m missing something that might have mentioned in first book.
Wow! Wow! Wow! Have I said this word for enough time? No, it’s simply beautiful that I want to keep saying this. And in the beginning only I’m telling that everyone should read this book.
Author’s note in the beginning gave pretty good idea about book and why author has written it. There is warning by author saying it’s not for teens who are not prepared to handle heavy topics like suicide, bullies, and crime or should read under guidance of adults.
The book is mainly about LGBTQ teens. Their struggle with gender identity or as gay, bisexual or asexual; their fight against bullies and for acceptance in the world and even by family that doesn’t understand ‘different’ word; their feeling of loneliness and unsupported speaks the volume which leads to suicidal tendencies.
In just 2 chapters this book became my favorite. I just loved writing of Erin Lee. It was so smooth, emotional and so addictive that I will read anything by this author. Story basically was divided in 2 parts. So, I will review it accordingly.
Amazing! I have said in detail how characters were like and what I loved most about them in both parts. But superficially, all characters were with flaws even my favorite Sam. In both parts there were characters who should have taken actions earlier and could have prevent the damage. No one was perfect and still were likable. I could see author has given whole lot of time to these characters. Among both the parts Sam was my ultimate favorite character. Development of characters was really good the way they handle themselves after all that happened, the steps they took was good.
“All I ever wanted was to be accepted. I just wanted to be able to be me and have people around me who loved me for who I was. I know it seems like it’s not a lot to ask, but I’ve learned that it really is.“
It’s narrated by 3 different perspective of 3 main characters, Sam who committed suicide, Kelly- Sam’s mother, and Morgan- Sam’s sister. The center of topic was Sam and Kelly and Morgan’s life after Sam’s suicide. Best view I loved to read was Sam’s narrating her part sitting above the cloud watching over her family. That was something new and different, just like her character in this book. At the end of all chapters Sam’s smart thoughts created perfect ending for all chapters.
Sam was a character who voiced my thought regarding bullies, hypocrites and people who doesn’t want to accept anything different in this world. It’s hard not to love this strong, colorful character that I would suggest everyone to be strong like her, but yes she had weak side too and so she committed suicide that I wished I could change.
“Sam was living roller coaster ride…“
“Sam was a walking exclamation mark.“
Morgan and Kelly’s thoughts were written in two way, before and after Sam’s death as their memories about Sam and what they felt after Sam’s death. That was just incredible. The best I loved was, the way of they told ‘Who was Sam’ in first few chapters.
Morgan’s thought were both complex and touching. She didn’t like what she had to go through being sister of Sam but she loved her unconditionally and also regretted that somehow she could change everything. She had a very strong voice in this book that showed powerful bonding between siblings that didn’t even flicker after what she has to face at school before and after death of Sam.
Kelly was a complex character. At first I didn’t understand why she blamed herself she looked less supportive but okay mother. And then came a turning point! It was a surprise that I didn’t see coming. I understood everything better after that. Brilliant it was!
And did I mention the suicide note by Sam and her rewritten suicide note in mind sitting over the clouds? Damn incredible! Her love for Morgan and Kelly was heartfelt.
This was poignant story.
It was alternate narration of another 3 main characters- Ryan who was struggling with the fact of being gay and bullied by students, Willow, Ryan’s best friend, and Sarah, Willow’s mother. I won’t say much in this story because Sam’s story taken my heart and soul.
Ryan was weak character totally opposite of Sam. Being a gay he was struggling in coming out as who he was in from of his parents and in school and was continuously was bullied by students at school. His thoughts really scared me at some point.
His only friend Willow supported him unconditionally and to the extent that no one can do and be like her. She was mind-blowing. I loved her for that. And even after that Ryan’s doubt for her was the thing I didn’t like in the book.
Sarah.. I so loved her. She was coolest mother in whole book. She cared about not only her daughter but also Ryan. Steps she took for him and the way she understood Ryan and relationship between Ryan and Willow just won special place in my heart.
There was a turn of events in this part too and I liked it. Let’s just say it was sad but less sad than the first part.
Things that were common in Part 1 and 2 that I liked was–
Each chapters started with different colors as a title and lines following that color with thoughts of characters. That was best and most beautiful thing in this book. It was hard not to like chapters after such a gorgeous beginning. I quickly turned pages because of short chapters and intriguing topic. Both parts have a connection and I won’t say what that was. Just read it.
Have I mentioned there was surprise even after the book ends? This book actually ended at 80%. I thought there might be epilogue or excerpt of next book by author. Nothing like that. There was real-life story of Ryan, awareness on gays, who are they and guidance for them how they can come out strong; resources and helplines for them; even there was message for parents. Oh, and discussion questions for readers. It gave me something to think over about book after reading.
This was perfect end of the book.
“Normal is boring. I don’t have time for that.“
Damn! I can’t stop myself from talking about the book. This might be longest review I have written so I will end it here.
Overall, awesome book with lot of lessons to learn through deep intense thoughts of characters. There is something to learn for everyone. So, just read it and I’m sure you won’t regret it. And on final thought I hate bullies. :/
Author: Erin Lee
To know more about author click Here.
*** Note: I received review copy of this book from the author, via Lola’s Blog Tour, in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to author and Lola. ***
Have you read this book or any books by Erin Lee? what do you think about book and my review? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.
Happy Reading! 🙂