Boy on Hold by JD Spero – Review by Jennifer Gordon

Boy on HoldBoy on Hold by J.D. Spero
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mystery, thriller young adult novel about a child who is the only witness to a terrible and violent crime. Set in 1991, on Cabbage Night, a traditional night of pranks in a small Adirondack town the night takes a disturbing turn when a violent crime takes place, shocking the small town. Seven year old boy, Hen Trout, is the only witness to the violence against Miss Sally. Hen had been outside in the dark hoping to catch a hedgehog when he saw the attack. Single mom Marcella Trout is devastated that her young son had witnessed such a violent attack but is then blindsided when her seventeen-year-old, Tyler is then arrested for the crime his brother had witnessed. Marcella now looks back on Tyler’s mood swings and they now seem dark and frightening to his mother, especially as she had been desperately trying to forget her family’s history. The Trout family begins to unravel as the criminal investigation goes on and soon even Hen begins to question the truth about what he saw and what really happened that fateful night. I find this an emotional read and also a thought provoking one. The issues surrounding teenage mental health is dealt with both honestly and sensitively. The characters really drew me in and I was hooked from page one of the novel. A fascinating read for both young adults and adults alike.

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