How do you find a home when your heart is in ashes?
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.
*A copy of this was provided via NetGalley
This is proof that Garrett Leigh can not only write adult romance that breaks your heart, but is also able to write YA. Though – in true Leigh-fashion – this is not a fluffy story. It has sweet elements, and I really adore Leo and Charlie, but she stayed true to her brand. With the exception that this has overall less sex than her other books.
I’m not typically a YA reader, or not anymore. But I couldn’t not read this book because Leigh is one of my favourite authors. She has time and again written books and characters I’ve come to love, and Finding Home was no exception.
She broke my heart with what poor Leo and Lila had to go through.
I loved the bond between the siblings. They had been through way too much at their young age, and especially Leo had to grow up too fast too soon. But I was glad that they had each other. And it added a bit of (needed) sweetness to the story.
I loved the slowly developing relationship between Leo and Charlie. Both of them are portrayed in an intricacy that I’ve come to expect from this author. Her characters are never simple, but written with both positive and negative character traits. And Charlie and Leo are perfect for each other – they balance each other out. They help each other when needed but also sometimes behave in a typical irrational teenage way (as they’re supposed to).
I also want to mention how much I loved how the relationship between Leo, Lila and the rest of the family grew. It all seemed organic and natural. Starting with Leo’s hate toward Reg, to his unlikely friendship with Fliss, and how he ultimately trusted everyone. It all happened in its own time, sometimes faster than with others, but as I said, it all felt really natural.
As with her other books in which we have characters with Tourette syndrome, some with PTSD, drug addiction, chronic illnesses and amnesia, I found that Leigh handled the themes of child abuse the accompanying trust issues and Lila’s hearing impairment with her typical care and diligence. She did a wonderful job writing a story with fantastic characters that just shine. There is no unnecessary drama because the characters with their fears, hopes and motivations drive the story. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it. I hope we’ll see more YA from her, because I definitely would pick that up!
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock sitemoonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
Genre: Contemporary Genre: Young Adult Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Riptide Publishing Review Tag: coming of age Trigger Warning: Domestic Abuse Trigger Warning: Drug Use Finding Home Garrett Leigh