RJ: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Tim Soeder | Book Review

Trigger warnings: graphic depictions of sexual assault, sexual/physical/emotional abuse of a minor, stalking, suicide, incest, death.

After Roger’s mother dies, his father relocates them to a new town in hopes of moving on. Roger decides to reinvent himself in his new high school as RJ, and finds himself at odds with his father’s new girlfriend’s shallow daughter, Jessica. But as time does on, his feelings become more complex and his identity grows into the unknown.

I honestly am unsure of how to review this book. It was horrifying, triggering beyond belief, entirely misguided and unrealistic, and lacking an actual plotline. It was as though the author thought, “huh, how can I make this more absolutely disgusting and horrifying?” after each chapter break.

It started off as a standard YA book with a young protagonist facing adversity and looking to reinvent himself, but quickly morphed into something where his stalking behaviors and attempted sexual assault were passed for normal. Moreover, this book continued on into a spiral of sexual assault, suicide, death, and incest all for “plot twists” in an attempt to make the story “edgy.”

While I did manage to finish the book, it was because I read the last half all at once, struck in a triggered cycle where I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the story because of how absolutely horrified and devastated I was to see such topics handled so poorly.

Note: I am not putting a link to purchase this book here, as I do with most of my reviews. I HIGHLY urge you to not support this kind of work.

PS. I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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