you're looking in the wrong place.
I don't know that 'Out of the Blackness' was the best book I've ever read, I'm not sure if it was one of the most gripping but it was definitely heartfelt, emotional and thought provoking.
This is the story of what happens when parents fail, when the system fails, when a child is made to endure what many adults would not be able to. It's what happens when Karma, fate, chance whatever higher power you want to believe in steps in to try and balance a wrong.
Avery is that child. Even as a child Avery is smaller than average and this along with the lack of self esteem so efficiently beaten into him by his so called mother, step-father and step-brothers makes him easy prey for older, bigger children to vent their own anger and frustrations on until someone bigger and tougher comes along who says 'no, enough'. That someone is Sam, who becomes Avery's brother of the heart. The one person who makes Avery feel safe, protected, cared for but not loved because Avery believes he's not worthy of love.
All this makes for a very dark and angsty sounding story doesn't it? I agree. Except somehow Carter Quinn manages to infuse this story with a very subtle and slow burning undertone of hope and strength.
For me, Avery represents every child that the system has failed and yet who has managed to keep that core of inner strength and resolve to not let the world beat them down. His struggle to overcome his demons is heartbreaking and at times uplifting as we take the journey with him watching him go from someone who is afraid of the world and sure that he deserves all that life has thrown at him just because he is, to someone who wants and eventually realizes he deserves love.
Stories like 'Out of the Blackness' entertain but they also have the ability to serve as reminders. For me this story is a reminder that there are Avery's out there. Children and adults who are being failed by their families and by the system that should be there to protect them from the abuse but also fails them, this is also a reminder that when the things that shouldn't fail do, we as individuals need to be better, stronger, braver in our efforts to help those who are being failed. We need to become Sams, Kiras, Kalebs, Kyles and sometimes we need to be Noahs.
I've had this book for a while now and because of the subject matter I shied away from reading it. As a mother, I want every child to grow up happy, healthy, loved and safe. As a sane, rational person I know this is not the reality of the world, but I'm not always prepared to read about it even in fiction. However, sometimes it's the end of the story that makes it worth the angst and heartache that you feel for the characters along the way.
At the end of it all whether it was one of the best books I've every read or not is insignificant in comparison to the fact that it was a story that touched me deeply.