Forged By Fire by Sharon M. Draper

Summary: When Gerald’s beloved Aunt Queen dies, he is thrown into a new home with his drug-addicted mother and abusive stepfather, Jordan. The only good thing in his life is his stepsister, Angel, and he will do anything to protect her from the abuse. But soon just protecting her isn’t enough, and Gerald will have to face his fears and confront Jordan, even if it’s the last thing he does…

This book is not appropriate for anyone under the age of 13. There is abuse (obviously, since it’s a book about abuse), molestation, drugs, and alcohol, as well as death.

I can’t say that I absolutely loved this book; it was definitely a good read, and by the end I didn’t want to put it down. But I wasn’t attached to the characters, and I just couldn’t feel their pain. It was almost like they lived on a completely different planet, instead of seeing things through their eyes. But at the same time, I didn’t hate it; while I couldn’t connect with the characters, and didn’t feel their pain, I didn’t want the story to end. I wanted to hear a happy ending for the two characters, Angel and Gerald. I wanted to read it until the end. I guess the only thing I really had an issue with was that the book just wasn’t long enough for me to form an attachment, and that the characters didn’t really change. Gerald, for the most part, stays the same throughout the entire story. I guess, that in a book this short (it’s only 156 pages), it’s hard to have a lot of character development. But I’ve seen it done, with books like The Pearl, or A Christmas Carol, which are just as short, and maybe even shorter. That’s what made this book such a disappointment. From the beginning of the book, Gerald was a grown up. It would have been nice to see some kind of development from a three year old to a seventeen year old.

Otherwise, it was a good read. A novella that will only take a day, two days at the most. But if there was some kind of character development, it would have been better.