Surrender Your Sons

Adam Sass. Flux, $17.99 (392p) ISBN 978-1-63583-061-3
Everything starts going wrong for Connor Major, 17, after he comes out of the closet. Instead of “saving his life” as his Iranian boyfriend Ario Navissi predicts, admitting that he’s gay puts Connor in danger. His “uber-religious” mother sends him away from Ambrose, Ill., to a conversion camp on an isolated island off Costa Rica run by her charismatic, tyrannical minister, Rev. Stanley Packard. At Nightlight Ministries, Connor witnesses cruel punishments and learns that everyone, campers and staff members alike, has dark secrets. He’s determined to get himself and all the campers off the island, but first he needs to gather enough evidence to get the camp shut down for good. Though the pacing feels off (on his first day at camp, Connor pieces together a sinister puzzle about Reverend Packard’s past, views a murder, falls in love with a cabinmate, and helps execute an escape plan), campers emerge as distinct individuals from varied backgrounds, facing challenges on and off the island. Those sensitive to violence and queer pain may wish to steer clear, but though this debut depicts extreme events, messages about struggles with internalized homophobia and the world’s treatment of those who are different ring true. Ages 14–up. Agent: Eric Smith, P.S. Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/30/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-63583-062-0
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