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Promise Boys – Nick Brooks

Thank you very much to the publishers, Macmillan, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

The Urban Promise Prep School vows to turn boys into men. As students, J.B., Ramón, and Trey are forced to follow the prestigious “program’s” strict rules. Extreme discipline, they’ve been told, is what it takes to be college bound, to avoid the fates of many men in their neighborhoods. This, the Principal Moore Method, supposedly saves lives.

But when Moore ends up murdered and the cops come sniffing around, the trio emerges as the case’s prime suspects. With all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. But is the true culprit hiding among them?

When a book is said to be perfect for fans of Angie Thomas and Karen M. McManus, I am of course going to want to read that book. So, when saw this and read the synopsis of Promise Boys I immediately wanted to read. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read this book because it is absolutely incredible! It is an unputdownable YA thriller that uses multiple POVs to grip you into a shocking story.

Promise Boys follows J.B., Trey and Ramón, three young adults of colours whose lives are suddenly turned upside down when they are all suspects in the murder of their high school principal. With all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. But, is the murderer hiding amongst them?

The way in which is book uses multiple POVs is extraordinary. We get chapters from main characters, secondary characters, witnesses and even the media. I loved this! It did take me a little bit to get used to all the different POVs but by the end of the book I wanted more books with POVs like this one.

J.B., Trey and Ramón are extremely well written characters who I grew to care for deeply. Each of them has had different experiences in life, but we see how the system is failing them all and that was heartbreaking to read. The use of multiple POVs and the details given into the boys home lives and the dreams they have helped to bring each of them to life. It also made me care for the characters a lot.

The writing in this book is excellent and draws you in immediately with its thrilling plot, excellent characters and the murder mystery. It highlights the systemic inequality in the eduction system and criminal justice system towards young adults of colour. I hope that this book makes readers think about these biases that people are facing on a daily basis. 

I do wish that the books didn’t end as quickly as it did. We spent a lot of time learning about the characters, the school and the murder and it all gets wrapped up very quickly. So, I would have loved for the closure of the book to have taken a little bit longer.

Nick Brooks is an extraordinary author and one I will certainly be keep an eye out for other books from. His writing is certainly perfect for those who are fans of Angie Thomas, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone and Karen M. McManus.

Overall, Promise Boys is an incredibly eye-opening and thrilling YA book that I will be recommending for a long time. I highly suggest you pick up a copy of this one, you won’t regret it.

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