Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Book Review: "Surrender Your Sons" by Adam Sass

Surrender Your Sons is so powerful, suspenseful, and moving. It is an utterly intense and unforgettable book.

Things have been pretty tough for Connor since he came out to his fervently religious mother. She’s taken away his phone and all his technology, she’s roped him into delivering Meals on Wheels with her church, and she watches him like a hawk, so he can almost never see his boyfriend, Ario.

But as bad as it has been, he cannot believe she paid to have him kidnapped in the middle of the night and spirited away to Nightlight Ministries, a conversion camp that “changes” LGBTQ children back to their “normal” selves. It’s a frightening place where the threat of violence and punishment and never being able to leave hang over everyone’s heads.

As devastated and hurt as he feels, as unsure as he is about what he should do, Connor knows things aren’t what they seem at camp. Everyone has something to hide—even the director and the “recovered” counselors—and Connor is determined to uncover the truth. But he’ll be putting himself and his fellow campers in danger, as people will stop at nothing to protect themselves and the way of life they believe in.

Sadly, conversion therapy is still a reality in a number of states and places around the world. While this is fiction, the idea behind it is not, and that is one reason this book feels so powerful.

Surrender Your Sons is intense and suspenseful; it’s sad but ultimately, there are notes of hope. Adam Sass told an incredibly moving story. I had a little bit of a problem with the timeframe of the story—it seemed like things should have occurred over a few days instead of one day only—but I still loved this book so much.

I hope that sometime in the not-too-distant future, conversion therapy will be a thing of the past everywhere, and no one will care who people love, just that they love.

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