The Boys Upstairs by Jane Lebak

The Boys Upstairs Jane Lebak book review by Rachel Poli
Via Goodreads
Title: The Boys Upstairs
Author: Jane Lebak
Genre: Young adult/Christian
How I got the book: I borrowed it from my sister

Summary (from Goodreads):

Jay Farrell, a crippled priest, has begun housing homeless boys in his rectory. Once a street kid himself, he was riding the rocket-train to a lifetime in prison until the day he drove over a land mine in Iraq. Today he works at an inner-city parish, running a soup kitchen and strougling to manage an impoverished church.

With temperatures below zero and falling a few nights before Christmas, Jay’s estranged brother Kevin dumps three more children on his front porch. Kevin, a cop who can’t believe in God after all the evil he’s seen, hasn’t spoken to Jay in years, but he knows Jay will at least give the kids a place to stay. It isn’t over yet, though. As they work together to meet the children’s needs, they must confront the long-buried emotions that have divided them so long.

My Review:

This book is short and sweet. I was able to read it in one sitting because the book just filled me with joy.

Jay and Kevin are brothers who haven’t spoken to each other in a long time. Jay, a priest, found God in his time of need. Kevin, a cop, turned God away after all the terrible things he’s seen.

The brothers find each other again as Kevin brings a few homeless children to Jay’s church. Together, they help the various children get jobs, find homes, and overall just stay out of trouble.

The characters in the story are easy to follow and relatable. I love the relationship Jay and Kevin have at the beginning of the story and the end and how they develop throughout. Even the orphans had great backgrounds. The author didn’t go too in depth about the boys’ backgrounds, but she didn’t need to. Just one or two sentences were enough to feel for the boys and understand they were going through a tough time.

The overall writing style flows nicely and really just allows you to continuously read the book until the story is over. You forget you’re reading a book, that’s how much I was into the story.

Overall, it was a pleasant story to read and it made me feel good, especially with all the bad things happening in the world today. The story touches upon Christianity, second chances, giving to others, forgiveness, and so many other important themes.

I think everyone should read it whether they’re religious or not. If you want the full effect, read this around Christmas time.

The Boys Upstairs by Jane Lebak gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“If nobody will give these boys a job because they’re not good in the eyes of the world, how can they become good in the eyes of the world?” –Jane Lebak, The Boys Upstairs

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I Got Nothing Done Today…


Well, I have been on a roll writing for at least one hour every day. However, I didn’t write at all today. But I did say that I was going to try to post on here every day, so here I am. I have no news, but I am posting!

The reason as to why I didn’t write today was because I was busy with my websites. For example, Stars Vs. Gems, Gaia Ranch, and Spilled Ink. Spilled Ink is a writing website that my sister and I are working on together. We already have one up right now, but we completely re-did the whole website. So that’s why I didn’t give you the link because it’s not open yet. However, we  are planning on opening it on Columbus Day…maybe sooner. I’ll explain more about the website when it opens.

Once I finished working on our websites for the day, I thought about getting some writing done, but when I looked at the time I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough time. Although, now that I think about it, I could have written a little bit. Getting a little something done is better than nothing. But oh, well. What’s done is done.

I had a very busy day today because of church. Everyone knows that I’m the co-director of the Sunday school, correct? Well, today the Bishop came for a visit. Plus the Sunday school were performing something in the middle of the service. Also, we had a luncheon for the ladies who run the Thrift Shop to say thank you for everything they do for the church. Usually, I’m at church from 9:30 to 12:00. Today, because of the Bishop’s schedule, the service was 2 to 3. But because of the thing the Sunday School did in the service, we needed to practice it. So we told everyone to come at one, which meant that I was there before one. Then after the service, we had the luncheon and, well…I was at church today from 12:45 to 6:00. It wasn’t a bad time, but I just didn’t want to be there for that amount of time as well as it being smack in the middle of the day.

Anyway, when I got home, I was starving (there wasn’t any food I liked at the luncheon) so my sister and I got Panera and we’ve been watching TV ever since. I’ve been too tired to do anything else. Although, I think I might go plan out the novel a little bit.

The Blank Page has three novels in it and I thought that I should plan those out. Not fully, but just enough so that when I have my characters writing them, they all make sense. So I may do that, but as far as actual writing goes…I’m not going to be boosting my word count tonight.

Speaking of planning out the novels, though, I found this really cool app on my iPod. It’s called “A Novel Idea.” It breaks everything down. You can click on “novels” and will ask you the title, setting, theme, tone, POV, premise, plot, and group. The group is something you make up. You can group certain things together. For example, when I plugged in The Blank Page, I put it under the Writers Group group. The other sections are “scenes,” “characters,” “locations,” and “ideas.” It’s very detailed and organized. I added The Blank Page as a novel and added Dominic, Justin, and Adair as characters. Then it allowed me to attach the novel to each character. It also allowed me to give Dominic, Adair, and Justin relations to each other. It really keeps you organized. I think I may use this to plan out the three novels that aren’t real. Then I might know enough information about them so Dominic, Justin, and Adair can write them efficiently in The Blank Page.

If you like to write and have an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or anything along those lines, then you should download this app. It’s really useful and it was free. I highly recommend it.

2013: 11,010 Words