(Starred Review) “Teens will find both boys’ storylines thoroughly compelling right through to the end, which leaves many ends rightfully untied, underscoring the lingering effects of life’s messier moments.” — Publishers Weekly
“[This] tightly wrought YA debut moves fast, and each boy’s voice is ragged, distinct and desperate enough to wrangle the hearts of most teen readers, both guys and girls.” — Kirkus Reviews
“P.E. Ryan has created not one, but two complex, genuine main characters. One of the best books of the year.” — Young Adult Books Central
(Starred Review) Teens Charlie and Sam were best friends, until Sam stopped speaking to Charlie. In his first book for young people, Ryan (Send Me, 2006) slowly reveals the cause of the rift in chapters that alternate between the two boys’ viewpoints. Over a Florida summer, each boy wrestles alone with problems. Following his mother’s death, Charlie worries about his shut-in dad, who drinks too much. He escapes by smoking pot, a habit that’s put him into deep debt to a threatening dealer. Sam’s dad lives with his male lover, and Sam, who has been hiding his own male attractions, worries if he is gay, too. When each boy reaches a crisis point, he finally turns to the other. In a less-gifted author’s hands, this novel could have felt crowded. But Ryan offers complex views of family lives, realistic language (including some anti-gay slurs), and convincing characters in Sam and Charlie. Sam’s new romance with another guy is a buoyant subplot; just as welcome is the sensitive story of two teen boys forging a close, honest friendship.
“Too cool to ask for help and too nerdy to survive without it, guys will love this tough and poignant book about the emotional minefields they try to swagger through. Ryan captures the delicate brutality of male friendship, and girls should read it to find out what’s really going on in guys’ heads” — Robert Lipsyte, author of The Contender and Raider’s Night
from the publisher:
Sam Findley and Charlie Perrin. Best friends. At least they used to be. But a year ago Sam cut Charlie out of his life—no explanation, no discussion, nothing.
Fast-forward one year, and both Sam’s and Charlie’s lives are spiraling out of control. Sam has a secret he’s finding harder and harder to hide, and Charlie is dealing with an increasingly absent dad and a dealer whose threats are anything but empty.
As told in alternating chapters from Sam and Charlie during the sticky Florida summer before their senior year, the ex-best friends are thrown together once again when they have no one else to turn to.
P. E. Ryan’s Saints of Augustine is a witty, enthralling, and unforgettable novel about the power of friendship.