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Reviewed by Danielle DeVor for Readers' Favorite
Starkly beautiful in the horror of abuse, Colby in the Crosshairs by John Hope is an amazing read. We are introduced to Colby, a nine-year-old boy who is stuck in an abusive home with an older autistic brother. Worse trouble ensues when the new family, the Days, move in across the street. Lured by the riches he doesn’t have at home, Colby is drawn to the new family. Unfortunately, not suspecting that evil can hide behind good clothes just as often as filthy ones, things take an even worse turn. But that doesn’t compare to the feelings of despair when people are "blinded by pretty" and no one believes Colby. With a dead beat father who soon actually will be dead and a mother who cares more about her cigarettes than her children, what is a little boy to do?
The author does an awesome job of getting you inside Colby’s head. The little boy is charming and we can easily empathize with him. The prose is very well written, and I found myself forgetting that I was reading a book now and then. I will admit, at times, it was hard reading a nine-year-old think and speak curse words, but that lent a sense of credibility to the story. While it is never stated where the story takes place, the reader is clearly given a view of white trash America mostly ignored by the general public. The fact that the events are shown through Colby’s eyes makes everything so much more powerful than it would have been otherwise. I will be keeping my eyes open for more books by this author. He has gained a new fan.