Book of My Choosing - 2018 · Book Review · Contemporary · Crime/Thriller/Mystery/Horror · LGBT

Book Review: Father Figure by James J. Cudney


Pages: 415
Genre: Contemporary/Mystery/Romance/Suspense
Publication Date:
April 2, 2018
Story Perspective: Alternating third-person
Themes: Romance, Family, Consequences, Abuse, Rape, Courage, Forgiveness

SynopsisIn the 1980’s, Amalia Graeme is ready to leave her emotionally and physically abusive mother. She is ready to start a new life at college. However, what she once thought of as a fresh new start turns into something devastating. She loses so much in her life, will she able to pick up the pieces and truly start over?

Brianna Porter has never met her father and doesn’t know about her mother’s past. As the beginning of college is approaching, she becomes anxious to learn who her father is and understand the confusing feelings she has for her best friend, Shanelle. When she discovers a journal, the young Brianna begins to understand the consequences of her actions as dark secrets unravel.

my review

When I first picked up this book, I was sooo excited to read it! I absolutely loved Cudley’s first novel, Watching Glass ShatterThis one was no exception! Mr. Cudley has written a book full of twists and turns that kept my eyes glued to its pages. 

Following both Amalia in the mid-eighties and Brianna in 2004 allowed me to really get to know both characters on a deep level. Amalia’s physically and emotionally abusive childhood tore my heart, while Brianna’s confusion of who her father was and her own sexual preference made me sympathize with her. I did find it easier to sympathize with Amalia throughout her chapters, while Brianna only some of her chapters. At times, I found Brianna’s character to be off-putting, especially toward the beginning, but perhaps this was done on purpose. After all, she was just finishing her high school education and teenage angst is a real thing in life.

For most of the beginning, I would say the plot had a steady flow. Amalia’s chapters were exciting throughout the book while Brianna’s chapters became more exciting as the story progressed. It was towards the second half of the book that the pacing picked up and it became a real challenge to put it down! There were a number of twists and turns that I found myself gasping several times. Though in the end, the author wraps everything up nicely leaving the reader satisfied and able to take a deep breath of relaxation.

Though there were definitely difficult and uncomfortable topics discussed, none of the scenes were too graphically described. Even with rape, sex, and emotionally/physically abusive scenes, I was able to read through them without it becoming too much for me.

Overall, Father Figure was a thrilling novel and I’m happy to have read it. I’m excited to see what this author has stored up for his next novel!

My Rating5 stars


I would highly recommend this read to those who enjoy gripping plots as two girls live almost parallel lives.

Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
29 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Father Figure by James J. Cudney

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