Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{June 5, 2012}   {Review} Jaden Baker by Courtney Kirchoff

10922521From Goodreads: Jaden Baker is unique, talented, special.

And for a while there, things were looking up. Adopted by an upper-middle class couple of suburbia, Jaden believed he’d finally gotten that second chance everyone raves about. It came with potato salad.

But something happened. Something always happens. The life he’d been living took a dark twist, taking him on a journey that exposed him to evil, and the power it wields.

For those receiving it, patience is a deadly virtue.


This novel blew me away.  Following Jaden from the tender age of nine, the reader is given an in-depth glimpse into his life as he battles the system and attempts to gain his freedom from those who would use him as a science experiment, caged like an animal and treated horribly. Jaden is psychokinetic; he can manipulate matter with his mind, and though he attempts to hide this power as a child, he is found and taken, against his will, from the comforts of his foster home.  This is a very powerful story that grabs the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go.  I was appalled by the treatment of Jaden throughout the novel, and readers should be aware that it’s a very heavy read, looking into the philosophical question of sacrificing one for the greater good.  While it is easy to take a stance on this question, having now read the point of view of the one being sacrificed, I am definitely rethinking this age-old question.

Kirchoff is an amazing writer and storyteller, creating such real and vivid characters, even those that are despicable.  Characters like Joseph Madrid made me cringe and seethe in anger, especially with his treatment of Jaden, and I found myself, on many an occasion, yelling at him through the pages, wishing for his horrible, bloody death.  That sounds harsh, I know, but you’ll understand my feelings when you read this amazing novel.  Madrid is the epitome of evil…

Of course, Jaden is an amazing character and I fell in love with him from the beginning.  He is a very strong young man, surviving ill treatment and “slavery” for many years in his underground prison, and I am in sheer awe of his dedication and will to survive.  I feel like many would give in much sooner than Jaden, and though his life is hellacious, I found him extremely inspiring.

Perhaps what I love most about this novel is the suspense and writing style.  Krichoff begins the novel in the present with a creepy encounter and hospital visit that will leave the reader wanting more, and then it jumps to the past, explaining Jaden’s origins and full story until it comes full circle, bringing us back to the present.  But the story doesn’t end there; much more suspense and intrigue follows as the reader now embarks on a quest with Jaden and those he’s friended along the way, and I just could not put down this powerful novel.

This is a novel I highly recommend, one of my top 10 of the year, and I hope everyone takes some time to read and enjoy this amazing book.  Five stars.

I obtained my copy of this novel when it was free on Amazon.


Ikelia Francis says:

Sounds like a great read! Added to my TBR!! I agree with Dovile…it does kind of sound like Firestarter which is one of my favorite Stephen King movies so I will definitely be reading this book! Thanks for the great review!

Wow, this is so good! Though if it happened now, people would lock people up with powers and experiment on them. Sad. I hope I win, bc I really want to read it!

Dovile says:

This book is already on my wishlist. I liked Stephen King’s Firestarter which is very similar in plot, only the girl who could make fire in that novel didn’t succeed escaping the authorities wanting to study her. I’ll really can’t wait to read this one.

Dovile says:

The book sounds really interesting. The plot reminds me somewhat of Firestarter by Stephen King which was also about a gifted child who is studied by the government people and how it affects her. I liked that one, so I’ll check this one out too.

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