Review of THE FARM by Joseph William Burrows

This month I have the pleasure of reviewing THE FARM by Joseph Williams Burrows. This book is different than anything I have ever reviewed before and is particularly divergent from my usual young adult picks.

Being able to review something outside of my normal scope and by such a talented author was a real treat, but before I say more, here are the cover and synopsis:


Some stories are based in true events, some are inspired by true events. I believe the discrepancy lies in 50%. If more then half the story is based in fact it is based on a true story. If less the 50% of the story is based in fact it is inspired by true events. I think the reader needs to decide that for themselves because some stories should never be told.


The perspective of the narrator is captivating. The emotions and fervor in this style cannot be imitated.


I wanted to include that particular note of praise because it struck such a chord with me. THE FARM contains something that most novels lack these days. Was it his rawness that struck me so deeply? Was it the coldness of his main character? Was it the depth of unresolved struggle? 

One thing is for certain, Burrows knows no fear. His writing will strike you. It will choke you. I had to read the book in sections because I would be so overwhelmed by the gravity of the characters' situations, their reactions to those situations, and the shifting story that I would need to take periodic breaks and remember how to breathe. 

In a world of stories with characters who embody what we might want to be, Burrows writes dark, real characters who will scare you. He also addresses relevant topics in our society in a fearless manner--like being transgender, dealing drugs, and growing up in a distant and dysfunctional family. 

I have to say again though, to my typically young adult audience, this novel is not for the faint of heart. There are graphic scenes of violence, massive amounts of drug use, gang wars, sexual exploits, and more. And Burrows deals with these scenes in an unapologetic and beautifully brutal manner.

For my readers who are seeking something that pushes the envelop, that will make you dream in the color of blood, and will make you questions literature as we know it, this novel is for you. If you are looking for those qualities in your next read, then I dare you to pick up a copy of this book and let it burn you. 

You can pick up a copy of THE FARM here.

Be sure to leave your comments on this review, as well as to leave a raving review for the author! 

I'll see you next month, readers! Until then...


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