Bones of a Saint by Grant Farley

3 stars

Reviewed by Elexis.

"Years go by. Faces grow up and then leave. Some of them find their way out of the valley. Others melt in with those that went before and then become a part of our little world. But there's always new boys to replace them. There's always the Blackjacks."
Bones of a Saint is raw, emotional, and a much needed diverse read. This story is told in two different ways - once through the eyes of RJ in present terms, and once as stories told by RJ of his past to an old man he is suppose to rob for a violent gang.
RJ grows up in a very religious community in the past (1970s?) and is dirt poor. He has several siblings, and they all have different, deadbeat dads. He tells his story through reminiscing of his Catholic roots as he tries to escape the clutches of the gang that has had his trailer park under their thumb for generations - but this generation will be the last if RJ has anything to do with it.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the twists and turns of a thriller, without being terrified, for YA readers wanting a different format, and to anyone who was raised Catholic who can appreciate the many religious references throughout this novel.