Cover Image: Surrender Your Sons

Surrender Your Sons

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Member Reviews

Opinions: I cannot express in simple words how incredibly important of a read Surrender Your Sons is for all teenagers, whether they're LGBTQ+ members or allies. 

Per the educational side, each chapter will induce tears as readers learn about the horrors past, present, and potentially future queer people face, including but not limited to being forced to break up with partners, being refused transitional support, facing abusive conversion therapy, and being torn apart from family members. Sass did not make any sacrifices when it came to sharing the truth, even if it means needing to include a trigger warning in the beginning of the book. On top of the straightforward facts, readers will also receive some insight into the motifs of perseverance, self-respect, loyalty, friendship, and surprisingly the value of investigation! However, "some" is the key word in that sentence because while I believe Surrender Your Sons is heartbreaking and raw, no reader will understand what the characters felt unless they experience the atrocities themselves. On the other hand, Surrender Your Sons certainly provides more perspective than any other YA LGBTQ book I've read, meaning the themes are certainly relevant and inspiring. 

Looking past the educational side, Sass has a beguiling writing style that will keep all readers on the edge of their seat. Due to my OCD, I always read the first 10% of a book, the last 10%, and then start over from the beginning. However, I was so enamored by the heart-wrenching cliff hangers, deplorable conflicts Connor faces, and life-altering plot-twists that I could not bear to spoil the read! Do you know how amazing a book must be in order to ignore a mental health condition? There is nothing else I can say to persuade you to read Surrender Your Sons. You will bawl in sorrow, shriek from laughter, and spend hours of your day thinking about the masterpiece you read. If I could give a sixth star, I would.

My Favourite Thing: I think you've heard enough about my fondness of the themes, so I'll obsess over my next favourite thing: the diversity! I give full credit to Sass for filling Surrender Your Sons with different religions, gender and sexual identities, and races. Every character was unique, starting from the imagery used to describe their physical features to the depth and complexities of their personalities. Without an intricate cast of pertinent peoples, Surrender Your Sons would not be as rich and resonating as it is.

My Least Favourite Thing: With all intentions of being frank, I personally believe there is nothing wrong with Surrender Your Sons. Rightfully so, some readers may find the topics of discussion difficult, but for me, it was just intense enough to spark change. 

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Surrender Your Sons is a thematic, tear-jerking, provocative for LGBTQ+ and ally teenagers. Similar reads are We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia, Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye, Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, Lost in the Never Woods by Aidan Thomas, Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas, Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington, I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver, Out Now, and Jack of All Hearts (and Other Parts) by Lev Rosen! I fully recommend Surrender Your Sons.
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This was my first ARC, thank you for access and taking a chance on a new user. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book. Connor is such a raw character and I can feel my queer younger self yearning for love and acceptance but simultaneously afraid of what that acceptance might bring.

I found myself in love with the scenario but I sort of wished it pushed further. I know a lot of people have issue with the amount of traumatic experiences Connor witnesses, but I think they were a bit bland. Maybe bland isn't the right word. The whole experience very much ends a little campy. Or like a good episode of a bad soap opera. 

I'm frustrated with this novel because it SHOULD have been a must-read but it's held back by the fact that the bulk of the novel takes place over a day when these characters could have been fleshed out over weeks on this island. The climax happens in a flash and there's an awkward sex scene that makes me wonder if the characters are actually afraid for their lives. The book is fantastic for about the first 75% and then it goes off the rails.

I wanted more and simultaneously less. That being said, I'm very excited to see what else this author rights. I think this was a great first novel and I'm ready to see more queer stories. If I have anything to criticize, it's to let your work breathe a little more and to ponder motivation a little longer.
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As a result of my various committee appointments and commitments I am unable to disclose my personal thoughts on this title at this time. Please see my star rating for a general overview of how I felt about this title. Additionally, you may check my GoodReads for additional information on what thoughts I’m able to share publicly. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this and any other titles you are in charge of.
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Surrender Your Sons tells a story of coming out, the consequences, and both the inherited pride and trauma within the queer community. This book is a heavy read as it covers conversion therapy, physical and emotional abuse, so it would definitely need content warnings for young readers. It is a heartfelt exploration of life after coming out when the consequences of that were dire within a small, religious and conservative community. The adult characters embody the various ways one can internalize shame and perpetuate harmful ideas. The characters are endearing, resilient and believable. While overall it is a heavy read and maybe not for everyone, it tells a familiar story in a unique way.
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The book kind of dragged for me. I just couldn’t get into it. But don’t let that discourage you. This book has a lot to offer.
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The first thing that struck me with this book was how beautifully it was written. The writing itself made me emotional more than once and I thought the author handled some very serious topics with care. I only have two issues with the book: timeframe and pacing. The book was slow and then everything went quickly, then slow again, and I felt a bit dizzy by the end.
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As soon as I heard about Surrender your Sons it’s been on my radar. It’s definitely one of my most anticipated queer books of the year. So many people I know have loved it and that just made me more excited and intrigued. But did it disappoint? Read more to find out.  I won’t keep you in suspense (like this book will) and I’ll tell you that I loved this book. It met all my expectations and surpassed them. It was suspenseful, thrilling, romantic and honest. This book centres around teenagers at a gay conversion camp. And there were points in this novel when I couldn’t believe any of it was true. But of course it is, I think mainly I don’t want these kind of camps to be true, and I think it’s a testament Adams writing that he captures the horror and brutality of the situation and it just made the whole book believable. He captures the atmosphere perfectly which really makes book stands out. You’ll love the teenagers in this book especially the main character of Connor. I also loved that Adam has given every character depth, even the ones we There was also something I didn’t expect in this book was the romance. How can a romance blossom in this situation and work? But trust me, it did work. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for you, but it really does work. Again it’s another showcase of Adams brilliant writing and talent. It gave me everything I want in a romance. It also gave the novel some hope, which was nice as the book is very The story really goes to places I didn’t expect, which obviously makes it excellent. I don’t want to say too much and spoil it for you but when the kids start to fight back against the councillors it just adds so many layers to the story. It became so intense. You could really feel the story building up to its thrilling climax. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough (I was reading it on kindle but you know what I mean). It was full of twists and turns and so many things surprised me. It really was a fantastic ending. This is Adams debut novel, and it’s such a strong book. He manages to capture all the horror, the darkness, yet he manages to show hope and vulnerability. It takes real talent to blend all these cohesively. It’s so real. Also with this book being about Conversion Camps, it packs a powerful message. Ultimately, I think, it shows you that queerness is a power and we always need more books like this. I would definitely recommend this book to you, as I’m sure you can tell. Don’t miss this one. I think I might’ve convinced myself to re-read it. I’ll look forward to reading what Adam does next.
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Compelling tale of kids sent to conversion camp to force the gay away. The abusive nature of this is a troublesome concept, and I am glad there are some books and movie addressing this topic. I really enjoyed this, but the pacing was quite inconsistent, with the last part being too much crammed in.
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Conversion camp is evil on its own but this is next level twisted. Every kid that survives is a hero. The ending continues to punch after you think the punches are done.
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Surrender Your Sons was a completely messed up book. Just wow. I had no idea what I was walking into but I also couldn't look away from it either. Oh lord, this book was so sad that I felt my heart strings being pulled and twisted throughout the entire book.

No idea if these places actually exist to this day, but shame on parents who do this. I don't know how many times I wished I could reach into a book just to knock some sense into a person. Especially when it came to Connors' mom. She really needed a reality check and maybe a visit from baby Jesus every now and then.
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A brilliant debut novel from a writer whose star is only beginning to shine. This novel is a must read.
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I’m having a tough time determining how I feel about this book. There were some things that I really liked about the book and some things that I didn’t care for. It was a slow book at the beginning. The end definitely picked up and was more enjoyable. I think some people will love this but it ended up just being alright.
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Surrender Your Sons was an expertly crafted story. Without spoiling anything, I will say that it required a little bit of suspension of disbelief for some of the more action-oriented scenes, but sadly, the overall idea behind it (a gay teen gets sent off to an out-of-country ex-gay conversion camp by his ultra-religious mother) was all-too-believable. Sass calls attention to something that is still an important issue despite how much many of us wish it was a thing of the distant past. I had a few minor gripes with the book -- some of the religious language made it seem like maybe the camp was run by a Catholic priest, for example, but then we find out it was previously run by his father, also a minister, so it seems like they weren't Catholic -- but overall, I would recommend the book.
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Although this book had a slow start with the set up of Connor's situation, I ended up finishing it rather quickly once I got into it because I just had to know what happened. 

I liked Connor's humor and snarkiness in this. He had some great internal dialogue that made me actually laugh out loud. He may not be mighty in size and strength but he is mighty in snark. 

I kind of wished they spent more time at the camp. It took me out of the story a little when it would mention that they were only there a day and all this stuff had already happened. I think it would have made more sense to have it be like a week or something. (Also appreciate the Lord of the Flies reference because I was thinking it and then they said it).

I also liked the conversation this book brought up about pushing people out of the closet when it might not be safe for them to do so. It's an important discussion that needs to be had in the LGBTQ+ community.

I look forward to reading more if there is more.
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This book was son incredibly entertaining.  It was so outlandish, but I loved every second of it.  I found myself laughing so hard at so many points in the story.  I was actually pretty disappointed when it was done.  I can't wait to read more from this author.
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AUTHOR'S NOTE:⁣
You"ll find queer pain in this book. But it's not about queer pain. It's about what queers do with pain. ⁣
⁣
Pain is something queers deals with regularly, even if it's just occasional feelings, isolation and otherness. Queer people process pain in many ways, but a big one is through humor.⁣
⁣
In #SurrenderYourSons, you'll find queer kids put through bad experiences and then sometimes, they'll make a joke about it.⁣
The consequences of conversion therapy. ⁣
⁣
You'll find scary things in this book, but just like in life, when the trouble hits, you'll also find humor, good friends, and courage you couldn't imagine in your wildest dreams.⁣
⁣
This book was a lot.... But I'd reccomend it always 🙌🏾.⁣ And it's officially out! Many thanks to the publisher @fluxbooks via #NetGalley for the eARC
⁣
Trigger warnings:⁣
Homophobia,⁣
Slurs,⁣
Conversion Therapy, ⁣
Transphobia, ⁣
Abuse,⁣
Religious fanaticism, ⁣
Suicide
.
.
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DNF'd at 25%

I was excited to read Surrender Your Sons because there was a lot of early hype and conversion therapy has not been a topic that comes up regularly. However, I had a lot of problems with the book and I'd rather give it up instead of forcing to go through it. Firstly, the writing felt off and it was not polished at all, which I can overlook since I had an ARC. I haven't seen a finished copy, so I cannot say if this has been fixed. Although, the pacing was abysmal with too many flashbacks that caused a messy timeline.

Secondly, connecting with the main character, Connor, was difficult for me. He's very annoying and rather naive - his boyfriend was horrible, constantly pressuring Connor to come out, but despite feeling uncomfortable, Connor doesn't think what his boyfriend does is wrong. Lastly, I had trouble understanding some of the choices Sasss made. Here, the conversion therapy camp was located in Costa Rica, outside of US. It would have been more impactful to place the camp in the US soil in order to show that the camps still exists in the country.

Overall, there was so many things that bothered me. I also checked the other reviews and apparently there's cheating, and I'm not here for it at all, no matter how horrible Connor's boyfriend is. The topic is important and I hope there will be other books to discuss the conversion therapy and the incredible damage it does to people. This one just isn't for me.
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I finished Surrender Your Sons in the morning at a time where most people should be asleep, but it was totally worth it! SyS is about Connor, who gets shipped off to this mysterious conversion therapy camp (booooooo👎👎👎) where things happen (real specific, I know) and plans to fake his way out, but he runs his mouth off and gets in a whole lotta trouble *cough* Neil Josten *cough* the great Riko roast *cough*. I don’t really read thrillers/mysteries, but I really enjoyed it! Also JESUS HELL HOW IS THIS STUFF STILL LEGAL?? My last experience with conversion therapy was reading Boy Erased as just a very good ally, but it’s indefinitely more terrifying as a closeted minor, so uh...yay? ....anyway, it’s a great book with fantastic characters, so go buy it!!! (also just a warning that this book has some stuff about conversion therapy (duh), violence, physical abuse, homophobia, transphobia, murder, depression, suicide, a hate crime, and all the other great things that come with conversion therapy)
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DNF
The main character was too immature and annoying to me. It was like reading from the perspective of someone who bases their entire vocabulary on Twitter. He is a teenager though, so maybe teenagers would like this book.
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oh yessssss this book is the one!!! I have had the pleasure and feel very grateful to have been able to read this absolutely amazing novel early and I can not tell you how excited I am for surrender your sons to be released so everyone can experience this stunning Novel,One of my favs of the year I must add too. 

This novel I feel will impact so many people and will become one that will be read for years to come and be a really important read that should be read by EVERYONE!!!
Adam Sass has created a one of the kind novel that is beautifully tragic and delves really deep into some really tough topics. side note be sure to check the CW for this one as this one doesn't hold back on how dark it goes. Its written so well and just has you clinging on to your seat and gets you entranced and need to know what twist and turns come next.

This novel is a story of fighting back, having power and showing to never give up!!! wether that's for something you believe in, for fighting what's right and most of all for fighting against people who try and make you try and be the person your not but you know what we say to that...a very important two words :)

everyone please please when this arrives in bookstores, online, independent bookstores go and buy this book!!! I cant express enough the importance of this novel.
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