We’re starting off the new year with an underground true story about the struggles of addiction and the individual stories each person holds. This is the first true story we’ve reviewed, and, to start off, one of the best nonfiction books I have ever read. Rating true stories is a bit different than novels, as there usually is not a specific plot, and oftentimes use unusual, but real, circumstances to relate to the reader. In this case, the subject is tough to comprehend, but has it in a perspective that allows the reader to really experience what the narrator is going through.

The story is about a mother, Katherine James, realizing that her 17-year-old son is deep in the drug scene. He goes by the alias Sweetboy, and is referenced as such throughout the book. He was raised in a Christian home and had a father who was a well-known Christian writer and speaker, but even with all the good exposure at home, it did not stop the eventual addiction. 

“A Prayer for Orion” is an incredibly powerful book, as it is told from the mother’s point of view. Her anguish and sadness as her son goes through the effects of quitting heroin show the raw emotions in the book. Throughout the journey with her son, she meets many of his close friends and fellow users who would come by to get a free meal. A lot of them ended up getting close to James and telling her their stories, each more heartbreaking than the last. It really humanizes the drug scene and helps the readers realize that these people are victims, not criminals. 

Although there is no specific plot or general storyline that the book follows, it keeps the suspense by using the beautiful writing that James shows throughout the book. Along with the captivating journey that her son takes, especially with the twists and turns, it is almost impossible to put down. Not only is it an entertaining and interesting story to read, it teaches a lesson along with being emotional and powerful.

Rating: 8.9

Tagline: “Reams and Reels,” written by Cade Smucker, dives into the intersection between books and movies. Reviewing books one week and movies the next, Smucker analyzes the newest works of fiction on the market, telling you which are worth your time, and which are not.