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When sixteen year old Jude Calvert sets out to steal stained glass from a broken cathedral window he finds than shards of red He finds Max Rangel his eye candy from his new LGBT support group hauling a giraffe carcass across an abandoned part of town with a pack of guys And he still accepts Max's dinner invite a few days later Still animal lover Jude can't get the giraffe out of his mind It doesn't take long for him to confront Max who gives him partial answers and introduces him to a secret brotherhood of not so typical game hunters Unable to tell his mom the savior of black cats everywhere or his dad the zoo's head veterinarian and unwilling to go back to his overbearing therapist Jude quickly finds himself sucked into the underground world of taxidermy theft and drug dealsAt first he's willing to do anything for the brotherhood just because he's so thankful to belong to someone again after serious drama with his ex clique and ex boyfriend But when his underground life collides with his life above he realizes he may have bitten off than even the biggest animal can chew


10 thoughts on “Breaking Saint Jude

  1. says:

    This was my 2nd foray into the writings of Nikki Godwin and where the first one was all about finding the courage to be yourself this book was while darker and morbid overall about finding yourself and embracing being different It's about learning to deal with loss in a way that may not make sense to others but works for you Jude Calvert teenager is attending a support group for LGBTQ teens after his first boyfriend Drew was yanked away by Drew's religious parents and sent to a conversion camp The shame of that experience has broken Jude and he copes by collecting stained glass pieces in all the colors of the rainbowHe's a vegetarian gay and the son of the town's zoo's veterinarian Through his father Jude is close to some of the animals at the zoo and still mourning the loss of Lucy a gorilla Jude meets Max in the group admires the eye candy and then sees him again after dark when Jude is stealing broken glass from an old church window that has been shattered While crouching in the shadows he observes Max hauling a dead giraffe into a warehouse with a group of other young men The story immediately takes on a dark undertone with stolen dead animals taxidermy and a drug dealer who has his own story to tell It isn't immediately clear to the reader what's going on but as Jude is parts terrified and parts intrigued by what he observed we begin to see the story unfold as he accepts a date with Max and meets Max's friendsJude is not a perfect character and neither is Max Jude is also a rather unreliable narrator As the story progresses and Jude finds out about the group of Max's friends as do we through his eyes he begins to realize that while what they're doing is quite illegal they're doing it for reasons that are while perhaps hard to understand to an outsider perfectly understandable to them The relationship that develops between Jude and Max may seem tame for two teenage boys who would be tempted by raging hormones and their romance doesn't really take center stage on its own The author intertwines themes of loss and pain of feeling broken with themes of hope and moving forward of keeping memories alive without getting lost in the past The interactions were sweet and fun and there was kissing and touching but not much else If anything their intimate relationship was overshadowed by the activities around the dead animals and the taxidermy The author did a wonderful job exploring the secondary characters she created from Terry to Levi to Caleb to Tuck as well as Jude's father giving them detailed characteristics and personalities of their own without making them look like caricatures or one sided cardboard But this novel also has some issues Jude's parents for one who were almost too perfect for my taste with their understanding and support and the taxidermy was a little creepy for me I've always thought it a strange thing The climax was also slightly predictable and I was waiting for that to happen I did like the ending though it made all of the pieces fall into place it showed that Jude had learned some important lessons I would certainly recommend this book to teenagers as I think that the lesson within is a good one From where I'm sitting middle aged and cynical this book reminded me of the confusion of my teenage years not knowing who I really was and feeling broken and alone I could certainly empathize with Jude's struggles though his 'poor me' attitude was occasionally grating on me I wanted at once to grab him by his shirt and shake some sense into him as well as hug him and tell him everything would be okayRecommended I received a free copy of this book from its author A positive review was not promised in return


  2. says:

    One helluva weird ass story I mean seriously WTF?I enjoyed a book about TaxidermyTaxidermy Bleugh ShiverI once accidentally touched a real fur coat and was repulsed by my own fingers for the rest of the day True story If a new bloke took me to those places Max took Jude makes me sick a bit in my mouth just thinking about it No Just NoNot only that butI developed quite some crush on the Former Game Hunter Taxidermist 3 LeviI LOLed over a dead giraffeAndProper teared up over a Polar BearJude was an awesome protag quirky awkward and emotionally driven Him and Max made for such an adorable couple even if I did kinda hope a teensy bit that Max would prove to be a dickwad and Levi would slip in as Jude's main man Would so totally not have worked I know But still I liked that their relationship wasn't ever OTT not sickeningly soppy or TMI hotheavy T'was instead lotsa tender touches and sweet words often rather humorous too Spot onI was already a fan of Nikki's writing style from her Dresden Surf books and I'm even so now after this one immediately added all her other books to my TBR list I adore how much attention she gives to all her characters making each and every one of em special in their own unique way Her plot pacing is excellent And picking up the little crossover refs she likes to slip in always elicits a mini squee thrill So anywhoyeahBreaking Saint Jude was a great readFunny touching exciting and surprisingThe Brotherhood won me over Totally bought into all the crazyCreeptastically bizarre good fun


  3. says:

    This book was given to me by the author for free in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my ownI liked the main character Jude right away He's a gay vegetarian who owns black cats and loves polar bears When we first meet him he's on his way to an lgbt youth support group He uses the f word a lot so do some of the other characters so you might not like the book if that type of thing bothers you He sees an attractive guy at the support group meeting and nicknames him Eye Candy After the group he heads over to a church that's about to be demolished to steal some stained glass His therapist suggested that he collect glass in the colors of the rainbow and he really wants the red glass from there As he's stealing the glass he sees a group of guys hauling a dead giraffe into a truck and recognizes one of them as Eye Candy from the group He's horrified yet intrigued and this sets him off on kind of a crazy adventure He finds out that Eye Candy's name is Max and they end up datingI love the relationship between Jude and Max It's sweet caring and fun The author does a great job with all of the characters in the book but the two of them are my favorites After a few dates Jude meets the brotherhood They were a little hard to figure out at first but when I learned why they were doing what they do view spoilerTaking dead exotic animals from zoos and having them stuffed hide spoiler


  4. says:

    Breaking Saint Jude is the perfect mix of love weirdness and straight up 'did that seriously just happen?' This book is by far my favorite of Nikki's and I'm so happy she published it Jude is sarcastic and says the best things ever Max is the greatest love interest I have ever read in a book He is just absolutely amazing Levi Griffin the living Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the greatest characters in existence Read this book You need Jude Calvert in your life


  5. says:

    This book is weird Very weird But first I cannot relate those feeling from Jude reading about him I can see what he feels and put this in real lifeThe solitude and hungry to just fit inIt's interesting to read about because he is alone but kinda selfish tooWe have Drew here who I'm sure is in the most vulnerable and worst situation for a gay teenager And I understand how Jude feels about it but he just don't really give a fuck for what been in convention really means he even say that he prefers it compares to be left to a girl it's sick and so funcking selfish I can't even express my anger Get awkward because we don't see really much of Jude lifes here have no school or the meetings I don't knowAbout the author I have to said all those comments about girls and bisexuality is very uncomfortable There I go sounding like a whiny diva girlfriendMax rolls his eyes like a dramatic girlI almost want to come unglued like a hysterical fangirlI’d have just cursed and screamed and probably thrown things like a psychotic jealous girlfriendbitch is used against all women beside his mother and M just work in this internal misogyny NikkiJurd is very insecure the ex boyfriend of Max is he focus to be better than him but he is not really there so ???I don't know what to say any I think I don't like it but isn't bad really The animals thing it's such a creepy thing and I can't fake be cool with this it's creepy as fuck And the end is horrible I hate it because Jude said some pages earlier how he feels about what happen to Lucy and in the end Its a shit ending


  6. says:

    I've been wanting to read this book since June and was honestly pretty disappointed when it was pushed back from its original October release date There was something about this book that just seemed to call me Maybe it was the fact that even with its summery the plot still seemed like a mystery to me I knew it was a YA LGBT romance but that was it I know the author called it weird and that only made me want to read it The gist of the book is a boy named Jude starts dating a boy named Max great name btw and gets involved with an illegal underground taxidermy operation Pretty weird right? Well yeah but it surprisingly worked with narrative I had no idea that anyone can make stealing exotic animal carcasses into a cohesive plot line but Godwin defiantly has that ability and it worked out pretty wellJude is one of those characters in YA who'shuman While this is a fairly romantic book Jude does have other hobbies and obligations that aren't his arm candy such as collecting broken glass saving black cats and hanging out at the zoo with a polar bear named FrostIn all honesty Jude's characterization and the way Godwin managed to weave together the whole taxidermy plot were my favorite parts of the book She managed to give life to this idea of keeping the dead's memory alive by stuffing exotic animals and not have it seem totally fucked up which is obviously a talentSpeaking of fucked up my only minor qualm with this book is Jude's boyfriend Max He's one of those characters that you just want to hug and never let go of while you're reading the book but once you've finished and take a step back you look at and say Really?Max seemed to have a lot of baggage going on and while there's nothing wrong with that the book wasn't long enough to flesh it out enough in order to make a connection with His dad's a crackhead his ex dumped him for a girl and his cousinpseudo brother died to leukemia but we only see how his cousin's death affected him emotionally and not his other tragediesThe other side characters in this brotherhood are okay They're characteristics are memorable but not the characters themselves I remember of what they did then who they were But I have to admit Godwin did a pretty awesome job of creating a story that was both thrilling heartfelt and romantic in under 200 pages While some of it could have used some development I think this book is a wonderful read for a lot of people looking for somethingunique


  7. says:

    Review and Giveaway The Shadow RealmI'll be honest When I first heard about this one I was a bit hesitant to read it because I absolutely hate taxidermy I can't stand the thought of animals being treated that way But because this is Nikki Godwin I knew I had to give it a shot because I have adored everything this woman has wrote so far I went into this with an open mind and I am so glad I did because like all of Godwin's other books I loved itI'm not sure what I can say about this book and about my love for it I loved the crazy cast of characters especially Levi the living Nightmare Before Christmas I loved Jude's hobby of collecting broken glass in the colours of the rainbow And I loved this quote“Maybe broken doesn’t mean you’re shattered” Dad says apparently in favor of an explanation “It just means you feel every piece of your soul Maybe you’re not meant to feel like one complete piece but instead a lot of different pieces that complete you Sort of like your glass collection You couldn’t form the rainbow without the broken pieces of each color”This book was heart warming It was quirky It was fun And it was everything I've come to love about this authors writing Even though I didn't exactly like what they were doing I was still able to enjoy the book regardless I could appreciate why they started doing it all in the first place Nothing will ever sell me on taxidermy but Godwin wrote about it in a way that didn't put me off reading And I think that alone makes this book amazingNothing about this book is typical It is oh so very weird and oh so very wonderful It seems Godwin can do no wrong


  8. says:

    { i was given a free e book of this book in exchange for review }I instantly loved this book from the very first paragraph I always secretly hope when I walk into support group meetings everyone will rise from their chairs and burst into songs from Rent It's never happened and I know it won't tonight That first paragraph made me want to continue readingI think Jude is one of my all time favorite book characters I love his little quirks like his thing with shards of glass {Read the book and find out what i'm talking about kay? it's worth it} his obsession with black cats and his relationship with animals at the zoo specifically Frost the polar bearI love how real Jude is and how he sometimes lets his emotion get the better of him because it's realAnother awesome thing about this book is that it links itself to Nikki's other books and you wouldn't even know it unless you read the other books I didn't even realize that Tuck was in Falling From The Sky until something was mentioned in a later chapter about Tuck selling graffiti at an art festival and I was like WAIT I KNEW THAT NAME SOUNDED FAMILIAR WHEN HE WAS INTRODUCED and I even went back to FFTS to make sure I wasn't just sleep deprivedI love how invested I am into every character even the supporting ones such as Levi {who btw is amazing} Caleb Terry I love how Nikki somehow manages to add Sebastian's Shadows into every single book and also I only just realized this at the end when the book mentioned it how the Saturn series is connected to Jude I love love love everything about this book and it's totally worth reading {i've already gotten one of my friends to get it on her Nook }


  9. says:

    Nikki Godwin What can I say about Nikki Godwin? Well I tend to love anything she writes and that includes her latest book Breaking Saint Jude a LGBT YA romance Yes two boys fall in love In like? Anyways it was simply perfect I mean an awkward slightly dark glass collecting gay teen Jude falls in love with the mysterious I think I like you but I don't even know you and your friends are kinda shady hot guy Max There were so many lines in this book that I loved one being We're all a bunch of walking tragedies Yes We are It was so simple yet so poetic Then there was I nod and fight back the smile that wants to sneak across my face like a creeper outside a window Genius Gotta love a book that's unique makes you laugh out loud and allows you to connect with all the characters not just the main character Now let's talk about some of these characters shall we? Tucker the Trucker and Nightmare personified are a couple that definitely leaves an impression on you And Max Love Max I become a bit of a fan girl when it comes to him As always I am never disappointed with a Nikki Godwin book Her words once again leave me in a state of euphoria because I just like her stories that much So thanks Nikki for providing me a copy of BSJ and allowing me the opportunity to read and review another one of your amazing books I'm glad I was able to take a peek into Jude's life


  10. says:

    Breaking Saint Jude is not the first book I've read by Nikki Godwin however I've found that she likes to keep things different Surfers boybands taxidermyYou get the ideaBut my favorite thing about her is the fact she's the queen of interesting secondary characters Seriously I loved each and every one of the boys in the brotherhood even if I would have crossed the street to avoid them in real lifeAnd even though her books are so different she finds a way to connect them It could be something as simple as mentioning the name of a band that is also mentioned in her other series or they might even share minor characters and locations It makes my ears perk upJude was an odd protagonist and I couldn't get the best mental image of him Same with Max the love interest I liked the relationship they had going on but it was hard to see inside my headI'm not really sure what I expected going into this book it was all broken glass and taxidermic animals grungy but weirdly enjoyableSo yeah4 out of 5 stars