The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves by James Han Mattson

The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves

In raw, poignant alternating first-person narratives, interspersed with e-mails, gay chat-room exchanges, and other fragments of a youth laid bare in the age of social media, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves unravels the mystery of a life in all its glory: despair and regret, humor and wonder, courage and connection. A heartbroken and humiliated Ricky Graves took the life of a classmate and himself. Five months later, the sleepy community is stil...

Details The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves

TitleThe Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves
Release DateDec 1st, 2017
PublisherLittle A
GenreFiction, Glbt, Literary Fiction, Young Adult

Reviews The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves

  • James
    This is the book that I wrote. It comes out in December. I gave it five stars 'cause I wrote it. You can put it on your "Want to Read" list if you want to read it. It'd make me smile if you did.
  • Craig Allen
    I was so very excited to read this book, and I'm happy to say it was worth the wait, and then some. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read and review it.In "The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves" we pick up in the aftermath of a shooting by a humiliated teen. Ricky is lonely, gay, bullied, and recently humiliated by a group of popular boys, one of which he thinks is interested in him. It was all a prank, though, and Ricky takes a...
  • Jess
    Out of the three Kindle First books I've read so far, this one is by far the best. It's a modern, accessible story about the "lost prayers" we send out into the world every time we go online and what happens when those prayers go unanswered. Judging by that description alone, I'd probably never choose to read this book--as a millennial firmly rooted in our technological world, I abhor fiction that exists purely to rail on those dumb kids with the...
  • Karen
    What an incredible story! I read this book in less than two days, just couldn't put it down. I love every single one of the characters, how real they are, how imperfect, none of them really an outright villain. Just human, like all of us. I know I'm going to hold on to this book (mentally, emotionally) for a while, that I'm going to take some time to process it, and then in a few months I'm going to come back and re-read it with different eyes, a...
  • Joanna Pedagno
    Wow! Not what I expectedHighly recommended. Should be required reading for high school kids. The story is written with each character telling their part individually. Real people, real situation, really good.
  • Mandy
    This was the book I chose from the November Kindle First options and I’m glad I did. I think a part of me was drawn to this book due to my current detachment and feelings towards social media...and to be honest, despite being a work of fiction, it opened my eyes even more.I really loved how this book was set up with the emails between Ricky’s mother (Harriet) and Victoria Gorham, the “Man Date Chat Transcripts,” and the various first-pers...
  • Derrick
    I must admit that I’m finding it a bit difficult to find the right words to describe this book. It affected me in so many ways. It was extremely evocative, and somewhat provocative, both generally and on a personal level. The main plot and the sub-plots were perfectly contemporary, topical and timely. I hate to use the phrase, but not only were they “ripped from the headlines” of any modern newspaper on any given day, but they reflect topic...
  • Goth Gone Grey
    Multiple POV of a 'snapped' shooterOn the surface, this is a story of a bullied, conflicted kid that is overwhelmed by his life, shoots others, then himself. It's told by multiple POV's before and after the fact in narration, chats, and emails. With so many voices, it leaves you wondering how they all might tie together neatly into a bow at the end of the story. Simply put, they don't. As in life, you're left with questions about multiple charact...
  • Cindy Mathis
    I got this book as my November Kindle First choice. This is the first time I’ve read the monthly choice in the month it was released. This book is the To Kill A Mockingbird of this generation. It should be required reading for every person on this planet. I read a lot of books. Like, a lot. This is most original, most relevant book I have read this year. This is a book that will stay with me forever. If you’ve ever been a bully, been bullied,...
  • Lisa
    The timely story of the aftermath of a young man who commits an unthinkable, violent act in a small New England town. I finished it in just a couple of days because it is so compelling. So many adults and "friends" fail this kid that you can't help but understand why he snaps. You're not directly responsible for gun tragedies, but we all are responsible for violent acts. I'll be a lot less quick to dismiss opportunities to be kind. This book will...
  • David Haws
    The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves was categorized as Literary Fiction, and I imagine Orson Scott Card had something like it in mind when he exaggerated that the only people reading this particular genre are the students of the people producing it. I made it through nearly 30% of the book before giving up. I can handle quirky first-person, although I prefer the author to limit himself to one first-person POV per narrative, but I choked on the epist...
  • Ginny
    I chose this as my Kindle First novel. The story pulled me right in, and even the alternating voices telling the story worked somehow. That's a good trick, making alternating storytellers different enough so that you don't forget who is speaking. (I did have to check a few times.)Ricky Graves is already dead as the book begins. Branded as being weird by his peers, struggling with being gay, he was an obvious target for bullying, and a humiliating...
  • Mel
    The lost prayers of Ricky Graves was my Kindle First pick for November, 2017. The story is a retrospective of the aftermath of a tragedy which befell a small New Hampshire town, unfolding through six different points of view: Harriet Graves, Ricky’s mother, a single mom a little too self-absorbed in being a good mother to really notice what’s actually going on with her kids; Alyssa Graves, Ricky’s sister (eight years older), who has her mom...
  • Vivian
    From my editor's letter:As someone who maintains a public Twitter account, I always think about how my followers might think they know me on a deep level even though they only read what I share through an app. What does intimacy mean if your only tie to someone is through a social network? What do friendships mean if they’re based on emails, texts, chats? James Han Mattson’s modern take on an epistolary novel forces us to confront the depths,...
  • Alexandra
    I got a chance to read this early through Amazon's Kindle First program. Overall, I enjoyed this book; it was an interesting and multi-layered story, and I was particularly impressed by the way the voice changed from character to character. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't, in fact, terribly "technology is making all the kids these days antisocial and ruining their lives" (as a Millennial, I go into anything with commentary on tec...
  • Valerie
    I chose this book as my Kindle First read for November, and to be honest those can really be hit or miss. So I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this book so much. In general, I don't like books that alternate narrators and perspectives too much because if it is not done just right the reader gets confused and lost. But in this case, I had no problems keeping up with the characters or the plot.I was sucked into this story. Unlike many stories the...
  • Kelsey Miller
    A tad too obvious...This novel teases out the impact of technology on our personal and social interactions. It does so by alternating chapters' communication formats - email, chat, narrative, etc - and through the co ducts faced by two of the main characters (Jeremy and Ricky). While this is enough (and then some) to highlight the issue, Mattson has every character weigh in on the subject either explicitly or implied. By the midway point, I as a ...
  • Britta
    Meh. It started out pretty well. Alternating between viewpoints of those that knew Ricky Graves. And, we get some of his pov via chatroom messages with Jeremy. But even some of those seemed a bit too disconnected. For instance, we hear from Ricky's mother via emails she sends to a self-help/parenting book author she likes. Which makes her seem pretty distant from the story. The child's mother. I mean, maybe that was intentional, but none of the o...
  • Julia Coppage
    Brutal and BeautifulWritten in several points of view and various formats, this book is still clear, direct, and makes literary music with a mingling of voices creating a chorus of tragedy for those left behind. Each character comes to life through their individual statements of involvement, loss, guilt, and effort. In their determination to explore their individual roles as partial catalyst and to understand how to move on, the characters reveal...
  • grundoon
    3.5 The story of a gay teen murder-suicide in a small town, the events and circumstances of which are revealed piecemeal after the fact through those to whom he was connected, using a variety of devices. Or rather, we learn about these people, and how each contributed to the outcome – the central character took his own story with him to the grave. The use of individual voices and perspectives keeps things fresh... there's a touch of inconsisten...
  • Esther Martinez
    MEH! I decided to explore another genre and chose this book because the preview made it sound interesting. Without spoiling it for someone who hasn't yet read the book.... basically this book was about a young man having trouble accepting his homosexuality and his life right before he kills himself, another young man he had a crush on and shooting another who survived. My opinion: the young man came from a very dysfunctional home. While I dont qu...
  • Ameetha Widdershins
    3.5 This novel uses an extreme event- a teen murder-suicide- to confront the issues of communication and friendship in this digital age through the first person points of view of several characters related to the teen. Can there be authentic connection in the virtual world? What if the relationships in the real world do not satisfy or are broken? What is the obligation to those we connect with virtually when they post or reach out? While the book...
  • Emily
    No Prayers Lost on this Kindle First Selection!Excellent first novel. I chose this as my Kindle first selection and am pleased. I'd rate it a 3.5 but rounded up. I enjoyed the format, using emails, chat transcripts and different points of view throughout. My biggest criticism is of the portrayal of the parents and young adults in the story. I found most of the parents to be flat or somewhat unrealistic (as a parent it was hard to relate). I thoug...
  • Cindy Nielsen
    Holly Cow, this is a FANTASTIC BOOK!Totally blown away by this being James Han Mattson first book! I love when I reach out of my "norm" reading the big name authors in action, mystery, legal thrillers...What a fantastic surprise. I loved how the story starts at the end, then beautifully tells the story from the beginning, each chapter is one of the main characters telling their part of how Ricky was a part of their life, past and present. The sto...
  • Lindsey
    The blurb sounded so interesting, but ugh. It was a book of insufferable characters. I didn’t care for the alternating timelines and character focuses and all of the internal dialogue. Like it was truly a book about a whole bunch of awful people, except the one dude you actually expect to be a douche was really a good guy (though also freaking crazy!). And I was just waiting or it to end with more bay-shit crazy action, but it didn’t. I almos...
  • Erin
    Eye-openerWow. What a superbly written book. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because all of the "likes". (I really can't stand that word, and it is used A LOT in this book.) But seriously otherwise, this was beautifully written. I enjoyed all the different perspectives, and he did a wonderful job of tying them all together in the end. This book made me realize that every shooting has real stories behind it, and that's it's all to easy to for...
  • Aurora
    Wow! Great read.This was a great book. I would have given 5 stars but it seemed to just be missing something. More detail maybe. An easy yet deep and insightful read. I would be glad to read more from this author. I read this through the kindle first program. I am no good at writing reviews, also I hate to tell too much of the story and ruin it. Great read for highschool kids. Lots of swearing but I'm fine with that. Make sure to talk to your lov...
  • David Pickens
    The first person narratives is an interesting device. The trouble with using such a device is that it borders on a gimmick that gets tiring. In this case it did not, for me, but it was close. Thus only 4 stars.The exposure of modern day relationships was a little chilling for someone who isn't consumed with social media, but is certainly relevant and probably accurate for a large (and younger) portion of society. Anything that makes you think and...
  • Shannon Ireland
    Such an important readThis book felt so real. This is the society we live in. The characters were so relatble and I loved how we got to see each of their perspectives. I kept just coming back to this book throughout the day, unable to not know what was happening with the characters. You will not be disappointed by this read. It will make you think about how who you are and how you act affects lives.
  • Fiona Blackshaw
    Read this book in one sitting. Before I started, I was skeptical about the multiple narrators--does the literary world need another As I Lay Dying, I asked myself--but the voices are well crafted and engaging. The chat room conversations and email exchanges between characters encapsulate how the connections we make online are both intimate and isolating; the longing to be understood is almost palpable. And, as I've mentioned in other reviews, I l...