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, Lgbt, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves

  • Larry H
    3.5 stars for this one.Social media has made it possible for us to connect with people from all phases of our lives, all over the world. Sadly, it has also made it easier for people to bully, ridicule, criticize, gossip, and humiliate. No matter how many connections we may have, are these true relationships? Will the people with whom we share photos, pithy sayings, humorous videos, and casual greetings actually be there to help us in our time of ...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Tucker
    Every single one of the characters lacks insight into their own identity and behavior. Reproducing the inanity of the thought and speech of such people is usually tiresome to read, but this book is a rare exception where it is done to great effect. The people in this social network are interactively knit in such a way that their collective growth process becomes the reader's. Avoids sensationalizing the main tragic act which remains the fulcrum o...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Brian
    Ricky is a young boy who takes the life of a classmate then himself and shoots another in the arm. This book tells his story through the eyes of several people. It also uses chat room transcripts, which is an aspect that I enjoy in books. Ricky's life is a tragic one and we are given brief glimpses into the struggles he faced as well as the relationships which he had with those around him. The reason I gave the book 3 stars was because there were...
  • 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,...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Robin Martin
    I believe this book is geared toward teenagers, hoping to warn them into better behavior. On the surface, it is mostly about Ricky, his abusers, and the retaliation he takes against them which ends with a murder, a suicide, and an injury. But this book is deeper than that. Much like 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, this book delves into the lives of the tormentors and the people who were close with Ricky, exploring the motivations and collateral dam...
  • Patrick
    Great novel published for adults. Enjoyed the multiple perspectives. Powerful, relevant, and raw. Listened on audio. Top notch.
  • Kim
    3.8 stars
  • 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...
  • Deb
    Sad, haunting story of the events leading up to and the aftermath of a teen murder/suicide. I like the multiple pov's, which are also differentiated using various writing formats. This book gives you a lot to think about, and not to say that you sympathize with a killer necessarily, but being aware of the damage bullying causes is certainly a point the book makes clear. We are also witness to people in his circle coming to terms with signs they m...
  • Amanda
    I received this book through Kindle First. I chose it over the others because I felt the topic had great potential. Unfortunately I was incredibly disappointed. The story follows a murder-suicide by a young man in a small New England town. Each chapter jumps from character to character in First Person narratives. I've read multiple stories written in that fashion and believe it can be an interesting approach. But in this book I feel the author we...
  • Rick
    A truly exceptional, touching, and "powerful-new-voice-in-fiction" novel. Highly recommended.
  • Mark Hiser
    Though the Internet is ordinary in our lives, it is sometimes a challenge to remember that it did not take recognizable form until the 1990s. Then, it was not until almost the year 2000 that social media sites came to the web. Today, we grapple with the impact of personal computers and digital technology and find that our advances come with implications we do not understand, and cannot know, because of the newness of the technology. While true th...
  • 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...
  • Dieter
    I find this to be courageous novel that raises some important questions. It’s absorbing and offers a great deal of food for thought, especially around issues of identity and media. What he provides of each characters’ internal dialogue sufficiently compels us to take account of how our self-concept develops, as well as our needs for it to be bolstered and how we respond when it is threatened. In telling of this tragedy about acceptance of our...
  • 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...
  • Avid
    Thought ProvokingSome new topics that have hit our society were focused on that we still don't understand how to handle as a whole. Many of these hot issues addressed and up causing strife, shame, controversy, denial, hatred, division, bullying to extreme measures, and even murder and suicide.The one part I really enjoyed his the author tackled the book and issues was to come at it from the different perspectives of the major central characters i...
  • 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...