"They Shall Mount Up Like Wings on Eagles": The Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and Giveaway of Something I am Not

About the Book

Book:  Something I am Not
Author: Cher Gatto
Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: January 25, 2019

A father who never loved him…

A woman who stole his worth…

And a brother he couldn’t protect.

Where does someone run in the face of his deepest shame?

Billy McQueen works hard to keep his life together … and concealed. At seventeen, he dreams of an escape from the barroom, his father’s manipulation, and the advances of his father’s girlfriend.

However, on his eighteenth birthday, Billy is introduced to a younger brother he never knew he had. An eight-year-old who is barely capable of navigating the corrupt world of his father’s boxing club.
Now, in order to secure his freedom, Billy must fight for it. But to save his little brother who is next in line for the slave trade … he must die for it.

SOMETHING I AM NOT, formerly titled Billy, won the ACFW Genesis Award for the Contemporary category. It was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas.

Click here to get your copy!

Book Review

 I am going to start off by saying that if you are someone who is looking for a quick and light read, a book to enjoy while on vacation at the beach, or to read at night after a long and taxing day, Something I am Not is not the book for you.

HOWEVER, if you are looking for something emotional, something life-changing, something that will pull on your heartstrings, that has a good, strong message, but a long, hard journey to get to that message, then this book is the one for you.

Something I Am Not was a difficult book to read. Not because I didn’t like the story. Not because I didn’t like the writing. Cher Gatto is a very talented author and presented the story beautifully. But it was hard to read because it was about a boy only a couple years younger than me who was abused his whole life. Because it dealt with things like human trafficking and abuse and a myriad of other things. Because of its graphic scenes and moments. Because of the life that Billy McQueen lived. And the saddest part of it all, the realization you have as you read about Billy’s life that, while Billy is a fictional character, there are many, many people who live similar lives who are very much real.

I loved this book. It was emotional and heavy and dark. There were times I cried for Billy. For his brother. For other people he meets in this story. It made me angry that what happens in the book happens today. And I would highly recommend this book to anybody. Yes, it’s emotional, but it does have a very good message, it is hopeful, and it brings to light an evil in this world that needs more awareness.

I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review. 

About the Author

Cher Gatto is a native to NJ and lives with her husband (pastor) and five teenagers. Their family spent 10 years in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids (see more about the ranch below) and founded an addictions ministry (R-HUB) back in the states. Cher has a Master’s in Psychology and serves as president of the ACFW NY/NJ chapter. Cher’s debut novel won the Genesis Award in 2016 and the Christian Indie Award for Best YA in 2020. Her new novel, Regent, is scheduled to release this fall, and she has begun a sequel to Something I Am Not..

More from Cher

I never meant to be a writer. It’s something that happened to me when I wasn’t looking. Our family (my husband and I and our five children) lived in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids, at-risk youth, and broken families in impoverished villages surrounding the ranch. Our co-workers ran a women’s shelter in the city, and we used the horses to love on the girls there. I say “women’s” shelter, but most were children (13, 14, 15 years old) trying to raise babies of their own. Many of the babies a result of abuse, rape, or incest. Some had been drawn out of trafficking. Their stories tragic and incomprehensible.

About a year after we got on the field, the shelter closed down for a dangerous breach in security. All the girls were sent back to where they came from. We could do nothing. Nothing at all, but watch them go. A few months later, I saw one of the girls at church escorted by her “father.” When our eyes met, the vacancy in hers shattered my heart. I will never forget it. And one day, while I was cleaning a horse corral, I had Billy’s story. Not the whole thing, but a piece of it.

I hid myself away whenever I could for months and wrote furiously. I had no idea how the story would unfold, or even what themes would develop. But three hundred and fifty pages later, I was done. I guess it was all in there, needing to come out. I thought I was writing a fiction novel, but Billy’s journey gave me the key to process and heal from things I saw around me but couldn’t change. Things that broke my heart.

I needed a different ending—a redemption. Billy’s story became an allegory on life. He lives under the wrong “father,” as an orphan, believing the fear and shame that those lies wield. But in finding the right Father, he finds where he truly belong. Billy’s story is about coming home. It’s his story, and it’s ours.

Something I Am Not was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. It won the 2016 Genesis Award for the contemporary category and 2020 Christian Indie Award for best Young Adult fiction.

Blog Stops

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, July 7 (Author Interview)
Wishful Endings, July 9 (Author Interview)
Rebecca Tews, July 9
For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 15 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Cher is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. This sounds like a great read about tough subjects.

  2. This does sound like a difficult read.

  3. Excellent review! Sounds like a must read. Thank you for hosting.


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