Review: Brothers LaFon, Part One: Crucial Lessons (Brothers LaFon #1) by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Alexander LaFon lives a nightmare, but he deals with it. Deals with the fact that his mother abandoned him as an infant, deals with the fact that his father is never home, and deals with the fact that his older brother, Jeremiah, tortures him.

He dreams of escaping his mobile-home prison and finding a normal life. Of breaking free of his agony, finding a woman to love, becoming a teacher.

But some horrors you can never outrun. There's nowhere to hide. Some nightmares chase you in your sleep and steal your freedom like a brutal thief. Some brothers never give up and never answer why.

Note: This book contains graphic violence, non-consensual sex, child abuse, and animal cruelty.

Beautifully fucked up.

The kind of book that made me question my moral compass, because holy hell I should not be so damn intrigued by Jeremiah LaFon. He’s a sadistic psychopath with absolutely no fucks to give about anyone else’s opinion. It’s a seriously well done character study into the mind of Miah and his brother Alex. Alex gave the story its balance and a character to root for and empathize with. Growing up as the victimized brother to Miah’s brand of attention would do some hardcore damage to anyone’s mind.

For a short story, there was a great amount of history given and it made me “get” the dicked up family dynamics. I think it’s because the author did a great job of showing and minimal telling. It made Miah’s character that much more frightening. A few well-placed thoughts and actions of his gave a world of story in one or two paragraphs.

There were a couple of moments that were really tough for me to read. Wait, who am I kidding, there were a lot of moments. But, what I’m getting at it is you need to pay attention to the tags for the story. My breaking point could have been with the animals, if there had been any additional that would have been it for me like it would be for many. I bring this up because you should know that it wasn’t gratuitous or overly graphic. Disturbing? Absolutely. But, it had a point and spoke to Miah’s mind in a way that gives huge impact to the reader and to Alex.

The nighttime conversations between Miah and Alex were just as disturbing as the beatings Alex took. For me, the quitest moments can bring the greatest unease. They can lull the victim (and reader!) into a false sense of security and make us step back from the edge a bit and drop our guard. That’s pretty much the worst plan to have but damn I wanted that moment for Alex so badly even though it was doing him no favors in the long run. No matter what, Miah is his brother and Alex loves his brother.

I cheered for Alex when he was finally able to make his break, but also wasn’t na├»ve enough to believe that would be it. The escape was a tease and the end broke my heart and intrigued the hell out of me. While the story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger per se, it does open the door to a whole new chapter for this extremely disturbed relationship. I’ll be right there ready to read it too. Of course I’ll have to have something on deck that is so sickeningly sweet I’ll get a cavity just reading it, for brain cleansing purposes, but it’s totally worth every word.

For more info on the Brothers LaFon check it out on Goodreads!


  1. 5* and banned on Amazon, you've got my attention! Got a couple of there anything redeemable about Miah? I'm presuming no? and would this be classed as a psychological thriller?

    1. There's nothing redeemable about Miah. He's got way more depth than just a character acting "dangerous crazy" though. It's a fine line between stereotypical psycho and fascinating character study and this definitely falls in the fascinating zone.

      It's a dark thriller for sure. You're heart will be wrenched, it's tense and it's twisted, but it makes sense too. I don't know how else to describe it. I can't wait to see what you think!

  2. WOW, what a stunningly beautiful review, Ann! Thank you SO much. I'm doing a happy dance not just for the wonderful review, but also because you 'enjoyed' the story. WOOT! It's not an easy read, but I certainly hope it's one readers are glad they took.

    JLT =)

    1. Thank YOU!
      I loved that I hated things and hated that I loved things, you know what I mean???
      The story definitely makes you feel, no doubt about it, and isn't that the whole point?

  3. Great review Ann. I'll be right there with you for the next one too.

    1. Thanks so much Debra! I can't wait to read what's next and I'm dreading it at the same time. Which is half the fun of course, but yeah, we can hold each others hands through it, that'll help ;).