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After his father leaves in the middle of the night, Cory Maddox and his mom, Gina, are forced to start over. Left alone while Gina tries to work her way out of debt, Cory deals with life as the new kid in school with no friends. Fleeing from the school bullies, Cory ends up under an overpass where an old homeless man lives. After being saved from the bullies, Cory and the homeless man, Mr. Washington, become friends.

But things don’t get any easier for Cory. Children are disappearing from around the state, and the bullies haven’t forgotten his escape the first time they went after him. And there is something wrong with Mr. Washington…something terribly wrong.

Accompanied by his only two friends and the unlikeliest of allies, Cory sets out to keep a promise to the ailing homeless man. Will Cory and his friends find a way to keep the promise, or will the journey prove too difficult for them?

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I like this book. I like Cory. I like Mr. Washington.

I felt a great deal of sympathy for them and was drawn into the story of their existence in just a few lines. The credit for that goes to A.J. Brown. It’s a well-written book by an excellent writer.


It’s a damn good story.

You immediately want to sign up to fight Cory’s battles. Here’s a kid who has already had way too much disappointment in his young life and it isn’t about to end. Here too, is the same kid who made one hefty promise and, wow, does he ever intend to keep it. He faces many obstacles along the way? Will they prevent him from doing what he promised to do?

If you decide to buy this book you won’t regret it.


Cory’s Way reminded me of a combination of Stephen King’s story “The Body” and Robert McCammon’s “Boy’s Life.” A.J. Brown combines the life and death dramatic Stephen King story with Robert McCammon’s suspenseful yet terrifying book. Both were fantastic coming of age stories which A.J. has mastered with this creative, enduring tale. It’s a heartwarming, suspenseful, coming of age story that gripped my heart, terrified me, and brought me to tears. I might add that A.J. Brown’s “Dear Faithful Readers” was also a tearjerker. Cory’s Way is about a twelve year old boy that befriends a homeless man named Mr. Washington and learns about the importance of life, death, family, and friends. His life experience with two bullies, a homeless man, a young girl named Emmy, and two nameless other characters (I don’t want to reveal too many spoilers here), puts Cory, and his friends on a heartbreaking, scary, suspenseful, and terrifying journey. When Mr. Washington was first introduced, I couldn’t help but picture Morgan Freeman as Mr. Washington. I highly recommend reading this! It is a journey you will enjoy yet will terrify you and keep you turning the page.


I wish there were half stars available for reviews, because I would up this to 4.5 stars. A bit of a slow starter, but once the journey started (I’m trying to stay spoiler free) I couldn’t wait to find out what happens next. Very engaging characters, reminded me a bit of The Body by Stephen King. My only complaint would be about the Crazy Man character, he just seemed so out there he didn’t quite fit the story for me. Overall a very enjoyable read and I also really liked the short story that followed about Baxter Street and would love to read more about the residents.


Cory’s Way is a coming-of-age story of a young boy with a social conscience. This theme drives a beautiful and well-written story that at times reminded me of some of the elements Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying,” in that there’s a quest involved that seems at times to be riddled with nothing but obstacles. Those among us with the least power can be heroes, and A.J. Brown weaves this theme throughout the book to a suspenseful ending, tying his beautiful story with a thriller-style bow. I love Brown’s prose, and I hope to read more of his brilliant work.


Cory’s Way is a beautiful story, told in a creative and vivid way. Brown does an excellent job of making you feel like you know the characters. When a certain character dies, I nearly cried. At one point in the story, I was worried about Emmy’s demise. When I saw that she was OK, I literally said out loud, “Praise God.” That is how emotionally involved I was with the characters. Brown is a ‘word wizard.’ I was constantly amazed at the words he used to describe something and I wondered how anyone could come up with such a unique way of describing something. And that description, which I never would have thought of, made perfect sense. ( I suppose that’s why he is a professional writer!) I also loved how the two short stories at the end tied in with the main story of ‘Cory’s Way.” Throughout the book, it is easy to see that Brown has genuine compassion for the homeless and for other “lesser” types of people. I can’t wait to read more of Brown’s stories.


Writers want their reviewers to be honest so here goes….. when I first read what this book was going to be about I didn’t think I would enjoy it. Not really in my genre of reading. But after meeting A.J. Brown on Facebook and getting to know him a little I figured I’d give it a go.
This book had it all…. I laughed, I cried, I was scared and I was happy … I felt so bad for Corey in the beginning but realized later that it had to be that way for Corey to keep his promise.

This book also teaches us a valuable lesson in that just because someone is down on their luck does not mean they are bad people.
Great job with this one Mr. Brown and I can’t wait to read the rest.


Adult or Young Adult? That, friends, is the question. I’ve been accused of being an adult. Im in my early 30’s, so it’s probably a fair accusation. So what does it mean to be in your early 30’s in the year 2014? It means you were a child of the 80’s. What does being a child of the 80’s mean? It means I know what it is to be a Goonie. When I hear someone say they need to phone home, I point a finger in the air and say, ‘Elleee ot.’ Vanilla Ice is not a desert, and cowabunga is a real word. It means movies like Stand by Me and The Sandlot Kids are amongst my favourite of all time. A grown man enjoys watching movies about the hardships of being a kid? Why? Because I was one. As an adult you notice the things you didn’t as a youngster, you reminisce and you saviour. Also, I enjoy them now because I enjoyed them then.

This book, Corys Way, has that instant classic feel of an 80’s movie. You will connect, you will feel, you will know Cory. As an adult you will remember the simple conversations between boys and girls, moms and sons. As a Young Adult, I believe you will relate, but also, enjoy. Such a ride. The real horror, is because you feel like you know these kids, feel like you are one of these kids.

You will smile…but…beware. You will also cringe. You may even put the book down a minute, to catch your breath. Moments of horror and gore, maybe a bit too much for the young…but maybe it’ll hook them. For a young adult, this is the type of book to get you hooked to the horror genre.

So, Adult or Young Adult? Well that’s easy…BOTH! Feel the horror.


Excellent book, definitely an excellent Suspence-Thriller, that is twisted and will definitely leave wondering “What if?”.


I won a copy of this book in a contest and am very glad I got the chance to read Cory’s incredible story. Cory is a young boy who is in need of attention. Having to move when his dad up and left has put a strain on his already fragile world. His mom has to work long hours just to make ends meet. He is also the unfortunate victim of bullying. While this would make most anyone bitter Cory is a very amazing resilient young man. He befriends an unlikely man, who while not a saint is exactly what Cory needs. This book really drives home what it means to keep the promises you make. This book also touches on a very serious issue and while I’m not entirely sure it was the author’s intention he really struck a cord with identifying PTSD. (Post traumatic stress disorder) Cory constantly has “flashbacks” of the night his dad left and different things his dad would do and say. PTSD is very real and sometimes can be very debilitating. Cory really overcomes many obstacles to keep his promise to his friend even when others would have stopped. There is plenty of suspense, laughs, and cries in this book. Cory is truly an unsung hero. We could all learn a thing or two from him. While this book isn’t for young readers due to some graphic violence there are many great lessons that young to old can learn from this book!


What a great coming of age story. It’s a well written emotional roller coaster of a ride with well defined characters. Cory and his Mom have moved to a new town after Cory’s father has abandoned them. They are really down on their luck and Cory is having a hard time making new friends. Enter Emmy a girl who thinks Cory is worth the time. Cory unfortunately is also being bullied by two brothers and as a result meets on homeless man named George Washington. They form a friendship and that has a great impact on the rest of the book. I don’t want to say anything else as I don’t want to spoil the story. It’s really hard to describe exactly what genre this book fits, there are aspects of young blossoming love, caring for others, mystery, thriller, suspense and horror. Well done A. J. Brown. I’m really looking forward to reading more of your books. I recommend this book to anyone who just wants to read a great story.


It leans a bit toward horror and mystery, but the main focus is on the coming-of-age characters, specifically Cory.

Moving to a new town, Cory doesn’t have any friends, but has gained a few bullies. In one of his heart-pounding escapes from his new teenage taunters, he is saved by a homeless man named George Washington. Mr. Washington, as Cory often calls him, is also a bit lonely and I think this is where the friendship was first formed. Having an absent father, Cory soon starts to see Mr. Washington this way and continues to visit him even when making new friends at school. It’s when Mr. Washington passes away that Cory has a new purpose in life. A promise he made to himself, and Mr. Washington, to bury him next to his family. Determined, and with a few friends, Cory takes on a treacherous journey. With a murderer on the lose you can see how this already tedious trek of hauling a coffin on wheels 19 miles could have plenty of adventure and strife.

I enjoyed watching Cory grow as a character. He has a strong moral compass and sticks to his guns even when it’s easier to back out. He started out as trying to figure out himself and his world and soon began to gain footing in his life in a short amount of time. Bullies are confronted, stereotypes dashed and a small romance surfaces for the young 12 year old.

CONCLUSION: With tests to the friendships, it reveals itself as a story of tolerance and forgiveness as well as growth. I think that even YA readers would enjoy this one, as well as adults.


Loved it!

I absolutely loved this story. It’s been a couple of months since I finished it and I still think of Cory, the story, and characters often.
I enjoyed the suspense throughout the story. Cory is a good kid – I like that. He has manners and is thoughtful.
A.J.’s words painted such pictures that in my mind I could see the story unfolding. I loved that.
I recommend Cory’s Way and look forward to reading more from A.J.


In “Cory’s Way”, A.J. Bown has written a wonderful coming-of-age tale. As others have said, the story has a bit of a “The Body” feel to it, but I’ll tell you what – “Cory’s Way” has much more heart. Combine unlikely friendships, young love and genuine terror, and you get a story that will alternately have you grinning, cheering, cringing and dabbing at your eyes. This is a journey you don’t want to miss!


Cory’s Way was a typical A.J. Brown. Thank goodness. This guy is pure story teller in a way I can’t really compare to anyone else. Perhaps Stephen King yet Mr. Brown skips the boring parts and just digs right in. Cory’s Way was very moving for me in an emotional way and pace of the story. Never a dull moment with Cory and friends and enemies. I love the way A.J. makes each character absolutely jump off the page and run from bullies into a dark, scary tunnel right in front of your eyes. Or how Emmy looks at him with such compassion and endearment you can see it happening before you and that goes to say for every character and interaction of this story. It is guys, story telling at it’s finest. If you’re reading this then you have probably read the other reviews that give you a recap or quick synopses of the story so I’m not going to but rest assured this is well worth reading. I am very impressed with A.J. Brown and will definitely read anything he publishes because I know I’m gonna get one hell of a story!


I enjoyed it.


AJ Brown’s novel “Cory’s Way” covers a wide variety of genres – mystery, suspense, thriller, a bit of horror thrown in, and a coming-of-age tale, with the romance implied by such. But it can really be summed up with one word: emotion. This has always been Brown’s forte, packing his seemingly endless number of tales with the type of raw emotion that leaves readers with their guts in their throats long after the last word, and “Cory’s Way” doesn’t disappoint. The protagonist Cory is the type of boy everyone will be able to relate to and see themselves in, and it doesn’t take long to find yourself rooting hard for him. By instilling that realism into the story, Brown ensures that the reader almost becomes Cory during the triumphs and tragedies he endures in his Stand By Me-type trek. Without that kind of emotion, this story wouldn’t work. It would fall into the seen-that-before subgenre of coming-of-age journeys, but in the hands of a writer of Brown’s capable talents, “Cory’s Way” not only works, but works exceedingly well.


This is a great book by a really good storyteller. The book takes an almost heartbreaking, honest look at life and has a lot of good themes in it. AJ tells the book like he is having a conversation with the reader. Albeit a very serious conversation. It has it’s dark and (sometimes) terrifying moments but in the end the book teaches really good life lessons. Mainly friendship, sacrifice, and love. Those three themes struck me especially through the entire book. Those themes lightened the book considerably. A very hard book to put down once you start. Thank you, AJ for writing such a good book.


A.J. hits a home run. I started this book late one night when I couldn’t sleep. Once I started it, I simply could not put it down. It was like watching something on tv or a movie. I was afraid if I put it down, I would miss something. Highly recommend that you get this book.


It’s a darkish coming of age story like stand by me with touches of Earth to Echo and Goonies thrown in. A good read for adults which slowly pulls you in until you can’t put it down so you can read just one more page, then another…Look forward to seeing what else this author comes out with.


An extraordinary story about a boy who learns that he must follow his heart when it comes to doing the right thing, even against Mom’s wishes. Well written, tense, and engaging, with all the emotional impact I love in a story, I found myself rooting for Cory through his difficult journey to find himself and keep a promise. The story wrapped me in Cory’s world and I didn’t want to put it down, even when finished. Because of the darker aspects of the story, it is best suited to anyone, young or old, over 13 or so. Highly recommended.


A great story about a young boy who seems to be still trying to find himself. With the help of a stranger and few friends, young Cory really blossoms in this story. Recommended from a good friend of mine and I in turn would recommend it to you. Please the author is a really great guy.


The novel Cory’s Way by A.J. Brown is a coming of age story that is both beautifully written and easy to read. Hidden between the artfully graphic covers, the reader will find not only colorful characters but also lessons about compassion, contentment, love, loyalty and friendship. While there is minimal swearing, I wouldn’t let anyone under the age of 13 read the book due to a few instances of violence that are crucial to the storyline. When I read my advanced copy I literally could not put the book down and still find myself (almost two weeks later) thinking about the characters and the what ifs… What if Cory gave up. What if Emmy was found all alone in the trees. What if the train car proved not to be the safe haven they’d hoped.
I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone that appreciates a complex story delivered in a easy to read package. I also recommend checking out A.J. Brown’s other published works Along The Splintered Path and Southern Bones.


Took a while to get in it but it is a very interesting page turner, and looking the the eyes of a kid who sees wrong in the world and make it right!! Great book.


I read Cory’s Way a little over a year ago and can’t believe I never wrote a review! I loved this book. Brown is a talented writer, who reminds me a bit of Stephen King. I think that has a lot to do with the way he pulls the reader into the minds of his characters. I consider the ability to do this as one of the most important when I am reading a book. The story itself is original and engaging with likable characters, surprising twists, and even some humor. It’s hard to classify the genre of a story like this. For anyone who likes a good adventure book, coming-of-age stories, or anything with a hint of the supernatural, Cory’s Way will be just right. While this book was probably written with an adult audience in mind, I wouldn’t hesitate to let my kids, ages 12 and 15, to read it.


This is my first experience with an A.J. Brown book and I’m beyond impressed with this storytelling abilities. This coming of age story is immersive. A.J. will draw you in and not let go. This novel seemed to be structured into parts where we see Cory the child, then we get an epic adventure included a lot of action near the end.

This novel juggles so many different elements. Cory is a young boy who befriends an elderly African American homeless man. At the same time, he struggles with a poverty-ridden home life where he’s just moved to a new house with just his mother because his father left. She’s always at work and there’s a lot of internal struggle where Cory resents that, but begins to understand it. Also, being the new kid, he has to deal with the school bullies, making friends, and possibly finding a girlfriend. All these different factors are woven together perfectly and by the end, some things are resolved and Cory learns some life lessons.

Oh, yeah and did I mention there’s a person abducting children? The town is terrified as more and more children disappear each week. A.J. packs this novel full of life and at the same time, death. He walked the fine line between both.

This was my first A.J. Brown novel and it won’t be my last. Great book and a touching real life story at the end.


First off I must say that this book is amazing! I was blown away by the story, the characters and most of all the way it made me feel. I think a lot of the time when reading a book we love the story but don’t really make a connection with the characters and what they are experiencing. That is not the case in this book! In the first chapter I was mad, very angry, sad, scared, hopeful and totally in love with Cory. I wanted to take him home and let him be my child. I wanted to protect him and hold his hand and you will too.

Cory is a typical kid who has had a hard life. The hand he was dealt was rather unkind to him. He could be any one of us. His dad has walked out leaving his mom to pay all the bills and to try to raise Cory on her own. They have moved to a new town and that means a new school. They aren’t nice to Cory and he has a vicious pair of bothers who have him in their sights. That is until he meets Mr Washington. The unlikely duo become fast friends. Along the way Cory makes friends, falls in love, lives through a death and goes on quite an adventure.

There is another story inside this story quietly running in the background. There are kids missing in the next town. The disappearances are getting closer to home and kids from school are gone. But I can’t tell you anymore than that about this because I don’t want to spoil the book for you.

Like I said earlier AJ Brown has a remarkable talent for telling a story. He has a gift and has honed it to a perfect point. It is my opinion that if you have not read something by this author you are truly missing out on a tremendous experience.


This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s not often I find a book I have a hard time putting down. This story was an emotional roller coaster, strapping you in and taking you up, down, and all around. You then get back in line for more of the thrill. The author has a way with words, making you feel like a part of the story. The reader is able to envision each step of the way taken with Cory and it keeps you on edge wanting to know the next, then the next. Thank you for the unexpected – this was not what I thought it would be and so glad I read it! I hear there’s a new AJ Brown book out and I can’t wait to read that one as well! Keep them coming!

One thought on “Cory’s Way

  1. Cory’s Way by AJ Brown Jeff Brown:
    I have to say this story brought be to tears but all for the right reasons.
    When I began to read Cory’s way by Author AJ Brown I immediately could connect with the young Cory and the disappointment he faces as a young boy and dealing with the fact that his own father has abandoned him and his mother. The way AJ Brown draws you in with his characters is just so incredibly flawless. Cory reminded me so much of myself as a young girl when my parents split up. My mother got so tired of my father wasting all of his money on Alcohol and finally left him and we went to live with her parents. I know with Cory it was different because his father left him but in a way I felt my father had already left us because the alcohol consumed him for a very long time. But for me another connection I had with Cory were the awful bullies I dealt with them most of my life and money was also always tight for us growing up just like for Cory. Like I said this story had me in tears and was so emotional at every angle because of the huge compassion that Cory has for Mr. Washington the homeless man. In spite of going through his own struggles and also being there for his mom who works all the time now that his dad left them he still wants to help others. Then there is also the scary disappearances of children which also adds to the horror of this story and there is a murderer on the loose. But Cory vows to help Mr. Washington the homeless man who has helped him hide from his bullies and they become friends.
    This is a true story of coming of age and the struggles between life and death. I really connected with Cory because even though he is facing so much he is just very brave and I was never that brave at his age. But as I got older I learned to be. I hope you will check out this book and connect with the characters as much as I did. This is another 5 star review and great story telling at it’s best.

    Sylvia Stein


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