Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mel reviews Return to Me by @JustinaYChen

Return to Me by Justina Chen
Release Date: Jan 15, 2013
Published by: Little, Brown
Pages: 352

Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast.

And if that isn't enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb's dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her "perfect" boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?

This book was emotional for me.  It reminded me of how thankful I have been since I was young that my parents are in fact, still married.  Growing up, I remember my brother and I realizing that most of our friends parents were not together, that it could happen to us too.  I even remember the discussion we had of where we wanted to live, and later telling our parents.  This might seem like over-sharing but I loved the farm, the place my parents still live.  It is my home and haven.  

Rebecca or 'Rebel' as Jackson calls her, is stuck in the middle.  Lost in the middle of her family's fallout she is confused and unsure of herself and what comes next.  My heart went out to Rebel.  I wanted to be Rebel's friend.  Honestly, there aren't a lot of characters that make me wish I could jump in to their world and be there for them.  This is a relatable story to me and pretty much everyone I can think of.  When I finished I wanted to go out and buy multiple copies to give to every teen I see.

When you read the title did you think to yourself, I know exactly what that means?  Justina is going to flip that thought on it's side.  At the end of this book you will understand the title and it's meaning just as I did.  You will also be surprised by the depth of understanding you have.  So that's the ending, what's next?

People.  I loved Rebel, Jackson, Rebel's family, okay not her father, everyone else involved in this story I felt that I could easily meet on them the street and be on their side.  So many books I've read lately have missing parents.  Kids raising themselves or trying to get through hard situations on their own.  Not everyone has missing parents and no siblings or no family at all.  I loved that Rebel's grandparents were around.

When you are going through hard times the most important thing is to find a safe haven.  A place that allows you to grow and heal.  I wish everyone had that.  I have that in the farm.  The safe haven in this book is a place I want to go.  I can picture it in my head and it is so beautiful.  I can picture Rebel drawing it and creating it.  

Do you see why this book was emotional?  I highly recommend you read it.  Then I recommend you go buy a bunch more and give them to your local high school.  Teens need to read this book.


Check out Candace's Review of North of Beautiful by Justina Chen

Disclosure: I received an ARC of 'Return to Me' from Justina in order to review it for this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review is by Mel:

Mel is a bookaholic as well as loving music. She just recently moved to the Portland area from the Midwest and has been enjoying exploring the whole area, including the Coast and downtown Portland. She has been blogging at Shot in the Arm since May 2008 but has had a couple other blogs before that at various places around the web. Young Adult is her favorite genre but she loves to read most other genres including Romance, Fiction, Sci Fi and some Historical Non-Fiction. You can find her at her blog, her twitter and on Goodreads. Stop by and say hi!

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