*REVIEW* Return to Me
Three months before Rebecca Muir is set to begin college, her father reveals a secret that tears the family apart: he is leaving them.
In an instant, Rebecca’s life crumbles—she has to rely on her mother now, when her whole life she’s been her father’s girl; she’s not sure she can trust her high school boyfriend; and her carefully planned-out life suddenly feels all wrong.
Reb’s journey takes her across the country and back, and is for anyone who has experienced uncertainty or betrayal. This book will inspire readers to overcome life’s challenges and come out triumphant on the other side.
Hmmm. I'm not really sure where to start! I like the premise as I feel that the topic is very relatable and that most readers will be able to empathize with the characters and what they are going through. Heartbreak, betrayal, divorce, and figuring out one's true path in life are things many people will face. But I had a hard time emotionally connecting to the story and the characters and I think that's part of the reason this book stayed firmly in the like, not love, category. There's also another reason, but we'll get to that later!
Return to Me introduces us to Reb, a girl about to embark on a major milestone: Reb is going off to college. The summer before her freshman year begins at Columbia, her family is moving to the East Coast. New Jersey in fact, right outside NYC. Reb leaves behind a devoted boyfriend and some truly amazing friends. She thinks that this move will be the start to great things... little did she know how horribly wrong things would go.
Reb's father is leaving them. He's been seeing another woman and wants a divorce. This comes as a shock after the family has moved clear across the country for his career. Now Reb must help her mom pick up the pieces, in addition to figuring out once and for all what career path she herself belongs on. Will the Muir family be able to move on from this betrayal? Can Reb hold on to love when she's unable to truly trust? And will she finally learn the truth about where her passion lies? Buckle up! This ride takes you coast to coast and off the beaten path...
Soooo... yeah. I thought the pacing was a little slow in the beginning but once the news leaked out about Reb's father's affair, things got moving. I did really enjoy the grandparents and the time the characters spent in Hawaii. I thought the author did a really good job of portraying Reb's mother's character as she began to piece back together her world. Reb was a little frustrating at times... mostly because she didn't seem to SEE the things that were so obvious from an outside perspective. She seemed a little slow when it came to realizing some things and I actually wanted to go through the book and shake her a few times! She did, finally, come to see the light though and I was pleased with that.
One thing I was NOT pleased with though is the seemingly ease to which these characters ALL seemed to make ALLLLL their dreams come true. The ending didn't feel real to me because it just seemed a little TOO perfect. Everyone achieves all their dreams and professional contacts just fall out of the sky! And money grows on trees!! But maybe these characters were born into a privilege that I, myself, cannot relate to. And maybe that's why I found it so hard to stomach the ending. But to each their own! Here's hoping you enjoy it more than I did. Find out for yourself when it releases early in 2013.
Expected publication date: January 15, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
*Thanks to ATWT for the ARC*