Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: Return To Me

Return To Me
Justina Chen
Little Brown Books
Released: 1.15.13

Blurb From The Publisher:

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?

Our Thoughts On:

Return To Me is a poignant tale of the hardships of everyday life. Imbued with disappointment, doubt and betrayal, this novel gives a view of life through the eyes of young adult, Rebecca Muir just as she is about to leave for college.  The women in Rebecca’s family have a secret that they try to hide, they have  a sense of premonition, but what these women see, is not for the faint of heart; their truths are in the faults of life normally, and Rebecca, or Rebel, has a sense she is desperately trying to hide from. Something life changing will be happening and her move to New York, to college she feels may be the very thing beginning this vision.

Rebel has the perfect boyfriend, but long distance relationships hardly work out. Rebel will soon find that this truth is a hard thing to bear as her plans for college are turning upside down. Reb wanted to end her relationship with her boyfriend Jackson before leaving, but she did not. Reb wanted to go to college on her own terms, but now her family is moving with her, although a screaming vision haunts her, Reb just doesn’t know the shock she is in for yet.

Growing up is hard, life is challenging, and full of doubt and disappointment, but something there are people in your life you want constant to rely upon; like family. What happens soon in Return To Me is the terrible accumulation of lifes as her father uproots his family, only to soon inform them in this new home that he is done; that he has been with someone new. Ripped from home, family torn apart, future up in the air, Reb does not know who to turn to. The bitter betrayal of her father and the decline of her future prospects and in her family have left Reb conflicted and questioning her boyfriend Jackson. If someone like her father could do this to her, so could Jackson? The dominating emotions throughout the book are doubt and loss, as everything Reb has known is turned upside down. The truths she though she knew in the world are becoming muddled and lost, leaving Reb trying to sort out the future of her mother and brother, while at the same time dealing with emotions of herself.

Author Justina Chen has created a story around a modern day dilemma of the preconceive notions of basically, forever.  Nothing is ever planned or delivered as we may well want it, and the challenges that we face may be daunting and heartwrenching but there is some lesson to learn through everything and that is a lesson of the heart. While your plans and world may seem crumbling, your love and passion can drive you to rise above the darkness and doubt that may surround you at times. There can be a future but it is one to be had, and worked for.  Return To Me is a story filled with love and the quest for what happens next. When times seem down, there may be something that comes your way; not what you always wanted or expected, but it may be just what you need at just the right time.

Reb’s premonition may have been lost to her in the beginning, but she knows now to trust in herself and see what things may come, because just that you plan something, does not truly make it to. The future has ups and downs, and getting up can be the hardest thing yet you need to do. 

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