Author: Justina Chen
Title: Return to Me
Publication: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook
And there it was again, the troubling notion that I barely knew the people I loved.
Daddy's girl Rebecca Muir has long known exactly what she wants to do after high school: attend the prestigious architecture program at Columbia University, 3000 miles away from her home. But as the end of school nears, things are no longer so clear cut-she's just fallen in love with the perfect guy, Jackson; her dad has gotten a new job in New York, so her whole family is following her to the east coast; and she's having trouble ignoring her premonition that something terrible is coming.
And it soon becomes clear why: shortly after the move, her father reveals that he's leaving them, and Rebecca is left to pick up the pieces of her former life. When everything can change in an instant, Reb doesn't know what path to follow or whom to trust--and she must begin to search for what she really wants to do with her life.
Thoughts: This is a beautiful coming of age story about a young girl realizing who she is and understanding the role that the women in her family play in her life. Rebecca has been told that the women in her family are cursed, and that every man they love will leave. Sadly, the week that she moves her father deals a crushing blow that will alter them forever. She now doesn't trust her own judgment or her boyfriend, Jackson. She thinks he will hurt her the way her father did her mother. Rebecca desperately tries to sort through her anger and pain in order to cope with her father’s deception. Will she be able to open up her heart and heal before she loses the one person that truly gets her?
This isn't a romance but a story of loss and rediscovery. Rebecca has many questions about the next phase in her life; she is at that point between moving from a child into adulthood. I believe that this type of uncertainty any teenager transitioning from high school to college will relate to and any adult on the cusp of a new beginning. Rebecca's trust has been shattered, which will cause her to reevaluate her life and open up to fresh opportunities and adventures. This is a great book about generations and familial relationships, and how sometimes tragedy can make the bonds stronger. A slow read not to be plowed through but paced to digest the messages in the text. An okay read about following your dreams.