The Compulsive Reader: Return to Me by Justina Chen

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Return to Me by Justina Chen

Rebecca is excited to start college at Columbia University, across the country from her father's big expectations and her mom's color-coded schedules and detailed planning. So when her parents announce that they're moving to New York with her, she's less than thrilled. But the surprises don't end there; once in New York, Reb's father drops a bomb on the family that devastates them all and forces Reb to examine what she really wants, both in her future career and in her relationship with her boyfriend Jackson, and causes her to look at her family in an entirely different light.

Return to Me is perhaps Chen's most emotionally raw book yet. Reb and her family are betrayed early on, but this is not a story about reckoning with a cheating husband and disappointing father as much as it is about picking yourself up and finding your way in the face of heartbreak. Reb's story is about a family upended and lost, and how a person can find a safe refuge to start fresh, and with a fresh start, the courage to follow a pursuit with passion, the assurance of trusting intuition, and the ability to be open to everything that the future has to offer. Reb learns a lot not only about her family throughout the book, but also about love and trust through her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Jackson. Jackson is patient with her while she figures out her feelings, but he doesn't let Reb use him as a doormat. Each character is developed well in the novel, making Chen's message about finding love and acceptance a lesson for every character in the book. Return to Me is inspiring without being overwrought and is an empowering story for readers of any age.

Cover Comments: I like the pink lettering of the title, but I'm not sure if I am a fan of how dark the cover is. A good chunk of the story takes place in Hawaii, and this just seems incongruous with that setting. It isn't a bad cover, though!

eARC provided by publisher.

No comments: