Having a blast on the BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge. Just finished a captivating novel by Robin Antalek . . .
Jacket Copy: For a few secret months, 15-year-old Sam enjoys the unexpected attention of Suzie. However, at the end of the summer, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters when Suzie moves away. Watching her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college. Suzie misses Sam and her closest friend, Bella. It is not until years later that a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother reunites the trio, causing Suzie to confront her past, as well as her friends.
My Book Review: This fabulous book arrived wrapped in brown paper which made me absolutely giddy. There’s nothing better than the arrival of a new book and the promise of hours of delving deep into the fictional reality of new characters. Unwrapping it was great fun and I was so eager to read this title knowing it was written by the author of The Summer We Fell Apart (HarperCollins, January 2010 release, chosen as a Target Breakout Book).
The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek is a novel with rich story complexities and sentences so dense with character development, each new chapter will leave you feeling rising empathy for the young Suzie, Sam, and Bella.
Left to make sense of their parents’ complicated lives (all unhappy, some unfaithful, another gravely ill), the three adolescents at the heart of the narrative come of age as members of a neighborhood that’s both comforting and dysfunctional. With the turn of each page, their stories deepen, and you see the power and the pain interconnectedness brings. Ironically, a death brings them together, love tears them apart.
The novel spans ten years with chapters that alternate between three point-of-view characters. There’s friendship, a love triangle, sibling rivalry, death, loads of childhood memories, and lots of unanswered questions about the true nature of the people you love. There’s great beauty in the writing as it captures all of the raw and pure tendencies of Suzie, Bella, and Sam as they experiment with their bodies and try to make sense of their emotions.
I couldn’t put it down. It’s a book that hooked me so deeply into the story my eight-year-old son had to find me in the living room then tap me on the knee to tell me I forgot to fix supper.
The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek. Wonderful. Find it here: http://amzn.to/1CLjl96
Find out how it all began: READ 5th Annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and My Travels Have Begun!
1. The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen
2. The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek
3. Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
4. The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall
5 . Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
6. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
7. Pieces by Maria Kostaki
8. Summer Secrets by Jane Green
9. It’s You by Jane Porter
10. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
11. Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips
12. The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop
13. The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
14. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
15. Anchored by Brigitte Quinn
16. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly
17. A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
18. Star Craving Mad by Elise Miller
Thank you, BookSparks!