Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (January 27, 2015)

What They Say....From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together.
The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.
Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella—and force her to confront her past and her friends.
After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.
Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.

What I Say....It took me a week to read this book.  Not because of the book, but because I started a new job and was so overwhelmed and exhausted that I kept falling asleep at night with the book in hand.

But no matter how tired I was, I kept going back and trying to get a few pages in because I kept thinking about the characters
This was a coming of age book, which I always enjoy, and it was a good one.  We follow the lives of Sam, Suzie, and Bella from the times they are teens up through middle age.  Since I grew up in a small town, people staying in the lives of their friends and neighbors through their whole life didn't seem strange to me.

I really liked how the story was told in alternating voices.  I'm definitely going to find the author's previous book, The Summer We Fell Apart.

I do have to say towards the end, I was holding my breath because I kept thinking that there was going to be a car accident or some type of horrible death, but thankfully, there wasn't.  There's enough happiness and heartbreak in everyday life, and this book illustrated that perfectly.

Thank you to Booksparks for the review copy!

Current Goodreads rating 3.75

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