I have been anticipating Return to Me by Justina Chen for what seems like AGES, you guys. North of Beautiful is one of my all-time favorite young adult contemporary novels, so I have definitely been looking forward to seeing another release from Justina Chen. Unfortunately, this one had several issues that kept me from loving it as much as I wanted to…
So, Rebecca Muir is looking forward to going to college across the country (literally – from Seattle to NYC) from her family – mainly her SUPER-ORGANIZED-CHART-FOR-EVERYTHING-TOTALLY-OVERBOARD mother. So, when a job opportunity for her dad arises in her new neck of the woods? To say she is less than thrilled would be an understatement. Like it isn’t bad enough that she is leaving her life-long BFFs and boyfriend behind, now she has to take her family with her. Giant sigh.
So, her family heads to their new home in New Jersey and as they are unpacking, her dad drops a HUGE bomb on them (hint: he is a Capital-D Douchebag). Now that everything is changing – Rebecca isn’t sure what in her life is real and what isn’t. Confusion! Drama! Angst! Bad decisions!
So, as Return to Me unfolds, Rebecca has to try and untangle the pieces of her life to figure out what she really wants to accomplish. Has she been pursuing certain things just to make other people happy? Are the friends she has surrounded herself with really trustworthy? Also, there is the minor little detail that the women in her family have the gift of precognition. More Confusion! More Drama! More Angst! More Bad decisions!
So, it doesn’t sound too bad, right? Maybe not overly original, but a strong enough plot outline for a YA contemporary. Well, once things start turning around, Return to Me takes a turn for the REE-DIK-U-LUS. Oh my gosh. My eyes were in a permanent state of rolling.
If you believe in karma and what goes around comes around and woo-woo good people deserve good things belief systems? You will enjoy this book MUCH more than I did. I just don’t really go for the whole “The Secret” self-help stuff in which you send your desires out into the universe and they come to pass. It was all just a little too silly and neatly tied up for me. Like literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON in this book that was “good” got EVERY SINGLE THING they could have possibly wanted. And all the losers (and Capital-D Douchebags) remained losers (and Capital-D Douchebags). Bleh.
To Sum it Up:
- I had high expectations for this one since Justina Chen’s previous YA release is a favorite of mine. Unfortunately…
- I don’t like my endings handed to me in a neatly wrapped little package. There was just a little too much karma infused into how things turned out for my taste.
- One plus? A college-aged protagonist trying to decide what she wants to do with her life! Me likey.