- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen (March 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062351370
- ISBN-13: 978-0062351371
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Leaving Season Hardcover – March 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Meredith "Middie" Daniels calls it the leaving season—the time when kids are graduating and leaving home for the first time. Her boyfriend, Nate, isn't leaving for college, though. He's taking a gap year volunteering in Central America while Middie finishes high school. When a horrible tragedy strikes within weeks of Nate's departure, it sends Middie reeling. None of her friends or family understand just how unmoored she feels. Well, no one except for Nate's best friend. Lee Ryan, a slacker who Middie never liked, who calls her Yoko, who is everything Nate is not, seems to be the only one who understands her grief. But can this ungrounded guy really help her reach solid ground again? Jordan has crafted a story about leaving, about growing up, and about finding your path and being true to yourself. The protagonist is a solidly drawn character, as is Lee. No new ground is covered but the plot twist near the end is well played. VERDICT Fans of Sarah Dessen, Lurlene McDaniel, and other similar romance authors may enjoy Jordan's debut offering.—Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta
“Jordan has crafted a story about leaving, about growing up, and about finding your path and being true to yourself… Fans of Sarah Dessen, Lurlene McDaniel, and other similar romance authors may enjoy Jordan’s debut offering.” (School Library Journal)
“The real-life drama told in Middie’s voice artfully weaves a complicated personal story of rebellion and personal growth as she figures out what is really important to her and what love really means. A touching coming-of-age romance.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Some may find the ending exhilarating, while others will be reaching for hankies. Jordan’s debut novel should appeal to fans of Elizabeth Eulberg and Jenny Han.” (Booklist)
“Debut author Jordan capably shows how Middie discovers new dimensions of herself, as well as how life moves on and brings new opportunities in the process… readers looking for happy endings won’t be disappointed as Middie stumbles her way back toward love and happiness.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A story at turns gentle and devastating-the subtle romantic tension simmers as Jordan’s characters fight to define themselves and connect with one another. Gripping and joyful all at once.” (Megan Mulry, USA Today bestselling author of A Royal Pain)
Top customer reviews
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Every time I thought I knew how it was going to end, it changed direction which I found fascinating and made me continue reading.
This is an excellent story to recommend to young teens who are looking for romance, adventure and high school experiences. I know several people that I can't wait to tell about this book. I look forward to more books by this author!!
The author paints a realistic perspective on several adult themes that will engage YA and adult readers alike. I loved this book (and its beautifully designed cover) and look forward to reading more from Cat Jordan.
I really enjoyed his book. I was intrigued to see where it would go, what its focus would be - grief, romance or self-discovery? We get a little of each, but I'm happy to say that it's mainly the latter two. And by then, I was captivated by the story.
Middie is about to start her senior year of high school. Her long-term boyfriend, Nate, is leaving for Central America where he plans to spend his gap year in a volunteer program. Middie is sad to see him go and spends her time desperately trying to stay in contact and reassure Nate of just how much she loves and misses him. NM4eva. But then the worst happens. The village Nate is staying in is attacked and all who were there are killed. Middie's life is completely turned over. She doesn't know who she is without Nate, can see no meaning in going to school or planning for college. The only person who understands is Lee, Nate's best friend. Lee and Middie slowly work through their hate relationship to form a truce in grief. But hanging with Lee is different than Middie expected, he is different than expected. And maybe, Middie is a little different than she ever expected, too.
When the story starts Nate is still alive and is just about to leave for Central America. Reading the first chapter was a little heartbreaking, knowing what was coming. And yet it is the perfect way to introduce us to the Middie who loves Nate. It makes Nate's death all the more understandable in the way that it impacts Middie. What follows is the inevitable news and Middie's grief and confusion. The time of this section flows quickly as the days turn into weeks for Middie. And of course, the bright spots are her interactions with Lee. They have always bumped heads, fighting over Nate and being jealous of the time the other gets to spend with him. But like two magnets who repel but when switch and slam into place, Lee and Middie work together. I loved their interactions, their fights, their chemistry. For me, this book was always going to be about Middie with Lee (sorry Nate). What surprised me, though, was that this book was far more about Middie's self-discovery than it was about romance. And yet the romance is enchanting. Lee is a live-in-the-moment kind of guy and that makes for adventures and acting on impulses and all those sorts of things that make readers go...sigh.
I didn't like Nate. Everyone in the book thinks he is perfect, perfect for Middie, but I thought he was too controlled (and far too controlling). So this book wasn't a tear-jerker for me. Okay, he's dead, moving on (harsh, I know, sorry). I also didn't like the way Middie sometimes treated Lee. Her condescending attitude - not cool. But hey, she's human. Mistakes and learning from them are par for the course. And I think she does learn, though she slips up a bit. Some people might be worried about the potential for love-triangle drama or issues with cheating or moving on too soon. I didn't have a problem with any of that, don't think they played any great part in the story.
You might have heard from other reviews that this book contains a twist. Maybe someone will give away spoilers or maybe you'll see it coming like I did. But that's not the point. This isn't a murder mystery, it's not about guessing the right clues. It's a book about Middie finding who she wants to be and choosing the people who best help define that person.
I enjoyed the writing style, quickly being sucked into the story. I liked the great range of characters, everyone from Middie's younger sister Emma to Middie's group of friends who are supportive but never pushy or in her face. I loved the scenes between Middie and Lee. I loved Lee, who is impulsive and sweet and just a little bit dangerous (especially to a girl's heart). I liked the end, nicely wrapped up but not tied with a bow. But ultimately this is Middie's story. She is the focus. She is the heroine of her own story and the writer of her own future, and I really liked that.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you like to read books at all levels you’ll like this one. It’s about growing up, finding yourself and relating to people whom you judged before. Sometimes you’re in a situation in life and will be surprised where takes you.
I love this book! I took me a couple of weeks to finish... I probably read it about 1-2 hours a day...3-4 days a week...
It's a lengthy novel...335 pages...
The transitions were so good... I wanted to skip ahead and see if Nate were still alive... but the book flowed so well that the wanting to skip ahead went away... I just wanted to get to the next page as soon as possible. I am so glad that Middie found herself and accepted whom sshe had grown up to be...I am also so glad that the book ended how it should have and didn't have a cliff hanger...now, in real life, some of us may have made a safer choice, but Middie made the choice that she should have made, the choice that, after reading the book, you'll so dearly WANT her to make. You will NOT be disappointed.
The language in the book can get "harsh", as far as cursing, but it's not too often and only one character does it. The most explicit scene described was hot and heavy kissing...
I wish I could go into more detail... I can say I recommend this book.