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Return to Me by [Chen, Justina]
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Return to Me Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Rebecca's father has a new job in New York and with Rebecca's imminent attendance at Columbia University, her mother decides to move the entire family to New Jersey from Washington. Rebecca has an overwhelming sense of foreboding and not just because she will be leaving her boyfriend behind. Shortly after moving, her father reveals that he is having an affair and is leaving her mother. Rebecca's whole world is thrown into chaos and she is no longer sure of what she wants. As she struggles to forgive her father, she forms new relationships with her maternal grandparents, brother, and mother. She learns to embrace her intuition and be true to herself. The author sensitively writes of the heartbreak involved in a betrayal of family without skipping any of the more gritty parts. Readers will feel the characters' pain as they are carried along with the engaging plotline. The story does bog down a bit in the abundance of healing and growth metaphors, but the conclusion is particularly satisfying.-Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Rebecca Muir (“Rebel” to her boyfriend) comes from a family of psychic women whose marriages never succeed. Reb is eager to begin studying architecture at Columbia, leaving her domineering mother behind in Washington. But troubling visions of wailing women and intense sorrow are confirmed when she learns that her beloved father is leaving the family for another woman. With the help of her devoted boyfriend, architect mentors, and her family, Rebel constructs a happy ending for herself, embracing her psychic gift and finding success as a tree house architect. Readers interested in New Age philosophy will enjoy the healing sanctuary in Hawaii; Reb’s theories on colors, auras, and tree houses; and the grandmother’s psychic healing tours. Despite these trappings, what drives Rebel’s story is her search for a meaningful life, a theme that will resonate with most teens pondering college and beyond. The plot resolutions are a little too tidy, and characterization is sometimes scant, but as New Age comfort food, Chen’s (North of Beautiful, 2009) latest work is a satisfying read about family betrayals, ties, and acceptance. Grades 8-12. --Debbie Carton

Product Details

  • File Size: 1429 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (January 15, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2013
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ZFPS3W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,768 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"What assurance did I have? None at all. It was wedding time."

With Justina Chen's latest novel, Return to Me, I can honestly and excitedly say that I have a new favorite author and top 5 book too!

Return to Me is inspirational, it's raw emotions, and it's powerful! It's more than just reading a book. It's living in the story, being Rebecca!

As Rebecca Muir prepares for Columbia University to begin her life as a fledgling architect, bomb #1 drops. Reb's mom says the one thing that would make any college freshman's toes curl! The whole family is moving with her!

While excited about starting college and getting out from her mother's dictatorship of lists and schedules, she is saddened over having to end her relationship to the love of her life, Jackson. Jackson who gets her. Jackson who loves her and only her. Everyone says she should end it. Her BFFs, her mom, and even herself.

The only person on her side it seems is her dad who tells her that some relationships are worth the fight and maybe this one is too.

However her dad had different reasons for this statement and is the very reason Reb, her brother and mother are uprooted and shaken to the very roots of themselves.

Of course this would happen. Happens to all the women on Rebecca's maternal side of the family. All the woman have "the gift", their men can't handle the second sight and the women are left alone. Become spinsters, are kooks.

Rebecca and her father, Thom, scoffed at the mention of the family curse and Rebecca's dream of building fairy tree houses instead of "functional" corporate offices.

Rebecca fights the visions that wage war with her to not move to the East Coast.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Several years ago, I read and loved Justina Chen's North of Beautiful. I haven't read any more of her books since then, but I've been meaning to. I'm so glad I picked up Return to Me. It was such a great read, full of beautiful imagery, Chen's unique descriptive prose, and well-developed characters. There was nothing I didn't like about this book, and it embodies everything I love about contemporary YA. The book was an emotional journey and I found myself tearing up several times. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
A contemporary I've had my eye on for months, RETURN TO ME simply was too drawn out for it to make the impact I wanted it to.

Rebecca (Reb) is about to go to college for architecture at Columbia. Her father has also gotten a job in New York City, so her family has decided they should all relocate from the west coast to the east coast. Soon upon arriving at their New Jersey home, her family starts to unravel-her dad has been having an affair. This sends Reb, her brother, and her mom on a journey of self discovery as they try to figure out what they are going to do with their father moving out (and taking their entire source of income with him).

I appreciated the depth that this book took in developing the thoughts and feelings of a family that is left by the father figure. While we don't get to see much from her brother's point of view, we do get glimpses, and it's clear that the departure is affecting them all in different ways. Unfortunately, this development dragged on and on, losing my interest slowly, page by page. I enjoy deep characters, but one of the main reasons I love Young Adult literature is more often than not the plots move at a quick pace, and RETURN TO ME did not.

Another dislike for me is the epilogue of this book. Sure enough, each piece fit together perfectly, as they so often do in epilogues. I like happy stories, but I don't need each thing spelled out for me as a reader to know it ends up happy.

RETURN TO ME is better for those looking for a literary piece, or perhaps someone dealing directly with the issue of divorce.
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