Realistic YA... The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey (Review)

The HomecomingThe Homecoming
by Stacie Ramey
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 288 Pages
November 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire


Forced to return to his estranged family, John discovers how hard it is to truly go home.

It's been a year since John lost his girlfriend, Leah, to suicide. Living with his uncle keeps his mind from the tragedy and his screwed up family-until he gets into trouble and a judge sends him back home. With a neglectful mother and abusive brother, John's homecoming is far from happy.

As he tries to navigate and repair the relationships he abandoned years ago, Emily, the girl next door, is the only bright spot. She's sweet and smart and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. But tragedy isn't far away, and John must soon face an impossible decision: save his family or save himself.

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Praise for the Book

"A stirring close-up of a family haunted by emotional trauma." — Kirkus Reviews

“The overall message of relying on family and friends for support is clear, and John’s pain and confusion are palpable… the male point of view distinguishes it in a field crowded with girls’ perspectives. VERDICT: A solid addition to YA collections.” — School Library Journal

“This engaging story will appeal to all readers and will help troubled teens realize that there can be help out there for what’s going on in their lives.” — School Library Connection

My Review

THE HOMECOMING was definitely a story that was heartbreaking, frustrating, sad, realistic, and edgy with some sweet moments mixed in. Recommend to those who enjoy these blunt contemporary YA or Rainbow Rowell or Colleen Hoover's SLAMMED series and similar.

This story just depressed me for most of the book. I know that's not super positive, but it was a difficult read about a guy trying to escape his reality with drinking and drugs. He's actually a good kid with an adorable little sister and a charming girl-next-door and I wanted so much more for him. I get the draw to these types of stories and I could empathize with the situation. I mean it's just rough and I wanted someone to wrap John with a big hug and just love him, but it's not all that easy, right? So he deals and there are little light spots here and there and then some more heartbreak... And gosh! I just thought at some point there's got to be a positive or he's got to turn around... That's what makes these stories worth it in the end... The struggles and hardship and crap that the characters eventually pull themselves out of and the healing that can come. The ending was very, very sweet. A few parts maybe a little too perfect, but overall good.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I think these aren't always the right stories for me. I have to be in the right mood and this had way too much swearing for me. However, for those of you who don't mind the content and enjoy these types of stories, I'd recommend this one.

Content: Tons of swearing (including the f-word), innuendo, drinking, drugs, some violence.

Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.

Do you like these types of contemporaries? Have you read this one or her prior book, The Sister Pact?

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