The Homecoming // Stacie Ramey
I’m not sure why, but lately, I’ve really been in the mood for contemporary reads. Usually I’m in more of a fantasy mood during the cold, winter months, but I’ve been aching for spring, so contemporary books have been holding me over till then.
The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey is a contemporary Young Adult novel about the difficulty, but also the need, to move on after tragedy has taken a hold of you. It’s about being honest with who you really are, and learning to open up to those who love you. John’s brother was in a horrific accident when they were younger, and since the accident, it has left John and his family in a perpetual state of dysfunction and hardship. After spending 7 years away from those that he loves, John is back with his family for his senior year of high school. He’s on probation after an altercation in Chicago, and he’s planning to finish out his time, until he can graduate and move to California to farm marijuana. We follow John throughout this story, as he is struggling with loss, an unraveling family with whom he has just been reunited, and his own feelings of guilt and anger.
Thoughts // Review
This story left me reeling with many feelings: sadness, love, redemption, and hope. I didn’t find this book written incredibly “well,” or maybe I just didn’t connect with the writing style very much, but I did connect with the main character on many different levels. He was in a continual state of pushing people away from him - even those who loved him the most. He was completely lost, and frankly, he was dramatic and even immature. But he also had a severe lack of parental guidance, and for so long, he was missing the tools he needed to cope and heal. But through love, family, friends, and therapy, he eventually finds that that he can overcome the past.
The pacing was great, and I felt that the characters were well fleshed out, and the world created, felt very real. The writing just had some weak moments that I think made it a little more difficult to connect to some of the characters, but other than that, I found the book was enjoyable (“enjoyable,” isn’t the greatest word, considering the topics that this book hits on, but you understand what I mean).
There are definitely trigger warnings for this book for abuse, drugs, family dysfunction, and it even touches on suicide. So I would definitely proceed with caution in those regards.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
*Thank you SourceBooks Fire for sending me a copy of The Homegoing by Stacie Ramey in exchange for an honest review*