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Return to Me Hardcover – 15 Jan 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (15 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316102555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316102551
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,607,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Return to Me Always following her parents' wishes and ignoring her psychic inner voice takes eighteen-year-old Rebecca Muir from her beloved cottage and boyfriend on Puget Sound to New York City, where revelations about herself and her family help her find a path to becoming the architect she wants to be.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you ever have those books, that you go in expecting to completely love them? It might be that you've read something by the author before, and loved it. You may have heard nothing but good things about it.
Or maybe you just loved the sound of the book from the synopsis.
This was one of those books for me. I'd read North of Beautiful before reading this book, and I went into that one not really expecting that much, though I'm still not sure why. By the end, I was in love with the book, it was an amazing read, and I loved Justina Chen's writing style.
Naturally, when I heard about this book, I was more than a little excited. So I went into it, fully expecting it to be another loved book. I honestly liked the idea of the story, and I already liked the author. Win, win. Right?
Not quite the case.
I did enjoy this book, just not quite to the extent I was hoping I'd enjoy it. There was something off base about this book for me, and I think a large part of that, is simply that I didn't like Reb all that much. She wasn't a bad character, but I just couldn't connect with her, and for that reason, I couldn't really get into the story.
I found myself a little uninterested in the story, and that's not something I was expecting. Having said that, there were some really nice moments, and though in parts I found it repetitive, it was a good read in a lot of ways.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 0 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Jovon - Published on Amazon.com
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.

Rebecca didn't listen to her inner self and instead made the move with her family only for bomb #2 to all but destroy her corporate image of a family.

Thom moves out and the family go on an impromptu vacation in Hawaii where they find love of their surroundings, love of family that hasn't been together in decades and love of self.

"Architecture is about touching a lot of different parts of our soul" -- Tom Kundig, architect

Rebecca and Elizabeth both find just what they are made and just what they can do despite the negativeness, despite the roller coaster ride, Thom has put them through. Even, Reid, Reb's brother, will surprise you in the whole situation. I just LOVE the character transformation that has taken place in this book.

I cannot stress enough how much I recommend Return to Me by Justina Chen to anyone trying to find themselves. This book may be fictional but there is real life advise one could follow to find their dreams. Find out who they are and what they want. Just like Rebecca Muir did.

Chen had my emotions all over the place just like the characters! Angry, sad, scared, and even desiring more for myself and Reb! For "Bits" even. I truly love this book! I practically read it in a day and really got a great sense of closure, even if things didn't work out the way you would hope. =]

I know this is a short review and just does not do it justice but I just do not want to give away too much information. I want you to read this beautiful coming-of-age book that could apply to all ages, really.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Empowering 29 Jan. 2013
By The Compulsive Reader - Published on Amazon.com
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.
More to this book than meets the eye, in a good way 15 July 2014
By John Rogers ClarkIV - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Rebecca is getting ready to experience freedom. She'll be leaving soon to attend Columbia University in NYC, giving her some space she desperately needs because her family is smothering her. Even though she'll be creating a 3,000 mile gap between herself and her first real boyfriend, Jackson, taking this risk is worth the possibility of the relationship failing to survive. Maybe, once she's free of her parents, Rebecca might be able to be herself the way she wants to.
Dad and mom blow her plans up in a hurry when he takes a job in Manhattan and they decide to move to New Jersey. Things get a lot worse when they make the move and Rebecca discovers her father is in the midst of a full-blown affair and is going to dump his family for a much younger woman. Not only does this threaten her college plan because the family finances begin to look really precarious, but her plan, adopted reluctantly in the first place (to follow in her father's footsteps and become an architect designing big box fancy projects), starts to fall apart as well, when her interview for a summer internship at a prestigious architectural firm, results in her being humiliated.
Rebecca inherited the family gift, or is it a curse, which both her mother and her grandmother have where they can 'experience' things that predict the future. Rebecca had it hit her for the first time when she realized her best friend's dad was going to die of cancer well ahead of when everyone else expected him to. She shared that with her friend who became so freaked, it severely strained the friendship. Since then, she's tried to hide her ability, even from Jackson, for fear she'll have another disastrous experience. Besides, she saw how the 'gift' hurt her grandparent's marriage.
When her grandfather arrives and hauls Mom, Rebecca and her younger brother off to his place in Hawaii, it's the beginning of an amazing journey of self-discovery, one that allows Rebecca to learn what she really wants and how her passions can meld with the whole architecture thing, develop the courage to take a year off to discover what her passions truly are and realize how important her feelings for Jackson are, despite her fears about the fragility of relationships.
I admit that I was put off early in the book by the seeming illogic of having the family move all the way across the country if Dad planned to dump them. Why not just make the break while they're in their familiar home and lessen the trauma. However, by the time I finished the book, this wasn't nearly as big an issue because what happened after the move was a very interesting voyage of growth and self discovery. Teens who like offbeat romances, stories with a dash of magical realism, or who have had soured relationships (either their own or their parents) will really like this book.
Inspirational story about family and growing up 31 May 2014
By Kris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Return To Me is the story of a teen coping with betrayal of the family, difficulties with relationships, and the search for self identity. It is also about healing, forgiveness, and growth.

Rebecca can’t wait to go to college, where she'll be free from her mom's dictatorship of lists and schedules. Then, her dad not only moves the entire family to New Jersey with her to pursue a job, he announces that he's been having an affair and wants a divorce. Rebecca feels very betrayed and becomes unable to trust anyone. She begins to question her relationship with her boyfriend Jackson, who seems too good to be true.

Rebecca is a strong and fierce person. Over the course of the novel, Rebecca learns to be true to herself and to trust her inner voice. She also matures from a girl who no longer knows whom she can trust to a young woman who can help her mother get through her devastation and form relationships with new members of her family. The feelings of having been betrayed by her father who she really loved and the life-changing situations she goes through also teach her to learn to forgive and to be thankful for what she's been blessed with. In the book, Rebecca shows us that no matter what parents go through, you can live your dream and find love.

Return to Me is a wonderful story about family relationships and how difficult situations can make family bonds stronger. It is a great book for the older teens who are facing with family breaking up, dilemma with love interests, and struggles of following their own paths. The challenges we encounter in our life can be discouraging and heart breaking, but we can always learn something through it and become stronger. It might be disappointing for younger teens or readers, but older readers will find an inspirational story in Rebecca.
Buy this to read and then buy more to hand out to others 7 Feb. 2013
By M. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book was emotional for me. It reminded me of how thankful I have been since I was young that my parents are in fact, still married. Growing up, I remember my brother and I realizing that most of our friends parents were not together, that it could happen to us too. I even remember the discussion we had of where we wanted to live, and later telling our parents. This might seem like over-sharing but I loved the farm, the place my parents still live. It is my home and haven.

Rebecca or 'Rebel' as Jackson calls her, is stuck in the middle. Lost in the middle of her family's fallout she is confused and unsure of herself and what comes next. My heart went out to Rebel. I wanted to be Rebel's friend. Honestly, there aren't a lot of characters that make me wish I could jump in to their world and be there for them. This is a relatable story to me and pretty much everyone I can think of. When I finished I wanted to go out and buy multiple copies to give to every teen I see.

When you read the title did you think to yourself, I know exactly what that means? Justina is going to flip that thought on it's side. At the end of this book you will understand the title and it's meaning just as I did. You will also be surprised by the depth of understanding you have. So that's the ending, what's next?

People. I loved Rebel, Jackson, Rebel's family, okay not her father, everyone else involved in this story I felt that I could easily meet on them the street and be on their side. So many books I've read lately have missing parents. Kids raising themselves or trying to get through hard situations on their own. Not everyone has missing parents and no siblings or no family at all. I loved that Rebel's grandparents were around.

When you are going through hard times the most important thing is to find a safe haven. A place that allows you to grow and heal. I wish everyone had that. I have that in the farm. The safe haven in this book is a place I want to go. I can picture it in my head and it is so beautiful. I can picture Rebel drawing it and creating it.

Do you see why this book was emotional? I highly recommend you read it. Then I recommend you go buy a bunch more and give them to your local high school. Teens need to read this book.
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