Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Returners” as Want to Read:
The Returners
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Returners

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  688 ratings  ·  112 reviews
London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father's political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he's having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reinc ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Returners, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Returners

Spirit Bound by Richelle MeadLast Sacrifice by Richelle MeadClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
YA Novels of 2010
145th out of 624 books — 2,672 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsInsurgent by Veronica Roth
YA Dystopia Novels
203rd out of 749 books — 8,037 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,342)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Maree
First stop on Sonia and Maree's Gemma Malley readalong roadtrip.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have to be honest and confess I have been scared of writing this review. I am actually going to make a big call and say it is the hardest review for me to write so far in my (short) reviewing ‘career’.

Why is it so hard to write? Because it is the most fantastic book.

Don’t laugh. I can see you snickering. Stop. Seriously. Stop it.

Let me
...more
Sonia
May 02, 2012 Sonia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sonia by: readalong with Maree
Shelves: read-in-2012
“A fantastic futuristic novel about the past, and what it means to us…”

Will is followed by people with glazed and hollow look. They claim to know him, but Will recognize none of them. They say they have been looking for him for many years and he belongs to their group. Surely they get the wrong person, or do they? Besides, he keeps having nightmares.

Do not read the blurb of this version provided by Goodreads if you intend to read this book. You can click to other versions if you want to know mo
...more
El Templo de las Mil Puertas
"Hubo un tiempo en el que Will era un chico normal, alegre y divertido. Un tiempo en el que tenía amigos con los que disfrutaba de los días de sol sin ver en ellos razas o colores de piel, sin desamores. Pero ese tiempo quedó atrás cuando su madre, sin motivo aparente, se suicidó lanzándose a las frías aguas del río. Ahora Will se pasa la mayor parte del tiempo solo, en silencio e intentando asimilar la realidad que lo rodea con su sarcástica mirada; intentando comprender por qué hay personas qu ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)

This is one of those books I picked up, not excepting to be completely lost in an amazing story, and yet I find I was hopelessly lost in the book. Returners was not what I was excepting at all. Gemma Malley wove together perfectly historical facts, with her amazing world of Returners. People who come back reincarnated over and over again. They serve a purpose, to remember the lives they have lived.

Will Hodge is a character who has many layers and one I felt a range of emotions for. I felt bad fo
...more
Becky
The Returners is a dark and twisted story of a not too distant future.



Will is an insular character who has spent years trying to shut out his emotions. The book begins with him sitting by a lake watching the ducks and remembering his mother’s suicide. The Returners has two strands running through it. Firstly there is Will and his troubled past. He is struggling with his life, his toxic relationship with his father, his anger at the loss of his mother and his own self-imposed loneliness. Then th
...more
Michelle
The Returners, as well written as it is, was far more muted and understated in tone than I was imagining it would be. While there were clear strengths to the story I found them to be mired by a few larger weaknesses which in turn left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the story as a whole.

Where I struggled quite a bit was with the extended focus on racial and political undertones. The point of their inclusion was made early on so lengthening the attention paid made the element monotonous and r
...more
Anna Wylie
This book was one which really struck me with it's depth of theme and metaphor. Will isn't always the most sympathetic of characters nor does the author fully explain the details of the Returners, but there remains at its heart an essence of Buddhism and truth which redeems the book.

When I say Buddhism, I am talking about the character of Will and his overarching message. In some forms of Buddhism they teach the wisdom of the Middle Way. To these Buddhists, life is suffering and this suffering c
...more
Cath
Don't want to give away too much about this book. It's my first Gemma Malley read. Will Hodges, our main character, presents himself as an unhappy and lonely teen, struggling with the suicide of his mother, his racially bigoted and neglectful father, and a group of people who seem to follow him, looking decidedly mournful. Worse, he is plagued by horrifying graphic violent dreams. My first impression was that I would hate to be Will Hodges. As the plot unfolds, Will discovers that he is a "Retur ...more
Adam Chatfield
Nov 15, 2014 Adam Chatfield rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Adam Chatfield by: adamdchatfield@gmail.com
I did not enjoy this book. It was a story about a boy named Will, whose mother died when he was younger. His father is a racist. He seems to have symptoms of PTSD, yelling at strangers because they seem to be staring at him. Eventually, Will learns that he is part of a secret society called the Returners. Overall, I felt like this book tried too hard to make Will sound like an edgy teenager. He says mysterious things that he never explains, and overall comes off as annoying. I found the majority ...more
Stine
I forced myself to read the first three chapters and I couldn't even bring myself to finish the book. I've tried a couple of times, but it just didn't keep me interested.
Vanesa
Another fantastic story by Gemma Malley!! Great plot and the characters were just wonderful!! Very twisting plot and full of surprises especially at the end!
Ειρήνη
My goodness! It took me forever to finish this book.
I really can't say that I found it intriguing or interesting enough.
Saskia Largent
’The Returner’s', the second book of Gemma Malley’s that I have read, was an interesting idea that I have never before heard of. Though the pace of the book was slow-moving (even for a book of only 257 pages), it was still an enjoyable read.

This is again one of those books that I simply cannot tell you about in detail, because it would completely ruin the plot. So, I guess I’ll just have to edge around that as best as I can.
At times, the idea of the ‘returners’ (you’ll have to read the book to f
...more
Diane Ferbrache
Will Hodges is a “Returner”. He just doesn’t know it. After he finds his mother’s body floating in the river, an apparent suicide, he is haunted by nightmares and he begins to notice people staring at him. Not ordinary people, but people with “weird” eyes who seem familiar and apparently know him. When one of the weird girls actually speaks to him, she realizes that he doesn’t remember. She tells Will that he is a Returner, one who returns over and over again to lives that carry the weight of s ...more
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
The Returners is a thought-provoking, interesting and surprisingly intellectual read. The premise is that Will, a teenage boy, is a ‘Returner.’ He is someone who has lived through past lives and returns again and again. These ‘Returners’ have a certain responsibility and destiny during their time in their lives. Will doesn’t remember who he was or what he is now supposed to do. The death of his mother and his father’s careless attitude toward him have left the young man beyond lonely and hurt.

Ou
...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)


I was very keen to get my hands on a copy of this book after loving Gemma Malley's The Declaration. I must say while it was as well thought out and clever I really didn't engage with it as much as I would hope.

The returners is set in the near future. The recession is hitting hard and the extreme political parties on the far right are getting more of a voice with their racist views about immigrants as the population struggle to find work and want someone to blame. This means people living in En
...more
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
The Returners has now put Gemma Malley in my list of favourite UK authors. The premise is original, unusual and utterly fantastic, and her writing is compelling to say the least. She's a force to be reckoned with, and her previous books The Declaration and The Resistance are proof enough of that.

The Returners confronts issues relevant to today's society, even though the story is set in an alternate future, in the year 2016. Everything from race to politics is tackled head-on, with no apologies o
...more
Erica
The Returners was very different from what I was expecting. When I read the description, I had this idea of what The Returners would be, and it was not the same at all. Though, this doesn't mean I wasn't happy with how The Returners ended up, as I did enjoy it.

The plot of The Returners was fairly simple and rather intriguing. The first part of the book was slower and focused more around building story. This was interesting, but I do wish the plot had picked up a bit faster. The whle concept of t
...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
This is one of those books I picked up, not excepting to be completely lost in an amazing story, and yet I find I was hopelessly lost in the book. Returners was not what I was excepting at all. Gemma Malley wove together perfectly historical facts, with her amazing world of Returners. People who come back reincarnated over and over again. They serve a purpose, to remember the lives they have lived.

Will Hodge is a character who has many layers and one I felt a range of emotions for. I felt bad f
...more
Charlotte Phillips
The novel itself was a little confusing in some places because there just seemed to be a lot going on at one time, meaning that there were far to many mysteries to solve at any given time. I think there was a well thought out idea and plot here that, perhaps with a little tweaking, could make a highly thought provoking book. But at the moment, for something that is not very long, it seems like a lot of ideas crammed into one thing and I wonder if perhaps it would have been better to spread it ou ...more
Jean
The Returners is a newly published novel by Gemma Malley.

Will Hodges’ life is a mess! His mother is dead, he has no friends and he thinks he is being followed by a strange group of people who tell him they know him. But Will can’t remember them …at first. And when he does, he doesn’t like what he can remember. While Will is struggling with unsettling memories, he learns that his past is a lot deeper than many people’s, and he has to find out if he is strong enough to break links with the powerfu
...more
Melissa
I have to say, The Returners was a real disappointment for me. I've enjoyed Gemma Malley's other books, such as The Declaration immensely but this one just seemed to lack the magic of the other books. Honestly, I didn't see the point of this novel at all. It didn't make much sense to me. It seems more like a fictional look at societal ills.

Will Hodge is being followed by people who insist they know him, though he does not remember them, and his terrifying dreams have begun spilling over from nig
...more
Brittany
I don't think i've ever been this torn about a book. In some ways I really loved it and in some ways i really really didn't.

Things I didn't like:
- The beginning. It took way too long to actually get into the story, I found myself getting kind of bored with it which is rare for me. It was long and slow and I didn't enjoy it much.
- The explanations. It took me so long to actually understand what was going on with 'the returners'. In fact, i'm still not completely sure what they are?
- Claire. So wa
...more
Rebecca- Books
I was interested in reading this book purely because I loved Gemma Malley's dystopian series, The Declaration about what live could be like if we were dependent on drugs that made us live forever. It is such an interesting concept and was written so well that I felt sad when I finished the last book.
So, of course, I want more Gemma Malley, so this book appealed to me, so I grabbed it in the library the other day when I saw it.

Synopsis: London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead,
...more
Page
I decided to read this because I saw it and it looked really interesting.

This goes into "A book that teaches you about another time in history" on the bingo board.

I really like this book because it is so weird, it's different from other books and it does tech you a bit about Rwanda and World War ll and history really interests me, also Will is only trying to do the right thing and it's not his fault that he is doing bad things because he really means good, but he is told that's he is destined to
...more
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jodie
I'm not going to give a big blurb about this book because I'm not sure I could say much without giving anything away.

The Returners is an inner monologue of sorts. The main character is a teenager trying to make sense of his life and the mysterious people who he sees following him throughout his life. As you read his story, you are immersed into his conflicting emotions and his desire for and denial of the truth.

The writing was fluid and you could really feel the conflicting emotions of the main
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

Will Hodge doesn't have many happy days, especially since his mother died and his father's political involvement has grown more and more radical. In addition to stress at home, Will's friends don't really talk to him anymore, he starts losing short blocks of time, and strange people start following him around claiming to know him.

Then, the dreams begin and he starts to think he is going crazy. He dreams of concentration camps during World War II an
...more
Christina
The Returners was a good book, and it gives young adults courage to be able to stand up for what is right. Will teaches the reader that mistreating others is not acceptable, especially if the people being mistreated are from another culture.

Yes, the book teaches teens that mistreatment and predudice are unacceptable. However, there are parts of this book that I am wary of. In Chapter 1, it talks of "sneaking a fag from the employee." In the beginning of Chapter 15, there is talk of Will drinkin
...more
Karin
Will Hodge doesn't have many happy days, especially since his mother died and his father's political involvement has grown more and more radical. In addition to stress at home, Will's friends don't really talk to him anymore, he starts losing short blocks of time, and strange people start following him around claiming to know him.

Then, the dreams begin and he starts to think he is going crazy. He dreams of concentration camps during World War II and several other atrocious events from history. A
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 78 79 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Epitaph Road
  • The Third
  • Vulture's Wake
  • Those That Wake (Those That Wake, #1)
  • Nomansland
  • Veracity
  • Restoring Harmony
  • The Other Side of Dark
  • Floodland
  • Scarlett Dedd
  • Grace
  • Rebirth (The Judas Syndrome, #2)
  • X Isle
  • Stranded
  • Truancy (Truancy, #1)
  • The Unidentified
  • Blood Brothers
  • Aurora (Exodus, #3)
The Declaration (The Declaration, #1) The Resistance (The Declaration, #2) The Legacy (The Declaration, #3) The Killables (The Killables, #1) The Disappearances (The Killables, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Humans may progress. They may think that they are moving forward because they have invented clever machines and because they control the land and sea. But man's capacity to inflict and endure pain is constant. Man's desire for power, to beat down his competition - it hasn't changed in the slightest.” 10 likes
More quotes…