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Return to Me

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  716 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying be ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 13, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok
More like a 1.5.

Rebecca's on the cusp of so many exciting and terrifying things -- she's been accepted to Columbia University and will be moving from her family's home in Seattle to New York City. She's thrilled to get away, but she's sad to leave behind boyfriend Jackson. Except, things fall apart before she gets the chance to pursue her dream of architecture school in the big apple. Her father drops the bomb that he just got a job in New York City and the entire family will be moving to New Je
Feb 05, 2013 Becca rated it did not like it
Note: I'm about to get REAL spoilerific. Id' say don't read if you don't want spoilers, but this book is so blatantly obvious about EVERYTHING that I doubt I'd be ruining much of any of the experience for you.
Further note: Prepare for much RANTY RANT RANTS.

Dear Justina Chen Headley:

Can I call you JCH? I feel like we've been in a sad, sad relationship, the kind where you start off all butterfly-y and glowy and just completely in love and then SUDDENLY, without any warning, one of us just goes ba
Kelly Hager
Dec 30, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing
This is the second book of Justina Chen's that I've read (the other being North of Beautiful, which I absolutely loved) and I was a little nervous and excited starting this one. Have you ever read a book that you loved so much that you get a little nervous starting something by the same author because you think that it can't possibly affect you the same way, that no matter how great it is, it won't be AS great as the book you first read and loved?

(Yes, I fully realize how completely psychotic I
Jenni Arndt
Jan 10, 2013 Jenni Arndt rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-own
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

If there is one thing I have found out about myself during my months as a book blogger it’s that I am a sucker for a contemporary. I love a good issue book and a cover, such as the one for Return To Me, always sucks me in. This results in me getting bitten in the butt quite a bit. I was quick to request Return To Me and it was quick to bite me in the butt. The only way I can think to review this book is to take my notes (yep I actually took notes
Shannon Grieshaber
Actual rating: 4.5 stars. As an avid (obsessed) reader, even when I'm reading a book I love, I'm thinking about the next book. When I finish a book (even a book I love), I put it down and reach for the next book. It's been a while since I finished a book and wanted to savor it before moving on. That's the experience I'm having with Return to Me. I really, really loved this story of Reb (Rebecca) trying to find herself after her father's shocking revelation and upheaval of her family. Yes, it tur ...more
Mar 28, 2016 AnQi rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-by-poc
Okay, so I went in not thinking a lot about it. My expectation hovered somewhere around a frou-frou chick lit of the Sarah Dessen variation with a positive message and an inspirational coming of age story. (Mind, those kinds of books aren't bad, but I'm not usually a fan.) But Return To Me was kind of unusual, and not exactly in a good way.

For starters, Rebecca Muir, also known as Reb, is a daddy's girl who is nineteen, fresh out of high school, and awaiting an architect internship in New York
Apr 04, 2016 April rated it really liked it
Return To Me by Justina Chen is one of those books that is probably much better via audio than holding onto the physical book. Read my review here
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Return To Me is one of those books that stays with you long after you read it. This is the first book I have read from Justina and it won't be the last. I am thankful to Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to read and review this book. This is a book every girl should read.

In Return to Me Rebecca is in her senior year of high school and she is planning on her future and where she will go to college. She has been accepted into a college and her plans are set for her future and where she wi
Sara  (
Jul 27, 2012 Sara ( rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: I am basing these hacks on an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) I received at ALA conference. The final published version may be different…especially if the publisher takes my advice

Verdict: An honest look at what happens when someone you’ve implicitly trusted betrays your trust and upends your world – and a hopeful look at how endings can actually lead to new beginnings. There’s a lot of emphasis on adult characters, career planning, and New Age-y philosophy, so not sure if actual young a
Apr 15, 2013 Teril rated it really liked it
Return To Me is a poignant tale of the hardships of everyday life. Imbued with disappointment, doubt and betrayal, this novel gives a view of life through the eyes of young adult, Rebecca Muir just as she is about to leave for college. The women in Rebecca’s family have a secret that they try to hide, they have a sense of premonition, but what these women see, is not for the faint of heart; their truths are in the faults of life normally, and Rebecca, or Rebel, has a sense she is desperately try ...more
May 28, 2013 CiderandRedRot rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooked
Perhaps I'm a bitter old hag with a heart comprised of dust and the crushed dreams of teens, but despite feeling a certain sympathy for Reb's trials and traumas I couldn't shake the feeling that this was 'the moneyed privileged guide to finding one's life purpose'. The downbeat beginning of the story, wherein Reb's family life and her immediate plans fall apart thanks to her dad's douchebaggery, gives way to a kind of spiritual growth trek, which reminded me somewhat of a teen Eat, Prey, Love (b ...more
Cindy Hudson
Feb 05, 2013 Cindy Hudson rated it really liked it
Reb, short for Rebecca, is looking forward to trading her home on remote Lewis Island in Washington State for the bustle of college life at Columbia. She can’t wait to escape from her stifling mother and live her own life. But that life takes a few twists and turns: first her parents announce that the family is moving to New Jersey for her dad’s new job, then after everyone moves across the country, Reb’s dad says he’s leaving to be with another woman.

Reeling from the changes, Reb suddenly start
Aug 04, 2013 Cierra rated it it was amazing
At first, I did that thing where you look at the author and then judge the book by their past work. I did not like her book NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. So, I thought I wouldn't like this book very much. But, then I started to read it. And I was sort of right. The main character, Reb, was extremely mean and whiny about almost everything. She was self depended on her parents and looked to them for every single little choice she, on her own, could make. But then I realized that was the whole point of the b ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gillian Wiseman
Aug 02, 2013 Gillian Wiseman rated it liked it
I was disappointed in this book. Reb, the main character, is a good strong female lead; she spends the book exploring what she wants to do with her life, making good decisions, and such. In that respect it was a great book. Even the romance was decently executed and added to the story.

But the aspect of the book that was really "off" for me was the whole "psychic power" bit. Reb supposedly has "visions" that have frightened and disturbed her, her whole life. So do her mother and grandmother. The
Sep 29, 2016 Grace added it
Rebecca has just moved to New Jersey with her family about to start college when all of a sudden the secrect that was never told came out affecting her life dramatically. After the event they decided it was best they move back to California to continue there old life. My favorite part was when Rebecca's boyfriend Jackson took her on the little rowboat that would grante their wish. I recommend this book to people who are in to Realistic Fiction and drama. Also to people who like suspense.
Jul 25, 2012 Alice rated it did not like it
I found myself skimming for dialogue about halfway through the book. The main character's emotions seemed to be felt in real time, not book time. I was not fond of the writing style or touchy-feely long explanatory nonsense. I did feel that the special gifts of the women were interesting and that the descriptions of the architectural creations were intriguing However, the main character was just not likable to me. Perhaps it is that the author gets the YA thing down, and teens like a character s ...more
May 23, 2013 Samyuktha rated it it was ok
I got really annoyed with the book after the first 100 pages. When it started off it was pretty good but once went to Hawaii it the pace of the book slowed down and almost stopped. She just keeps repeating the same thing about healing and soul and other things that would otherwise have a lot of meaning and power. All of Rebecca's epiphanies and findings would be valid if there was just more going on. The words just keep circling back to basically the same thing. I almost stopped reading the book ...more
John Clark
Jul 14, 2014 John Clark rated it really liked it
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
Olivia S.
Jun 15, 2014 Olivia S. rated it liked it
There were parts of this book I really loved, like Reb's growing relationship with her grandparents (really her grandpa was just amazing lbr), her mother and her brother. I also liked a lot of the prose and how it really seemed to fit with Reb. She wanted to be an architect, so its natural that she would notice the intricacies around her more than others would.


That being said there was a lot I wasn't a huge fan of. I absolutely hated her dad and felt he had no redemption at all.
Shelby Cunningham
May 14, 2014 Shelby Cunningham rated it it was ok
A) This book was mainly written for teenage girls and mothers.
B) I would give this book 2 stars.
C) I thought this book was just flat out boring to be perfectly honest. It didn't have any exciting moments and it was just very plain and very predictable. I felt like this book could have been way better because its about a teen girl graduating from high school when she comes to find out something horrible has gone wrong in her parents relationship, when i started reading the book and the girl Rebel
Feb 23, 2015 Melodie rated it really liked it
My daughter offered this book to me as the "that one I didn't like, after reading three chapters" book. I'm still snowed in, and still not able to get to the library for more of my own books. I took it, and three chapters into the book, I didn't like it either. The characters seemed pretentious and annoying. But I forged ahead, since I had time to read and no way to get to the library. I am glad I did. It's an insightful book about a girl's journey to find herself, after watching her plans for h ...more
Sep 08, 2014 Relena_reads rated it did not like it
Shelves: at-school, ncte, arc
So, I don't normally do this, but this is the first book since The Maze Runner that I just couldn't finish. Unlike The Maze Runner, which I was reading merely because the kids wouldn't shut up about it, I was reading this book for me. I loved North of Beautiful. I got it as an ARC, and then I loved it so much that I bought it. That kind of love. The language was beautiful, the characters and their dynamics were captivating. Love. Justina Chen had me hooked.

I kept wandering past the ARC of this o
Feb 01, 2013 J rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Teenage girls
Shelves: justina-chen
So many great life truisms that are beautifully crafted using figurative language-----I love the arrangement of Chen's words. I recommend this read to mothers and daughters that are grieving over a divorce. Sometimes, the best slate to start with is a clean one.

New beginnings are blessings as seen in this heart warming story.

"For the most part things never get built the way they were drawn."------Maya Lin, artist and architect

Laura Lambe
Apr 21, 2016 Laura Lambe rated it liked it
I will start off by saying I love fluff books, Sarah Dessen has my heart. I also enjoy a good magicalness (I am drawing a blank on a good word, I'm referring to mystic aspects i.e visions, psychics, etc)- I REALLY enjoyed Martina Boone's Compulsion (second one was decent too). This book has both (spoiler? Not really), however it was just not working for me here. I feel that this aspect was only included to add a "you must love me and except my *fill in the blank*". Chen had SO many different opt ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Abigail rated it really liked it
"Return to Me" By Justina Chen, is a great read for middle schoolers looking for a realistic fiction book with a bit of romance. Rebecca is going of to college, far away from her parents right? Wrong, her parents are moving with her. Her parents are coming, but unfortunately, her boyfriend is not. Rebel, as her boyfriend Jackson calls her, cannot bear to break up with him. She must leave him behind, but still try to be with him. After her family finally gets partially moved in, they find an unex ...more
Aleshia Raynor
Nov 01, 2013 Aleshia Raynor rated it liked it
Shelves: first-term
I thought "return to me" was a pretty good book. It is about a girl named Rebecca Muir had to move away. When she moved into her new house her father was barley around and later she finds out that her father has been having an "affair" with another girl that wasn't her mother, Rebecca, her brother and her mother are all devastated and Rebecca starts to question her boyfriend.
Jun 29, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
I loved Chen's novel North of Beautiful and was excited to read Return to Me but as much as I wanted to love this book I just wasn't able to. Although this novel centered on contemporary issues as did Beautiful, it lacked the one thing thing that made her first novel so compelling- depth of character. I found the main character to be wise beyond her years in a manner that seemed unrealistic. The protagonist, Reb, also flip flops from one idea or emotion entirely too quickly and all of her proble ...more
Lisa Nocita
Reb is off to college at Columbia University to study architecture at the end of the summer. She has always been sure of what she wanted to do. When her family is suddenly rocked by betrayal and an impending divorce, suddenly everything in her life is one big, aching question. Everything she thought she knew and believed is suddenly called into doubt including the decision to go to Columbia and her relationship with the steadfast and dashing Jackson. Oh, and as an added bonus, Reb is "cursed" wi ...more
Apr 30, 2013 Sara rated it liked it
Teenage girl with big plans for college and her future has her life fall apart, and it's kind of her fault because she ignored the warning from her sixth sense. She eventually figures out how to trust herself, figure out what she wants and surround herself with people who love and understand her. Satisfying and fun.
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great book 1 1 Oct 08, 2014 03:34PM  
Did anyone catch Terra's appearance in this book? 1 8 Feb 04, 2013 09:24AM  
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Justina Chen is an award-winning writer. Her latest book, THE ART OF INSPIRATION: LEAD YOUR BEST STORY, is for any leader who wants to inspire employees, customers, and constituents. Her YA novel, NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL, was named to Best Books lists by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes & Noble. Her other novels include A Blind Spot for Boys, Return to Me, Girl Overboard (a Junior Library Guild premiere s ...more
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“Forgiving others is easier when I remember that I'm human and stupid, too.” 7 likes
“When you think about it, life is a risk. Every day is a risk. Getting in a car is a risk. Loving is a risk. But, darling, losing it all means that you have a chance to rebuild, better than before.” 5 likes
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