Return to Me
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Return to Me

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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  433 ratings  ·  110 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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Kelly
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...more
Kelly Hager
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...more
Jenni Arndt
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...more
AnQi
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...more
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
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...more
Sara  (LitHacker.com)
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...more
B. Rose
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...more
Teri
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
CiderandRedRot
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
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...more
Cierra Ghafari
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
Barbara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gillian Wiseman
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...more
Alice
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
Samyuktha
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
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...more
Olivia S.
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.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

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....more
Shelby Cunningham
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...more
Liz
The story: Reb longs to get away from her controlling, list-making mother, and she's planned her escape: attend a college at the opposite end of the country. The only drawback is leaving Jackson, a boy who could be her soul mate, behind. But when her dad gets an unexpected job offer in New York City, mom kick starts the family into moving mode--and it turns out they're all going to be living less than an hour away from her college dorm--plenty close for Mom to be making unexpected visits. Even w...more
J
Feb 01, 2013 J rated it 3 of 5 stars
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

Aleshia Raynor
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.
Lrclark83
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
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
Sara
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.
Cady Junker
What is it like to have a bad feeling about something? What happens when your prediction is right? In the book, "Return to Me", by Justina Chen, Rebecca goes through this process. Reb has just graduated high school, and is about to move so that she can go to college at Columbia. When Reb's parents tell her that they and her brother are going to move with her, she gets a bad feeling about it. First she had to leave her boyfriend Jackson, and her best friends, and now her parents are coming with h...more
Alice
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...more
Isabelle Kaeding

In ‘Return to Me’ by Justina Chen, Rebecca has to face things she never thought she would face. Her family has a curse of never falling in love, and she thinks she might be one of the lucky ones who actually do, that is, till her father drops heart shattering news that challenges her idea of love. Her mom, her, and her brother all pack up and leave for the second time in a year. They move to Hawaii with her grandpa and has to decide whether she wants to go to the college of her fathers dreams, o...more
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)
Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review!

When I read Justina Chen’s past effort, North of Beautiful, I fell in love with her writing. I loved reading the story about Terra and how she had to overcome her own struggles to find out what she wanted in life — it was a moving read and ever since I looked forward to Justina’s next book.

Return to Me was beautiful and moving. The instant I started reading it, I was taken with Justina’s accessible writing and...more
Karen
Hmmm. I'm not really sure where to start! I like the premise as I feel that the topic is very relatable and that most readers will be able to empathize with the characters and what they are going through. Heartbreak, betrayal, divorce, and figuring out one's true path in life are things many people will face. But I had a hard time emotionally connecting to the story and the characters and I think that's part of the reason this book stayed firmly in the like, not love, category. There's also anot...more
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Did anyone catch Terra's appearance in this book? 1 7 Feb 04, 2013 09:24AM  
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190922
Justina Chen is an award-winning novelist for young adults whose most recent book, A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS, was called "an emotional and beautiful story" by Booklist. North of Beautiful was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and Barnes & Noble. Her other novels include Return to Me, Girl Overboard (a Junior Library Guild premiere selections) and Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies),...more
More about Justina Chen...
North of Beautiful Girl Overboard Nothing But the Truth [and a few white lies] The Patch A Blind Spot for Boys

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“Forgiving others is easier when I remember that I'm human and stupid, too.” 5 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.” 3 likes
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