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The Grown Ups

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  967 ratings  ·  175 reviews
From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  967 ratings  ·  175 reviews

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Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
1/27/15-Now Available!

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

I ended up being completely sucked into this book. After I was invested in the story, I had such a hard time putting this book down and found myself telling my family members that I needed "just one more minute" on the day I read this book. Anyone who reads a lot can tell you that that is a sign of a really good book.

This story is told from three points of view over the course of 15 years. During this story, we
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Antalek nails the thoughts and emotions of each character. Dialog is well done. She unbolts her characters vulnerability, fears and inner thoughts. Her writing style tight and delineate.

The reader is intimately aquatinted with each character. They stumble, fall, rise, relish and regret their choices. They are whole with their share of flaws, honest in knowing themselves. Each character deals with their rocky childhood shaping them for adulthood, while trying not to mimic or allow unsettled feeli
Larry H
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Relationships. Can't live without 'em, can't, well...

The summer of Sam Turner's 15th year was an eventful one. Spending time with his group of childhood friends, he suddenly catches the interest of Suzie Epstein, and they begin a romantic relationship that they keep hidden from their friends, even though the hookups of others are known among them. But as quickly as it begins, their relationship ends when Suzie's estranged parents decide to give their marriage another try and move the family to a
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
I really LOVED this book. I loved that it followed a group of friends through the good, bad and ugly times. There is so much heart, honesty and truth in the pages of this novel. This is a coming a age story that focuses on a group of friends as time ebbs and flows. I love that there are no loose ends upon finishing the novel and that the novel highlights the ups and downs of family, love, friendship. The story made me both ache for the times of high school and college while simultaneously making ...more
Sara Strand
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I really did. Normally there's at least something I didn't like about one of the characters or how it was written when a book spans across so much time and gives you the point of view of several characters. The really great thing is that even though you may not have dedicated points of view of a lot of the characters, Robin Antalek writes so incredibly well that you know these characters. You get it. You get what they feel, why they are doing the things they are doing, and it' ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review can be found at

I received an advanced readers copy from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

The Grown Ups is definitely a coming of age story and a really good one. Some coming of age stories can be boring and unsatisfying but that isn't the case with this title. It's told through multiple narratives which I adore and begins at the age of fifteen into adulthood. We hear from childhood friends
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Grown Ups is a story spanning over a decade and explores the bonds between friends and family. There are many, many challenges for them to overcome and could threaten to divide them. The story is told in alternating voices of the characters we meet in the book.

It seems as though everyone in the book is searching for something. Do they find what they need in life? Some may and some may have a harder time.

I enjoyed this book. It is a good read.

Also, I won this book through the Goodreads Giveaw
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When do you know that you are a grown up?

Is it when you graduate from high school? College? Are you a grown up when you get married? Have children? When you become the caretaker to your parents?

What does being a grown up look like? Feel like?

For Sam, Bella, and Suzie, it is clear that only one thing holds true as far as being a grown up: the path is different for everyone.

The daughter of an alcoholic mother and absentee father given to violence, Suzie is forced to be a grown up long before she s
Belinda Waters
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
An unexpected surprise. I had a hard time putting this book down. Good characters and a good story of first loves, friendship and growing up.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
My Thoughts:

The Grownups was a bittersweet look in to the lives of Sam, Bella, Suzie, and Michael. It's a story that spanned glimpses from childhood, high school, college, and adulthood. This is a story that everyone should be able to relate to in one way or another. We learn about first crushes, kisses, loves, self discovering, and growing in to the person that you want to become. There were moments of heartache, heartbreak, excitement, passion, healing, and peace.

Sam and Michael may be brother
Lynn (Ellesea Loves Reading)
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
They say “Don't judge a book by its cover,” this is one time when I'm glad I dived in without taking much notice of the front cover. When I began to read this book, I had absolutely know idea where the plot would lead. I admit I wasn't immediately struck with the story but somehow after a few pages it gripped me in a way I can only describe as spellbinding!

Sam, Bella and Suzie live in the same neighbourhood, attending the same school. It's 1997, they're fifteen years old and carefree. They're c
"They were here now, all of them. Relationships slightly rearranged, but still together. That was more than any of them would have imagined years before. They had watched their parents stumble and vowed never to do the same, only to fail one another in different ways. They experienced love, but they also caused disappointment and sorrow. They felt fear, and they knew loss. They ran away, only to return."

Antalek is such a poetic writer. This was my first novel by her, and I hope to read more. The
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, fiction
"The Grown Ups" is the story of Susie, Sam, and Bella and by extension, Michael, who is Sam's brother. When the book opens they are teenagers. It's the things that they do as teenagers that will shape them into the adults that they become. This book is really interesting because it looks at each of the characters throughout their formative years, those strange years from being a teenager to being a full fledged adult. Each chapter of the book focuses on a different character in a different time ...more
Julie Valerie
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This fabulous book arrived wrapped in brown paper as part of the BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge which made me absolutely giddy. There’s nothing better than the arrival of a new book and the promise of hours of delving deep into the fictional reality of new characters. Unwrapping it was great fun and I was so eager to read this title knowing it was written by the author of The Summer We Fell Apart (HarperCollins, January 2010 release, chosen as a Target Breakout Book).

The Grown Ups by R
Emily Voss
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was simply wonderful. It started in the year 1997 when the main characters--Suzie, Bella and Sam are 15. The first few chapters read like a YA, but as the book progresses, it becomes an amazing story of how awkward your 20's can be. Although there is so much drama (Seriously, parents, get your shit together.) I related so much to these characters and these friendships that have spanned most of their lives.

I sometimes complain that it is hard to find great new fiction for people my age
Rosalie Vecchi
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderfully written. The story begins in adolescence and travels over a decade into adulthood. Every theme is touched upon so beautifully and realistically - family, friendship, parenting, love, loss, jealousy, sacrifice, forgiveness, and the list goes on.

It's hard to find a book for people my age that conveys what its like to be in this place where your friends are engaged, married, having children, in the midst of ticking off all their life-long goals, while you feel trapped in
Philip Cosand
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Start off with your typical CW/WB teenage drama. Fast forward until you get into a timeframe that resembles a bad Friends or Thirtysomething. Voila. Now you've read Grown ups.

The characters are well developed and they do go through changes as the years (and chapters) pass. But there is no great character to root for. Everybody has something bad happen, but they all bounce back thanks to their friends. Put on repeat and you find that (give or take the tragic/ dramatic death), all the characters a
Jessica Jeffers
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Other readers may connect more to this tale of teenage love triangles crossed with coming-of-age angst, but I found myself largely underwhelmed. The multiple narrators and large jumps in time made it difficult to feel like I had any grasp on who these people were and how all the events were building up to something. That feeling was compounded by the fact that the teenage characters often had no idea what was going on with their parents and their peers and so a lot of actions went unexplained -- ...more
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This novel spans the course of more than a decade but begins with the lives of three teens who are sort of friends. Each teen has their own issues they are dealing with, but their commonality are the difficulties that their parents are dealing with. One of the teens has a sick mother, another has a father who likes to cheat, and the other has a mother who likes to cheat as well. The book follows the lives of these three main characters: Sam, Bella and Suzie as they explore different relationship ...more
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the story of some teenagers growing up and then following them to adulthood. The central focal point of the novel is about Sam who has a tremendous crush on a girl named Suzie. She leads him along but he is taking the relationship far more seriously than she is. When she gives him the heave ho it takes him years (if ever) to rid himself of this infatuation. Lots of family drama in this one and I am not sure that this cast of characters ever truly act like grown ups even when they are ol ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I will admit that the cover drew me in. I love it! Reminds me of one of my favorite TV shows, Parenthood (if you haven't watched it, you are totally missing out!). Often times in life you wonder what might have been if your past went a different path, if you didn't move away, or if you acted on your feelings at the time instead of waiting. This book covers the aspect of young love and the evolution of friendships over the years. This was a relatable read and I enjoyed the book.
Ann Boytim
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sam, Suzie and Bella are three friends that have grown up together. Their lives are very different and they have dealt with break up marriages of parents and moving away. After high school they go their separate ways and off to college. Sam does not do well in college and is failing but does not tell his father but does confide in his brother Michael. Michael and Suzie meet and become a couple but Sam always remembers Suzie in a very special way. Bella and Sam have a relationship but they also g ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The story line was really well done. I liked the family drama, the characters were interesting and it was easy to read. All the chapters are clearly marked as to whose perspective is moving the story along.

At times it felt like a soap opera. Everyone was involved with someone else who had secrets they shared with someone else! Eventually. the relationships worked themselves out. The ending was well done, but a bit sad.

Side Note: The foul language was annoying and abundant. At times, it seemed i
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This had it's moments.... I liked the story line of the brothers Sam and Michael and wish the whole book could have been told from their point of view and focused more on them and their families. I never cared for Suzie. The way the characters were all interconnected forever seems a bit like a soap opera (bring some new people into town - this isn't supposed to be a tiny town in the middle of nowhere!) but overall it was an interesting read...even if it was a bit slow. Sort of like Boyhood.
Gato Negro
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
The adolescent characters and their families are introduced and the book begins as intriguing and with plenty of conflict. The conflicts continue through their lives into adulthood but somehow the characters, especially the more ancillary or supportive cast, become less intriguing; all except for Sam who seems, to me at least, to be the character who is most likable, real, has the biggest heart and gets let down the most. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
Kelly Waldschmidt
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book in a very long time.

I loved this book! I adored the narrative structure and how multiple stories were told through a few character's perspectives. I did not want it to end and stretched out the final chapters, sad to let go of the story.

This book fills me with nostalgia and makes me reach out to my close friends, eager to see them and to create new memories, while we reflect upon the past.

Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I was terribly afraid this was going to turn into a novel of cheating and wife-swapping. Glad to say it didn't. Well developed characters and intricate relationships. There were just SO many characters, I got confused for a while.
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mine, fiction
I would probably shelve this on a beach read shelf. Quick, easy, the perfect read after struggling through more serious work. I finished the book in less than a day.

(Sometimes you just need a break. This fits the bill.)
Beth Allen
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am rating this as okay, but I had to look back at the cover to even remember what this book was about and I read it within the last month!

Gosh, I want to read a great book soon!
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book. I really enjoyed it and recommend it.
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My second novel, THE GROWN UPS, will be published by William Morrow in January of 2015. It's the story of a group of friends over many years and what they mean to each other. It's about family, about love, about disappointment and heartache. It's about celebrating the small triumphs in life and hanging in there for those you love. It's about longing to be grown up - and then finding out what it re ...more

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