Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She's a senior, she's got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school's team.
But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them—but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin.
I am absolutely not the ideal reader for this book. I was sent an unsolicited ARC of this book and despite having a really busy schedule of review copies I requested lately, I wanted to give it a try because I was incredibly appreciative of the publisher sending this to me, but I think I'm past the age of being able to deal with cranky YA contemporary protagonists being hateful to their families. I get that she's shocked by learning about this big "twist" in her family, but the way she reacts is honestly just irritating.
I really don’t know where my rating stands on this one. I’m stuck really at a 3.5 but I’m going to stay at 3 stars. While this book really did touch on some good subjects, I was either confused or annoyed the other times I was reading.
Tasia character needed a pat on the back while at the same time needed a good slap across the face. The way she handled certain situations didn’t really sit well with me. I get her whole world collapsed but that really didn’t excuse her actions. Especially when it came to the way she was towards her mom. Let me talk to you like I would a friend. Ya’ll if I talked to my mama like that she would have beat my ass into next week! I’m so serious! Hell, I’m 27 and wouldn’t take that tone with my mama.
Now this book does talk about topics that need to be talked about. Race, sexual orientations and sexism. All of these are hard to talk about topics but they are done really well.
What stood out to me the most was that the author mentioned inter racism inside of a culture. I have never read about in a book, but this is a real thing. Especially in the black community. Now I’m not mixed race like Tasia but I am what you call a “light-skinned black girl”. The stereotype in the black community is that lighter skin girls/boys are more favored, prettier, and get more opportunities. This then causes a rift between the community and you are judged before you even open your mouth.
“You’re black, Okay? You know that, right? Don’t ever let another person tell you you’re not. If I’ve learned anything from my parents, it’s that all it takes is the smallest percentage and the will to stare the rest of America right in the face. You’re Black.”
So while it’s not going to a favorite of mine, it did make me think and it’s going to stay with me for a while. The story was good, I just felt like the execution needed work. Basically, I do recommend this even though I’m so torn about it.
*I read an advanced copy of this title. The quote was taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication.
The only reason I kept reading this book is because this book was given to me as a gift. And usually when people give me gifts, I try my best to enjoy them. But I ultimately did not enjoy this book. I will try to be as concise with my ranting as possible.
THE GOODS ✤ DIVERSITY ~ The book is written by a Black author, the MC is biracial, the secondary characters are POC, and the love interest is bisexual. ✤ MC plays football ~ Kudos for a Black female playing football. I had to attend football matches because of band all four years, but I still knew nothing about football and didn’t understand any of the terminology. ―That’s all I really enjoyed. Buckle up friends.
JERKY WRITING STYLE ✤ Feels stilted, jerky, straightforward with lots of telling over showing ✤ Excessive use of monologues to smack meaning in readers while the rest of the time the tone feels very playful ✤ First-person POV and the author makes it known we are reading through a teenager because she drops TBH, 3C, EU, and other slangs (I’m surprised she didn’t drop an LOL cause that’s what I was doing). It feels very forced and obvious the author is no longer a teen but trying to sound like one.
POOR PLOT & PACING ✤ Pacing was way too fast ~ The sequence of events didn’t make sense to me and didn’t have enough breathe room to add to the tone, explore on the characters, and connect with me on an emotional level. ✤The subplots feel disjointed ~ Each of them felt like their own separate book. They weren’t interwoven to make sense to me. And then at the end it all becomes resolved with zero development on the page. For example, she is a female playing on an all-boys team and it’s just thrown in here and there to remind us she plays football!
PUNCHABLE MAIN CHARACTER ✤ Nothing much of Tasia is introduced. We get she is light-skinned with afro-like hair, but that's about it. We don’t see much growth or reasoning behind certain actions she takes so although she’s 18, it feels like she’s 13. ✤ She's spoiled, rash, impulsive, self-centered...and she knows it. Her family lives in Beverly Hills (?) in what she calls the McMansion. So the thing that perpetuates the plot of the novel, the family drama I will call it, just throws a wrench in her “perfect” life. She hates on her family for keeping this secret from her and her decisions are so irritating: she moves in with basically a stranger, then transfers schools in the middle of her senior year, then proceeds to not update her supposed "best friend" about everything even though she's worried. ✤ Pushes people away and tells people to not make it about themselves when she makes it about herself with every little thing. She literally stops talking to her best friend and only starts talking to her again after a duration. She doesn’t take care of her friends and expects them to take of her. ✤ She has two days to pack her stuff to go to her dad's place knowing she's deathly allergic to bees and THIS BITCH FORGETS HER EPIPEN. ✤ Tells the adults in her life that they need to know what to do when even she doesn’t know what to do. It’s this naïve outlook on life of hers that irks me. ✤ Everything has to go her way if not she doesn't like it. They have to say EXACTLY what she wants to hear if not she LITERALLY runs away.
RANDOM MESSAGE INSERTS ✤ MC is there for readers to be reminded every so often that she is Black and create deep meanings and add abrupt social commentaries that doesn’t carry throughout the rest of the book. ✤ Hair touching ~ this is mentioned more than three times by Tasia, but there wasn’t anything about it except Tasia thinking, “I like them because they didn’t touch my hair.” ✤ Football kneeling ~ THIS COMES OUT OF NOWHERE. Literally: "The faces blur together. A girl from our school named Endira is introduced to sing [the national anthem]. I'm kneeling with both hands crossed on one of my knees." Two pages prior she is receiving a handjob from her crush Kai and they’re going out now? (refer to ROMANCE section) There is ZERO build-up or reasoning/feelings/thought-process why she kneels during the national anthem. I would’ve liked it more if it fit into the overall flow of the story but this was just random and confusing because I’m trying to understand the other subplots and this is just thrown in there. She says: “I think maybe I’ve just started a new pre-game tradition of my own” sounds poor taste to me like she decided to kneel just because. ✤ Pit two black girls against each other just to explain about internalized racism. The girl Victory reads Tasia SO GOOD. I wanted to punch Tasia in the face the entirety of the book so she did that for me with her roast. They spend the majority of the book pitted against each other until the last chapters...It would have been more impactful if they were without conflict. Y’know, women of color banding together?
BORING SIDE CHARACTERS ✤ One-dimensional, just like Tasia! ✤ Her parents give her free rein and don’t even reprimand her for her rude behavior. Her mom verbatim says, "I don’t know what I’m doing anymore." The family drama BIG SECRET is something she has known for awhile yet she didn’t have a plan for it to be revealed sooner or later?
MEH ROMANCE ✤ Teenage hormones at its finest ~ progression of kiss to handjobs to sex with ZERO development ✤ Tasia instantly crushes on Kai (technically uncle, but no blood relation because he’s adopted) even though he's incredibly rude to her ✤ Random detail to what he wears everyday ✤ Bisexual and so he has to be very horny and the entire school knows all his past relationships ✤ Drama with Kai’s exes both female & male with oblivious Kai not even realizing this so Tasia is in a state of jealousy and anger
The one star is because I feel like the author’s intentions were good. It was just the execution for me.
Just realized I never put my official author blurb in here, so! “Tasia Quirk is bold, funny, talented, passionate, vulnerable, fierce, and just plain fabulous. Get ready to meet your new favorite YA heroine in Taze, and your new favorite YA voice in Candice Montgomery.” – Dahlia Adler, author of Just Visiting
Seriously though, the voice, the raw emotion, the romance, the football-playing heroine...I love this book and I'm so, so excited for the next one already.
2018:I was 17 or 18 when I found out my dad wasn’t actually my father and I was actually biracial. I couldn’t find out anymore information because my mother was already dead, and no one is allowed to tell me how to feel about this book because it is a book of my heart.
**I received an ARC of this - thank you so much to Page Street Publishing but it didn't change my opinion at all**
I highs and lows with this novel, and I'm not sure what to do with myself. There were things that I really liked, but there were parts that had me frustrated. I even thought about bringing out my Elsa rating at some points, because I felt so conflicted about it (Elsa is my rating for books that I literally cannot figure out a proper crown rating because I can never figure out my true feelings for this ice queen...Disney princess? SEE. IDK WHAT TO EVEN CALL HER.)
There was a lot to like about this novel. I think the best part about it was its messiness - with its characters, their actions, and the situation that they're in. There is no "right" way to react when your world has been literally turned upside down the way that Tasia's is, and a lot of the things that happened felt SO real and relatable. There were moments that I was frustrated with things that Tasia was doing, but also, like, I got it. Tasia's world is rocked, and even if she did things I wouldn't have done, I still GOT them. She's angry and frustrated and you could just feel her pain through the pages. Everyone in this book felt like a person that was out in the real world and could connect with. Montgomery truly had a talent with bringing the real life messiness that would come with the secret and not just tidying everything up with the rainbow and unicorn haze that YA does sometimes. I really loved that.
I did like our cast of characters for the most part as well. Each was dynamic, different, and you could always pinpoint who was who. I really liked Slim, Tasia's best friend, and Tristan, Tasia's brother. They were stars for me for this novel. Tasia was a pretty good narrator as well. Her voice shines through with every page, and I did feel for her quite a bit. Even when I got frustrated with her actions or the story, I still rooted for her, because I was invested in her story.
Montgomery's writing was pretty good. It's pretty easy to read. I still felt compelled to finish the story. There was never really a big draw with the story with me, so I was able to set it down and not want to pick it back up for a while.
One of the biggest issues for me was the pacing. At times, I felt like decisions were reached with a very short amount of times. Like, Tasia's decision to move in with Merrick was SO quick. I understand she needed to get away from her family, but I feel like she maybe should have had an internal conversation about it or a few pages of thinking it over before it was reached. Instead, the truth came out and next thing I know, she's moving in with Merrick. I mean, like, this girl here would be having paranoid delusions for like 20 pages before every moving in with someone, so I wanted like, at least a page. The romance with Kai came fast and furious as well.
Some other plot lines were picked up and dropped off as well. We could go long periods of time without talking about Tasia's football playing and her search for the person that sent her the box, and it didn't seem to follow a flow as much as I wanted to since I would forget about certain things.
As I mentioned before, the romance between Kai and Tasia was an interesting one as well. Like, there were a lot of leaps in this romance that didn't quite work for me. I needed a lot more build up for them. Like, their third or fourth time interacting with each other after a few paragraphs, it's already getting way too deep. And then they sped so quickly into the gf/bf department that I literally blinked and found them together. And then they were dropping "I love you's" SO quickly. I was flustered because I didn't quite see where they came together so so quickly?? Instalove for sure. And I felt no chemistry at alllllllllllllll between them? I mean, they had cute moments, but there was nothing that really was like YESSSSSSS, SHIPS, FEELS, SWOONS. It was like eh? I think part of this could be because Kai is technically her adopted uncle? He's her age and such, and she's never known this part of the family, but like, the moment I see "part of the family" feels are instantly gone for me? You will never be seeing this girl into the whole "I'm in love with my stepbrother" plot lines (Wattpad forever broke me on that).
And one of my last issues was some of the characters' actions. The biggest issue that I had was Tasia's and Kai's friend group. Like, I didn't get them? Everyone always warns her that Kai will hurt her and mess up, and like, I don't usually talk about my friends this way??? Two of them are in love with Kai and intensely upset/jealous over their relationship ending. They continuously are jerks to Tasia and actively try to get with Kai, and Tasia is still mostly good with them? LIKE WHY. And she struggles allllllllllll the time with forgiveness and talking with her family, but once she solves the big mystery of the box, it's a very hasty forgiveness moment, which I didn't fully get.
I do like the ending quite a bit. It wasn't a big nice happy HEA. There were a lot of things that were quite open-ended, and I think Montgomery did a wonderful job with showcasing just what real life is like. You're not just going to get a perfect little bow to fix up the problems. It felt very hopeful and like such a fitting end.
Also, girl football players = so much epicness. Tasia had a lot of strength in this novel - mental, emotional, and physical, and this was just another way to showcase it. I loved reading how fierce she was in her love of the sport.
Overall, this book had a lot of ups and downs for me, but I loved the realness of it and the way Montgomery drew me. I had some issues with the romance and the pacing, but I did really enjoy the cast of characters and the plot. I'm going to put an end to this long review now, so 3 crowns and a Belle rating!
Tasia is enjoying her life, a cornerback for a great team until one night everything in her life falls apart. I was going to spoil the heck out of the book, but I went back to check the synopsis before I just charged ahead and I am glad I did, because they didn't give it away and neither will I. So now my challenge is how to talk about this book without ruining it!
Okay first I am not a football fan, but I thought it was super cool that Tasia played football and went about playing in such a way that you could have nothing but respect for it. I am not so sure she handles everything else in a great way, but this is in essence is what this book is about. It is a coming of age, figuring out who you are, forgiveness, and dealing with major changes.
Tasia doesn't always handle things right or even close to right, but she does in a way that is true to who she is and for me is what caught my attention and held me the whole time I was reading this book. I loved the characters, her friends and the new friends and Kai. They were so opposite and made for each other it is ridiculous. Trist was amazing as well so level headed and just always making her think about the choices she made and what was going on.
To be honest when I started this I didn't think I was going to enjoy it all that much, but it made me a think a lot and I really can't help enjoying books that make me think. Plus I enjoy coming of age and massive self reflections stories especially when they are so compelling.
This is for sure one of those YA novels that is tough to read as an adult; I swear I spent half of it mentally going "wait, slow down, handle this better, don't rush to judgment, try and understand --" at the main character. Some pretty intense stuff happens to Tasia, and as much as she talks tough you don't forget that she's a kid who is only just learning how to handle this kind of thing. That's frustrating at times but I gotta admire Montgomery for not giving her a neat and tidy road to understanding or forgiveness even when the reader can see the way there.
My favorite thing about this is just how strong and sharp every character is, they've all got real and distinctive personalities and voices. Even at points where I wasn't totally feeling the story I felt so satisfied by how deeply Montgomery knows these people she's created.
I loved this beautiful book. The writing was amazing, the story *real* and human and full of complexities. I loved the layered characters, the deeply complex family and friendship dynamics and I adored the love the main characters shared with each other, no matter how frail or complicated their connection might be at times.
Plus, the questions and feelings and problems surrounding the simple request for honesty were incredible. Perfect and relatable and *real*. Very recommended.
I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.
DNF @100 pages
I have zero desire to go back to this. It did started off strong with a little " The Hate U Give vibes" but then I started not to like the main character even when I though she had the makings of being a good one. I wanted to be in her side about finding something that could change her life but the way she went about it was just straight childish. So I have been trying to go back to it but it been bouncing from my bookcase to my desk from the past couple months. Now it just going to sit in my bookcase and look pretty. I'm thankful to received this arc from Page Street Publishing and I wish could have finished it.
Tasia's life is turned upside down when a box is mailed to her and she catches her mother trying to hide it. The box contains information that her mother has never told her--that he father is not actually her biological father and that her biological father was never told about her. Upset by the lies she has been told, Tasia tracks down her biological father and then decides to live with him. Family secrets are the messiest and there are no clear cut fixes to this situation. Can Tasia reconcile with her parents?
The one thing left out of this story is Tasia's relationship with the father that raised her. I expected that it would be addressed as some part in this story, but it really only dealt with her relationship with her mother. Maybe this leaves room for a sequel??
This book asked the question of what do you do when you learn that your entire sense of self - your familial and racial identities - have been predicated on a lie? When Tasia Quirk discovers that the man she has called Daddy her entire life is not her biological father, her entire world begins to unravel. Compounding the lie she has grown up believing is the fact that her actual biological father is white, and the man she thought was her father is black. Tasia has to figure out who she is and where she fits in in this new reality, and she has to figure out if she can ever forgive the lies her parents raised her on.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did partly because of its genre and partly because of what the story is about. I immediately assumed it would focus a lot on football, which sort of turned me off, but I’m glad the mention of the mysterious box caught and held me and made me give the story a chance.
It’s the mystery that kept me reading. The more I learned, the more I wondered who sent the box, which contains much information about Tasia throughout her life, and what the sender’s motive is. My guesses swung from crazy stalker person, someone intent on damaging Tasia’s family out of malice and jealousy because the Quirks are wealthy, or a long-lost family member. I wasn’t able to dwell on these guesses for too long. Propelled by the mystery, the story quickly progresses from Tasia astonished that the box exists and her mom tried to hide it from her to Tasia taking steps to learn more about the box and who might have sent, which leads Tasia to learning more about herself.
The story is told in first-person from Tasia’s perspective and since we’re in her head, we get all the teenage angst and confusion and hurt she feels about having her world disrupted by the box and being deceived by her parents. This can be annoying for some readers and usually I get annoyed by teenage angst in YA stories, but in Home and Away I didn’t mind it because I could understand what Tasia was feeling and struggling with. I admire her for her courage to stand up to her parents, say what she needs and intends to do, and do it. I also commend her parents — her mom, really — for respecting her needs and allowing her to sort things out in her own way, though they didn’t agree with her method for doing so. (I’m being mad vague here so as not to spoil any part of the story.) I also like how much development Tasia’s character receives. She’s constantly learning more about herself and her family and making note of what she values or should value and what can change.
I like Tasia. She’s smart and spunky and I like her voice. She’s very relatable. Though I wasn’t looking forward to the football parts prior to starting the story, those parts became some of my favorites in the book. There aren’t many football scenes in the story, but the ones included stood out. My favorite is when Tasia enrolls at a new high school and devised a way to prove to the coach that she can play football and should be on the team. I was rooting for her that whole scene.
I also like how supportive her family is and the strength of her friendship with her bestie, Slim, and how her friendship with Victory develops, though I also wish it wasn’t so rocky at first. But most of all, I love all the bits about Black culture and how it’s worked into the story, like Tasia observing that in most Black families emotions aren’t considered when someone does something, her mom doing the Black Woman Head Swivel when Tasia says something outrageous, this sentence to describe the tingly feeling you get with goosebumps:
“This feeling is a hot comb too close to the scalp.”
(I know, it’s a ARC and I shouldn’t quote directly from it, but I really like that sentence.) I also liked Kai and how Tasia’s attraction to him and relationship with him develops. There’s much more I could say because I really enjoyed the book, but I’d just end up giving away too much of the story, so I’ll stop here.
It’s a good read and I recommend it, but I fear that the teenage angst and confusion might turn off some folks.
What, oh what, can I say about this book. I really wanted to like this book. This was an anticipated read for me. But I, multiple times, almost didn't finish. Multiple times, put the book down.
I want to say it is because I am too old to have related to Tasia. I'm not. I'm newly 21. And Tasia infuriated the ever loving crap out of me. The box, which was presented early on as the central exploration and driving motivation, was not explored very thoroughly at all. Football was a distraction and so so much of her identity. Like, too much. She didn't really seem to know herself.
The plot, overall, felt jumpy. Shakey. There were many many skips where I was unsure where we were in the plot, in the universe, etc. Things happened so irregularly, it was like novelistic ping pong. The writing was fine but it also felt like she was trying to seem young. IDK how old the author was when she started the book but it felt like forced youth. From the Instagram names to the vernacular.
But Tasia, I could deal with. The plot, I could follow. What really made this a one star book for me was the uncle fucking for God's sake, and what felt like the co-opting of queerness and blackness. The uncle fucking I can't get over. You're telling me, her MAIN LOVE INTEREST, HER ONLY LOVE INTEREST, is her adopted uncle??? and it is never brought up again. As soon as he is introduced as her adopted uncle its just like okay cool. Then they fuck??? on the ground???? boo boo boo no. I can't get over it. I won't get over it. You can't convince me that girl's black ass mama didn't say "yo. the uncle fucking has GOT to stop honey baby". The UNCLE FUCKING!!!!
Secondly, I felt, and I may be wrong, that the queerness and blackness in the book was being itemized, sold, and co-opted throughout the text. To begin, Kai's queerness is like half of what we know about him. It is his whole identity. I also don't like the one known bisexual character being seen as fast, multiple partners, sexually crazy, etc. Didn't like it. Even the non binary characters were seemingly coopted, seemingly inserted as performative allegiances. I know this isn't the case cause on the author's website, she notes she is non-binary. But, I would've wanted to know more about them being non-binary. Also!!! speaking of knowing more. Tasia just talks bro. Like you can't know someone has Tourettes just by looking at them. You can't. That was a bit abelist to me. Re her blackness, I just felt like it did not have to break her world so much that she was half white. Baby doll you didn't see the light skin privilege you got your whole life???? You didn't see it? And pitting her against the one other black girl until the very in felt so so so weirdddd to me like that should have been her solace and comfort not her anger. And I don't even know why they were arguing! It was not explained!!!!!! OHHHH and when she said "black girl magic" after kneeling at the football game? and black boy joy? That come out of nowhere. That felt like a forced insertion in the name of political statements. That, that, that was the straw that broke the uncle fucking camels back. It had to be a one star after that. Because, it felt so so forced. I couldn't do it.
As I started with, I wanted so desperately to like this book. So badly, I wanted to love it. But, there were too many stops in the road. Too many things prevented me from liking this book. And that, is so sad. The one star is for the attempt I do see at creating a critically conscious, queer, black book. The attempt was there. Like, in actuality, this may even be a 1.5 star for me. It just missed the mark.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Wow I really loved this debut. I was so lucky to win an ARC and very quickly fell in love with Tasia "Taze" Quirk our black girl football playing MC. It's all told from her POV and damn my feelings took a hit. They were allll over the place because Taze is going through some internal turmoil after some truths about herself come to light.
Taze by herself is such an amazing character. So well fleshed out. But then we see Taze interacting with others and damn i love a messy, makes mistakes all over the place trying to find themselves characters. This book is very much about identity and family. The ones we grow up with and the ones we form.
I loved the relationship between Taze and her bro Tristan. As with her mom and dad, the sibling relationship becomes strained after it's revealed her mom's been lying to her about who her dad really is.
That propels allll of Taze's actions after and puts her on the path to trying to find out who she is and while that journey allows her to meet a whole new set of people who eventually become a key part in her life she sorta pushes from the family she's known her entire life and her friends too. I mean she's angry after being lied to so it makes for some heavyyyy emotional scenes i think which were so well executed. I was alll up in my feels so yup.
The cast of characters here are so interesting, each in their own right and even as we are introduced to a lot of people they never over shadow Taze. This is her story and journey and the author did a great job of balancing that. And Kaiiiiiii damn i loved that kid. he's second only to Taze. My arsty bi son yessss.
Each new character we meet felt so full and like I'd want to know more about their back stories. They were all so multifaceted and interesting. And there were so many powerful and great scenes in here. Like Taze taking a knee during one of her games, the negative reactions she got and two other black kids on the team joining her. Her friendship with her bestie Stacy (Slim), which IMO perfectly showed how sometimes we mess up with the people we love the most and it can be really hard to talk it out and forgive.
Oh man. Taze's bro's list about forgiveness was another powerful scene to me. Just...i would love for this book to be required reading for schools. There are sooo many themes explored here in such great ways! I would've loved a book like this to dissect when i was in school for real!
I'm gonna need everybody to preorder, buy, shout bout this book when it's out. It's really so great!
I appreciate how much Tasia was allowed to be angry here, the ways in which she defined what forgiveness needed to look like for her in different relationships.
Siblings <3 Tristan was one of my favorite characters. Trying to understand Tasia but not always doing it, feeling what he feels even though he knows it's not what Tasia intended, slowly initiating texts about random other things, all the lists.
I also really loved the dynamics among Tasia, Dahlia, and Victory. I didn't like Dahlia, and then I did. I appreciated Taze and Vic feeling in competition with each other in ways that don't make sense, setting each other off, and then having such an important and emotional conversation so late at night based on a promise Vic had made to Taze the first time they met.
All the feelings with Kai and Taze about family, oof. And the mess that their family is, but the ways in which Taze learns to fit into it. Merrick learning to be a dad. Tasia figuring out what her relationships with Meme and Pepe will look like, how to make those connections. And Emily just... being Emily.
There's so much about honesty here as well as family. That's what Tasia finds that she really wants from other people, and it's also what she needs to be able to give.
I really liked the role football played in this story! It wasn't a focus, but it was important to Tasia, and it helps mark the time and some of her relationships.
I guess this was a true YA novel, i.e. anyone over the age of 25 is going to want to slap the @**! out of the protagonist. I am glad that I stuck with it and finished although I wanted to abandon this one more than once. Tasia Quirk you may add me to the list of folks that don't get you. Chapter 41 however ...
HOME & AWAY haunts me. I think about it all the time, in the best way. Tasia is an incredible voice, and Candice Montgomery is an astounding writer. I'm so glad this book is finding its way into so many hearts. It broke mine for a bit, but helped me get back together, too.
I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book, which is the exact reason why I picked it up. A beautiful mixed girl, who not only can stand up for herself, but she also plays football? And it also caught my eye because she ends up catching feelings with a bisexual character in which I always love representation in books.
But, after reading the first 50 pages, I was bored, irritated, and overall decided to put this on my did not finish list.
This could’ve been just me, but I really don’t enjoy it when we know the entire conflict by like, chapter 2, which would’ve been fine, if the chapters were a lot longer than they were.
The pacing of this book was just crazy fast and I usually can form a connection with at least one of the characters by a few chapters, but I just ended up not caring about anybody and especially the main character ( who’s name I forgot because it was just that forgettable).
I was very irritated by the fact that ( The main character’s name I forgot and I’m too lazy to look up, so for now I will call her Kim) Kim’s mom knew since birth, about Kim’s actual biological father. So why all of a sudden some box full of pictures and crap makes her feel all these different emotions? My question is just, why now? I think it would’ve been a lot more entertaining if Kim would’ve found the box herself and then asked her mom about it rather than the mom having a meltdown and then Kim demanding to see what’s in the box.
I’m very disappointed that I didn’t like this book because I love reading about black women and black teens because I love representation in books, but there was no way in hell I was going to be able to get through this one without banging my head against the wall every half page.
This was the author’s debut book, which is the only reason why I give it two stars because for someone’s first book, it wasn’t completely terrible. But I do not recommend whatsoever.
This is one of the rare books that I liked more and more the closer I got to the end. The beginning is kind of rough to get through. The lack of healthy communication and unintentional teenage cruelty is a lot to take, especially if drama isn’t your usual sort of book. I did love the way the author speaks about identity and oppression. She makes herself clear without preaching or taking over the story. Everything fits very neatly. She also makes it clear that she’s a queer and trans ally, which I don’t see enough of.
I also want to make note of Tasia’s gender expression. I feel like this is my personal soapbox lately, but I love that she embraces her different sides, and that she’s not characterized as a flat, single-minded person. Yes, she plays football and makes every point to fit in with the boys. But she also gets dolled up. She loves to feel feminine. I appreciate that a lot.
Side note to say: I met the author at YALSA conference in 2018, and she is a lovely person. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Home and Away will punch you in the gut—then give you a hug. Over and over again. It’s an emotional roller coaster as Tasia Quirk finds out a family secret that rocks her life.
Taze plays on her high school football team and I just love her passion for the game. I think any teen reading this book will be drawn to that part of her, that she just knows she belongs on that field. Her friendship with Stacy “Slim” Lim is #friendshipgoals. The cast of characters surrounding Tasia reflects life as it is with beautiful diversity and realness. There is no perfect anything or anyone. This novel has so much heart and the emotions are raw. I think I experienced every emotion there is while reading. Tasia’s powerful voice is sure to hit a chord with teens and adults alike.
If you read contemporary Young Adult books, I urge you to read Home and Away. It is a necessary addition to your collection and Candice Montgomery is a phenomenal writer. I hope she is given every opportunity to write many more stories. I can’t wait to read her sophomore book, By Any Means Necessary, which is available everywhere.
There is strong language and some sexual content but nothing is gratuitous and I think honestly reflects what teenagers say and do.
Sadly, not my cup of tea. It had its moments, but the melodrama grated on me after a while. Tasia really seemed to fall into the trap of cutting off her nose to spite her face after the revelation of the box. Some of the pop culture references (RIP Skype) are already outdated and the romantic plot hit my squick. Also we never did find out why Kai did the thing...did we? I enjoyed the thread of the football games and I wish we had gotten more of Tasia navigating her love for a male-dominated sport.
👏🏽 gimme all the girl football player books PLEASE 👏🏽 This book was C U T E. I loved this & I just loved the friendships that were created throughout this story. I’d read this again. I feel like I have this issue with most of my books, but I just wanted more. I wanted like a 5 or 10 years into the future. Just something more. The ending was a little rushed, but it still made me go “aww.” Solid read.
I think this book has legs, lots of interesting characters, some romance, some angst, the main character is just this super cool football playing high school girl with so much going for her. Her search for her identity seemed like a bit of a stretch at time, but was also a driving force in the book. I liked Tasia a lot, I rooted for her the whole way through, and I think it would be hard not to.