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Goodbye from Nowhere

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  293 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Kyle Baker thought his family was happy. Happy enough, anyway. That’s why, when Kyle learns that his mother has been having an affair and his father has been living with the secret, his reality is altered. He quits baseball, ghosts his girlfriend, and generally checks out of life as he’s known it. With his older sisters out of the house and friends who don’t get it, the on ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.39  · 
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 ·  293 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Emily May
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
“And maybe you need to do that with your mom, your dad, the whole family,” she said. “Let go. Let go of what you thought it should be. And see what it is.”

I've been reading Sara Zarr books for nine years at this point (2020) and I feel like she's remained fairly consistent. She doesn't go in for dramatics, though her stories are often powerful and moving. Her books are best described, I feel, as a kind of literary fiction for teens and young adults. Quiet, poignant tales about people and fam
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
"You can be happy, Kyle," she continued. "Even if Mom and Dad aren't."
Drama, drama, drama.

I am not envious of all the crap Kyle Baker has to go through after some family secrets come to light and he's trying to pretend they aren't effecting him. Lots of frustration and unlikable characters makes this a compelling read. And while there was a lot of craziness and pain, I always appreciate a story centered on family. I thought it did a great job exploring family complexities and how relationsh
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
Sara Zarr is an incredible writer - she can write dialogue and create characters so incredibly real and incredibly interesting. At first, I thought Kyle, the protagonist, was almost intolerably annoying, just so Pollyanna, but then suddenly he seemed like someone I know, and definitely like a believable teenage boy. Then I was interested in his life and the very real ways that life can change and how people react to that change, and I couldn't put the book down. Excellent!
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

Alright, I'm just going to come out with it right away: this book was a snooze fest. I'm not sure if it's because my reading tastes lately have been more high-octane (fantasy, thriller, etc) or if it was that this was a YA book that was really trying to read like literature (and yes, that word should have been read with an annoying British-esque type of accent) but this b
Neil (or bleed)
Jun 24, 2019 marked it as on-hold
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kyle's family is struggling. He knows his mother "has been seeing someone." His dad knows, too. That is how Kyle found out. Once the cat is out of the bag, Kyle is bogged down with the burden. Should he tell his sisters? Does he have an obligation to the other family -- to make sure the guy's wife knows what is happening? How can he even focus on having a good relationship with his own girlfriend with all this baggage? Why should he even try to keep playing baseball? Sara Zarr does a good job of ...more
One thing that’s been consistent in Kyle Baker’s life is his family. It’s big, full of personalities, and every summer, they all gather at the Nowhere Farm to celebrate one another. This year, he’s bringing his serious girlfriend Nadia and cannot wait for her to meet them and get to know where he comes from.

Things go well -- Nadia loves his family and they seem to love her. But it’s not too long before everything Kyle thought he knew about himself and his family comes crashing down. His father
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sara Zarr is an expert at portraying real people struggling with real problems. I know that sounds like I'm selling her talent short, but just the opposite. It's easy to blow things up. It's easy to disintegrate someone with a ray gun, or say that a wizard cursed your characters. But it's hard to make believable characters, grounded in reality, having real world problems, and yet have them be sympathetic, and interesting, and lovable even if they aren't likable.

Sara does that so, so well. Sibli
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, april, 59
This book is what I love about YA fiction: just regular teens doing regular teen things, which in this case means Kyle dealing with the fact that his parents are people who make terrible decisions which turns him into a people who makes terrible decisions. It's great! (That is not sarcasm, btw.)

Great characters, beautiful writing as always, and a nice, complex cast of family characters. I would read a whole book about Megan or Emily. And what was going on with Martie? Also, I was actually intrig
Laura Gardner
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Adults fail.” “Other people are real.” Sara Zarr is an author I’ve enjoyed for quite a while. She’s good at dropping truth bombs in her YA realistic fiction and presenting interesting characters going through conflict. This one kept me interested and also made me wish I had cool cousin/friends. Audiobook was good!
Apr 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
I am quite dissapointed in this book. I thought it sounded interesting as a family deals with the repercussions of a cheating scandal but the characters were all terrible and it made this book so frustrating to read. Kyle is so needy and self-absorbed it was infuriating seeing him beg for people's attentions. He did see this flaw in himself and try to improve, but the majority of the book is him feeling sorry for himself. Also, was it necessary to have so many descriptions of his sexual fantasie ...more
I really wanted to enjoy this, but I ended up just being bored for most of the book. Not much really seemed to happen, and the parts that I found more interesting were glossed over in favor of parts that I found more boring. I couldn't connect with really any of the characters, and I actually kind of hated Kyle's parents for how they treated him (while playing the victims themselves), and I was also a little creeped out because some of Kyle's attention towards Emily seemed less like friends/cous ...more
Apr 23, 2020 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I had to dnf this because I knew it was going to be a 1 star. Unfortunately I do not care for the main character at all, and his thing for his cousin is weird. I'm glad there are other reviews confirming that these things remain true throughout the rest of the story so I won't feel like I'm missing out.
Jen Ryland
I'm a huge fan of this author but ... this book was a little low energy for me. I don't mind quiet, literary books in general but I felt like this one jus drifted.

I liked that the narrator is a guy and and part of a big, messy family. To me it seemed like this was about his relationships with all the women in his life: his female cousin, his girlfriend, his mom. I didn't think his relationship with his cousin was weird or creepy, but it did seem like she filled the place of a girlfriend or best
Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5. Rounding up because it is cute and it gets better, even if it was underwhelming overall.

Kyle comes from a very big family who always gets together in his grandparents' land called Nowhere. But things are changing in his life, he has a girlfriend, his oldest sister left home and isn't talking to them, and he learns a secret too big about his parents that throws him off. Maybe his family is very different from what he always thought it was.

I think this story is very pretty. I loved the family
Alex Black
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I think this is the most disappointed I've been with a Sara Zarr book. She's definitely written books that weren't for me about topics and situations I had no interest in, but even then I usually loved her writing style and setting and the way she developed the characters. Even in the ones that weren't for me, I still felt like I could wholeheartedly recommend them.

This one I didn't feel much of anything for. It wasn't bad by any means. There's not a whole lot I have to say about it that's negat
✌︎ lua ☺︎
Jun 23, 2020 rated it liked it

Kyle Kyle Kyle. His perfect family turns out to be not so perfect. Depression hits us all differently.


Sara Zarr brings us a new, quiet family drama. Kyle Baker knows he has a big family with his many cousins, aunts, and uncles. Every year they get together on the Nowhere farm for a week long reunion. This year, Kyle can't wait to bring his girlfriend Nadia to meet them. To no one's surprise, she's nervous she might not exactly fit in with the tight knit clan. After what seems t
May 31, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, 2020, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
i think this was a young adult family drama and that concept was executed perfectly. the characters were very, very flawed and very human and i loved kyle, especially because of his vulnerability and the way he cared about people. emily was an interesting character as well (guys!! a badass aro-ace girl with a septum piercing ok!! ) and i loved their relationship. i related to kyle the most and all his insecurities and it was nice reading about someone who's had the same thoughts and concerns and ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A couple of months ago, I was wracking my brain for books dealing with divorce or living with parents who were divorced. I just couldn’t think of ones where that was the primary plot point.

This book doesn’t deal with divorce but it does deal with a kid watching his parents’ marriage crumble as he finds out about his mom’s affair. So much takes place in his head as he sorts through his own feelings about the loss of all that’s “normal” in his life and then exacerbated by changes to his extended f
Abby Knudsen
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I was honestly pretty underwhelmed by this book. I did love the cousin/extended family dynamic because it’s pretty rare to see that. Kyle’s relationship with Emily felt really genuine in the beginning but started moving toward a weird and slightly creepy gray area in the second half. There was cool ace/aro representation for Emily, but it really felt like the only reason that was added was to stop people from thinking that Kyle’s weird feelings could be reciprocated. But this doesn’t change the ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
It was strange reading a Sara Zarr book from a male perspective. It took me awhile to get into but I ended up enjoying it once I did. There were some things that made me raise an eyebrow and it wasn’t my favorite story of hers but it was ok.
alisonwonderland (Alison)
“Flawed people trying to love each other.”

That’s what this book is about. And I guess that’s why I felt so much as I listened - because I’m a flawed person trying to love other flawed people.

Michael Crouch narrated the audiobook, and he’s one of my favorite readers.

Alison’s Summer Reading 27/35

Anxious Kyle is a pretty typical teenager with a family that appears normal but is far from that. In fact, there are so many hidden secrets and drama in his immediate as well as extended family that his anxiety is completely understandable. I think this book would appeal to readers who like John Green (especially Turtles All the Way Down). It's not my favorite Zarr book but I did enjoy it.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 I guess? I remember loving Sweethearts by Sara Zarr so I decided to give this a try, and I was pretty bored throughout. I have a big family and did like seeing that dynamic in this book, but Kyle's weird obsession with his cousin freaked me out. It was way too much for me! I really think the author should have made her a family friend or toned down the soulmate stuff!
Meg Eden
Apr 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Don't waste your time.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high, high-school
Goodbye From Nowhere by Sara Zarr, 384 pages. Balzer + Bray (Harper), April 2020. $19

Language: R (100+ swears, 6 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (affair); Violence: G



It’s Thanksgiving and Kyle has just had a great time introducing his girlfriend to his extended family at the family homestead, Nowhere Farm. When spring break rolls around, Kyle’s dad tells him that his mom is having an affair, which sends Kyle’s world into a tailspin. He tries to act
Susannah Goldstein
For review
Pretty boring despite some interesting family drama. I was put off by how uncomfortably attached Kyle is to his cousin Emily—I was a little concerned with where that relationship was headed. Seemed like a Sarah Dessen book but from a male POV, minus the satisfactory ending.
Raisa Alexis
Kyle thought he had it figured out, playing on the high school baseball team and in love with his girlfriend Nadia. But then his dad reveals that his mom’s been having an affair with a married man, and everything falls apart after that. He ghosts the team and his girlfriend, but finds comfort in his cousin, Emily.

The heartfelt message about trying to figure yourself out in the midst of your parents’ messy problems was buried underneath the weirdly incestuous vibes Kyle had towards his cousin. I
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Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of four novels for young adults: Story of a Girl (National Book Award Finalist), Sweethearts (Cybil Award Finalist), Once Was Lost (a Kirkus Best Book of 2009) and How to Save a Life. Her short fiction and essays have also appeared in Image, Hunger Mountain, and several anthologies. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, and online at ...more

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