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You'd Be Home Now

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces comes a breathtaking story about a town, its tragedies, and the quiet beauty of everyday life.

For all of Emory's life she's been told who she is. In town she's the rich one--the great-great-granddaughter of the mill's founder. At school she's hot Maddie Ward's younger sister. And at home, she's the good one, her stoner older brother Joey's babysitter. Everything was turned on its head, though, when she and Joey were in the car accident that killed Candy MontClaire. The car accident that revealed just how bad Joey's drug habit was.

Four months later, Emmy's junior year is starting, Joey is home from rehab, and the entire town of Mill Haven is still reeling from the accident. Everyone's telling Emmy who she is, but so much has changed, how can she be the same person? Or was she ever that person at all?

Mill Haven wants everyone to live one story, but Emmy's beginning to see that people are more than they appear. Her brother, who might not be cured, the popular guy who lives next door, and most of all, many ghostie addicts who haunt the edges of the town. People spend so much time telling her who she is--it might be time to decide for herself.

Inspired by the American classic Our Town, You'd Be Home Now is Kathleen Glasgow's glorious modern story of a town and the secret lives people live there. And the story of a girl, figuring out life in all its pain and beauty and struggle and joy.

387 pages, Hardcover

First published September 28, 2021

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About the author

Kathleen Glasgow

12 books6,003 followers
Kathleen Glasgow is the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces, You'd Be Home Now, How to Make Friends With the Dark, and The Agathas series (with Liz Lawson). Visit her on Twitter (@kathglasgow), Instagram (misskathleenglasgow), her website (www.kathleenglasgowbooks.com), or TikTok @kathleenglasgow.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,791 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,195 reviews40.6k followers
February 15, 2023
Breathe in! Breathe out! I’m just a weeping mess! The story of Emory and Joey hit harder to me than I expected! Brother-sister unique bounding stories are triggering subjects for me because of my personal loss! At some chapters, I stopped my reading, choking out, taking deep breathes, gathering my composure to turn back to my reading! But I’m honestly shaking to the core!I’m trembling!

This epic story is realistic slap across your face! It reminds you of it’s impossible to be perfect parents and it’s impossible to raise perfect kids. There’s no formula, no instruction book! I wish it could. You read the manual and fix your children’s problems like fixing an IKEA furniture. It’s obvious you will make mistakes and you cannot direct your children’s lives by putting restrictions, giving them long lists, choosing their friends, controlling the choices they make. That’s not how parenting works. You’re doomed to make mistakes, screw things over but you also try harder to learn from them.

The opening of the book is mind blowing! Emory finds herself trapped in a car, as her brother’s bestie Leonard is driving it like a madman, while Emory tries to soothe Candy who is screaming at the top of her lungs because Emory’s brother Joey passed out at the back seat of the car. He doesn’t move,probably OD’d. And BAM!

Emory opens her eyes at the hospital, her leg in a cast, confused, numb. Her sister Maddie is by her side, parents arguing because her brother was overdosed and his best friend Leonard is sent to juvie because he killed Candy- yes that innocent, sweet girl who wanted to leave the party earlier because of severe headache, trapped in a car with them and now she’s casualty of the tragic innocent.

Emory has been already struggling from lack of social life. Her only friend Liza has been cut out of her life because of her mother’s intervention and now entire school blames her and her brother because of Candy’s death. She’s wounded, she’s pariah and she is also designated caretaker of her brother who returns back from rehab. Their mother gives them long lists filled with rules as if they’re her junior assistants instead of kids.

Emory is always negotiator, peacemaker, doing always what her parents told her, obedient, sweet, good daughter of the family as her big sister is beauty queen, smart, popular college student and her brother… her rebellious, artsy, introvert brother Joey always gets the full attention with his addiction problem.

Emory needs to be seen, to be cared, to be listened! Nobody hears her silent screams or sees invisible scars! She feels invisible, passing through two workaholic parents and her suffering brother in the house and she wants to scream: “ please let me live my own life! I don’t want more responsibilities! I want to live my own life! I want to make my own choices! “

She has a crush on her neighbor next door: Gage, making out with him secretly at the pool house. But even Gage insists to keep things secret, hiding their intimate moments in the dark, keeping her in the shadows.

The question is simple: what are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?

She needs to be seen! She needs to be cared! She needs to be heard!

But she also sees her brother’s struggle. She has to help him but how can she help a person who doesn’t need to get help.

This book is deep, heart wrenching, soul crushing family drama. It’s about parenting, addiction, bullying, #metoomovement, slut-shaming, cancer, sibling bonding, friendship!

It’s touching, tear jerking, sentimental and the conclusion of the story is so realistic and gut punching!

I want to finish my review with some parts I chose from Emory’s stunning poem:

I’m a girl on a stage and I have nothing beautiful for you.
I’m a girl on a stage and you think you know my story.
But how can you know my story when I haven’t written it yet.
When I haven’t had a chance to live it yet.
How can you know my story
When you don’t even know me!

Giving my five tear jerking, self respect, self discovery, bravery, growing spine stars!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s / Delacorte Press for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,615 followers
September 15, 2021
My God, how do I start this review!! I had a million words and they have left me…… this author, every time!

I’m not fine! I’m broken! - Mel

This book made me feel what I felt, feel what I feel, cry, hate, love… understand.

These characters are wonderful. Flawed. They are a lot of us when we were young. A lot of us as parents and the people who are lost.

When I first started reading the book I was getting myself prepared for what the author was going to do to me. I got to a point in the book that I felt was going to be the same old bullshit I read nowadays and felt bummed. I was so wrong. This book is about ALL the things.

Emory, Joey, Jeremy, Eliza, Daniel…. I love you guys so much!!

My whole life, I just wanted to feel better. Forget about what a loser I was. And then I found a way to do that.


If I was Joey, I’d be pawing through the house looking for anything, something to dull all this down. Forget I’m even me.
I get it now. I really get it.

I hated the parents in the beginning. They didn’t treat their kids very good. They are rich and jerks, but sometimes bad things have to happen to wake someone up. They have Emory who is the good kid, the invisible kid. Maddie, the perfect kid. Joey the bad, loser kid. Joey and Emory did things to try to hide the pain, to feel wanted. Some of the things were stupid and you’re screaming in your head for them to stop. I was young once and did things, a lot of people were in their place or worse. I’m in that place in some ways now. BUT, you can’t judge! You need to find your compassion! It tore my empathy into little pieces. I cried, I laughed and cried some more. And the homeless and the hope that was given!! Damn it!! It was so horrible and wonderful!

I had a lot more I wanted to say, so much more! It just all went out the window. I just know I want to do even more to help people before I die.


Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

*Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin for a digital copy of this book.

MY BLOG: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....
November 12, 2022
Kathleen Glasgow's first novel is called Girl in Pieces.

Well, I am officially a Girl in Pieces after reading this heart-wrenching, beautiful, and authentic book!

This book tackles the topic of addiction (specifically the opioid epidemic) and its impacts on a community, schools, a family unit, and most importantly, the intricacies of a brother-sister relationship and how quickly these bonds can change.

Emory feels invisible--always has--in the spotlight of picture-perfect older sister Maddie. Her brother Joey has struggles of his own, which culminate after a party one night, where Joey's drug use finds him in a car with bad influence and "friend" Luthor...and leaves a young girl dead after a tragic car crash. Emory was also in the vehicle, and both siblings have become pariahs at school in their own ways, as Emory recovers from a leg injury and Joey begins a stint at rehab. This is all part of their parents' plan to maintain social standing and 'fix' their children. But Emory has secrets of her own, and aside from her time playing babysitter to Joey during his recovery, she vacillates between wanting someone to see her and fearing the repercussions of her double life. When her worlds collide months later, can Emory discover the path she is meant to take and help keep her brother above water...before she loses him again?

Everyone has reasons why they read and prefer certain genres, and for me YA can be some of the most emotionally-driven and relatable fiction out there, even at age 34. I think this is because we can all tap back into those familiar emotions that can overwhelm at a younger age. Couple that with explorations of mental health issues, and in this case, the opioid epidemic, and Glasgow had and held my attention. She is very careful to not veer into stereotypical territory with her books, and you honestly don't know whether her characters will have a happy ending or not. I was so taken aback by how invested I was in this book towards the end that I felt tears welling in my eyes without even realizing it.

In my opinion, there is a tendency to dumb down teens in today's YA, perhaps because they live in the world of social media that didn't exist when we (or of course, the author!) were teenagers. Oftentimes they are painted as nothing more than superficial and self-absorbed, but Glasgow shows us different types of characters in this book, from the aforementioned shallow but mostly, the surprisingly deep. Yes, there are references to texting and Instagram even plays a role in this story, but that isn't the focus. She keeps the narrative trained on the thoughts and emotions of her characters, the actions they take (or are afraid to take) and the way they interact with the adults in their lives.

There was clearly a lot of careful research and heart that went into this story, and I feel it did justice to those suffering at the hands of addiction and those surrounding them as well--we ALL know someone who has battled those demons, if we haven't battled them ourselves. You'd Be Home Now is anything but preachy, though: no need to spout off "Say No to Drugs", but rather, Glasgow explores the system as a whole and what we can do to fix it before more lives are lost. She mentions in her author's notes that she is recovering from her own struggles and she always explores these themes with a caring pen. I will always appreciate her honesty in the fact that life is not black and white, and answers aren't always found, but nevertheless we persist. There is also a helpful list of resources in the back, should you need them or know someone who could use them.

I didn't expect to be so moved by this book, but by the end of this story, I felt nothing but love and a sense of protectiveness towards Emory and Joey and a desperation for everything to turn a corner for them and those struggling in their community. This is a beautifully moving story, and one of the best YA reads I've had this year, bar none. Thank you to Kathleen Glasgow---you made me cry when I didn't even know I needed it.

4.5 stars, rounded up to 5

Now in paperback as of 11.8.22!
Profile Image for Cara.
265 reviews186 followers
January 12, 2023
WOW JUST WOW!!!!! You'd Be Home Now written by Kathleen Glasgow was so raw, heart wrenching, pure, and authentic. I read Girl In Pieces by this author a while back, so when I saw many of my goodreads friends had read this book, and rated it very highly, I knew I had to get my hands on You'd Be Home Now, but let me just say after reading this book, i'm a Girl In Pieces. This book was so heavy to read at times, I had to take a breather. My emotions were all over the place, one minute I was sobbing, the next minute I was gasping for air, and other minutes I just kept praying this book would end differently than I thought. I had to take at least a day or two to write this review because this book was so gut wrenching. I was hooked from the very first page, it was like I was on one of the world's weirdest roller coaster ride, like when you expect a crazy turn, but you go downhill. There are some TW'S in this book; opioid addiction, and death. I recommend all my goodreads friends to read this book because it was so real and authentic. You'd Be Home Now deserves the highest rating possible, I wish I could give this book a higher than five stars. Once I saw the cover, I knew this book would be a heart breaker, but once you actually start reading the story it's more than heart breaking. I hate to say this because it was such a sad book, I was instantly hooked from the very first page. TISSUES ARE REQUIRED IF YOU DO DECIDE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!

"Sometimes your life falls to ash and you sift through, waiting for the pain to pass, looking for the remnants in the debris, something to save, when really all you need is right there, inside you".

"I love you, Emmy, but you have no idea what it's like to be me".

"You can't put your life on hold for somebody else, you know? Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to make yourself happy. And if you're not, like, solid with yourself, how can you help somebody else?".

You'd Be Home Now is the story of a teenage girl figuring out life in all it's beauty, pain, joy, and struggles. Emory, for her whole life has been told who she is. In the town of Mill Haven, Emory is known as the rich kid, the great-great granddaughter of the mill's founder. The mill is basically like a little shopping center strip mall, stores, dry cleaners, places where people can get help if they struggle with addiction. At school, Emory is known as hot Maddie Ward's younger sister. Maddie is now away from home in college, but since she went to the school the Emory now goes to, everyone knows Emory as Maddie's younger sister. At home, Emory is known as one of the good Ward kids, but also known as her stoner brother, Joey's babysitter. One night, everything was turned on it's head, Joey and Emory attended a party where drinking and drugs were involved. Emory only had about two drinks, Joey was high out of his mind, and their friend Luther was completely wasted. There was another girl there, Candy MontClair.

At the party, Candy was a sobbing mess, she just wanted to go home, she was holding Emory's hand trying to breathe. Emory wanted to go home as well, so she announced that since she only had two drinks she would be the designated driver, but Luther was determined to drive. Joey, Emory, Luther, and Candy were involved in a car accident, heroin was said to be found in the car, but this car accident also killed Candy MontClair. She was the only one who had passed away from her injuries. The car accident just revealed how bad Joey's drug addiction really was. Joey is sent to rehab in Colorado, Luther was sent to juvie because of the drugs found on him and he was also underage, Emory fractured her kneecap. Four months later, Emory is starting her junior year in high school, Joey is home from rehab, Luther is still in juvie, and the entire town of Mill Haven is still reeling from the car accident. Everyone at school won't look at or talk to Joey and Emory because they all know they were involved in the car accident that took Candy's life. Everyone is telling Emory who she is, but so much has changed, how can she be the same person? Or was Emory really ever that person at all?

I'm going to stop this review right here because you need to read the book for yourself. You'd Be Home Now really hit hard. While reading this book it truly let all my emotions show, I cried, I was angry, I was heart broken, I was irritated at the parents for thinking making chores for Joey would cure his drug addiction when all he wanted and needed was help and someone to love him. I just wanted to reach into the book and hug Emory and Joey so much, and just cry with them. Please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book, along with a bunch of boxes of tissues because they are required. I feel so guilty saying I loved this book so much, but it was so raw, real, and pure. It gives us as reads an insight to drug addiction and how people cope differently once they get out of rehab. As I took a day or two to write this review because I had to gather myself and process this book, as i'm sitting here now and writing the review for the book, my heart is being broken all over again. I want to apologize to my kindle for absorbing all of my tears, You'd Be Home Now really and truly destroyed me.
Profile Image for Kathleen Glasgow.
Author 12 books6,003 followers
August 16, 2021
Yes! I have a new book! YOU'D BE HOME NOW is the story of Emmy and her brother, Joey. This is a story about how addiction touches everyone and everything in its orbit: siblings, parents, friends, community, town. It's about wanting so much to keep someone safe that you'd do anything for them...but what if love isn't enough to save someone? Happy to answer questions in comments.
Profile Image for Book Clubbed.
146 reviews166 followers
September 6, 2021
A story about having a family member in the throes of addiction, not about addiction itself, which are two very different novels. A story about a loved one battling addiction is often about the distance the addiction asserts, and the impossible job of reconciling that distance with the intimacy you previously had with them. We get some sense of Joey on the page, but more often than not it's his absence that defines him.

I appreciate Glasgow's character development, and her refusal to romanticize any character in this story. They are all flawed, yet all treated with humanity. She juggles various storylines, and the emotional conflict brewing in Emory as she simultaneously deals with her brother and her own relationship drama felt compelling.

Glasgow writes standard prose, with no aspect that calls attention to itself. The dialogue veered from authentic to corny, "what's up my fellow kids?" imitations. The worst moments are in English class, when Glasgow turns one of the students into a mouthpiece to change the curriculum, and the character immediately starts speaking like the most annoying, 1st-year graduate student you've ever met. It could have been an interesting section, sparking a dialogue worthy of nuance and courage, but it came off (like a lot of contemporary fiction) as a moralizing pamphlet.

I prefer fiction that challenges me, instead of pandering to commonly held beliefs.

The pacing seemed haphazard as well. In the first half, nearly nothing happened, and by the second half, we were speeding from scene-to-scene trying to wrap things up. I have never seen a writer skim through so many mini-emotional climaxes in a scant page or two. It felt like major self-sabotage, but maybe that's all our attention spans can handle at this point.
May 10, 2022

“Maybe people just use different things to fill up the emptiness. Until it becomes less about feeling empty and more about feeding something else.”

I picked up You’d Be Home Now because of the cover quite frankly. You see a cover with a bunch of scattered pills and I knew without even looking at the synopsis this was going to be a book involving substance abuse. I’m drawn to this subject for several reasons. One is that there are more substance dependency issues now than we have ever had in our history. In fact according to one article I had recently read, 2020 was considered the deadliest year in drug history. Ranging from prescription to street drugs and alcohol etc. I also have close loved ones that have suffered from drug and alcohol dependency. I’m going to take a guess I’m probably not the only one, there others that have also been affected somehow.

Because of my experience I’m interested in learning more and I’m open to reading well done in-depth stories with characters that struggle with sobriety. You’d Be Home Now was more of a YA sugar coated version of dependency, but it ended up being more emotional than what I thought it was capable of when I first started. There were some raw moments that even made my eyes tear up a bit.

Emory is the rich girl in Mill Haven. She’s also known as Maddie’s younger, less hot sister. But worst of all she’s Joey’s baby sister. Joey who’s known as one of the druggie stoners in town and the high school they attend. Emmy does everything she can to keep the peace within her family, keep her brothers secrets, and to fit into the box that everyone wants her in. That is until one fateful night she and her brother get into a horrible car accident. An accident that claims Candy MontClaire’s life on the way home from a high school party.

Everything changes from that point on. Joey is sent to rehab but makes it home in time for his last year of high school. Emmy becomes his designated baby sitter and has no life of her own. She can’t even sneak off to spend time with her secret hookup, the neighbor next door. Slowly Emmy comes to the realization that Joey might not actually be “cured” after all. Day after day he reminds her more of the “ghosties” who live on the outskirts of town. And she’s not sure if she can fit into the same box that she used to do so as willingly before. Emmy needs to figure out who she is for herself, before she gets swallowed up in her families never ending drama.

This story is supposed to be inspired by a classic called Our Town. I don’t know what that is to be honest. I’ve never heard of it so I can’t make any comparisons, but on it’s own I consider You’d Be Home Now a pretty powerful story. And it’s not just about drug use, it’s also a story of a girl who is tired of living her life for everyone else. She’s ready to put herself first and find out who Emmy is and what she wants.

I can relate with Emmy’s inner struggles to find her own identity and do what everyone expects of her. She feels if she doesn’t do what everyone needs and wants from her, she’ll be responsible for her brother back sliding and her parents distant marriage. Emmy has the weight of taking on her family’s problems on top of the struggles of being an insecure teenage girl, it makes her a prime target for an unhealthy relationship. I think a lot of younger girls will be able to associate with her easily.

I feel like Joey’s character could have been a little better formed. His storyline was interesting, especially because it showed how devastating drug abuse can be in a tight knit family setting. But it was still lacking to me somehow. He was hard to connect with imo. But his relationship with Emmy was very touching. She obviously loved her brother unconditionally and would do anything for him. Emmy’s fierce connection wrenched at my heart. 🥺

You’d Be Home Now is a slow burn but it’s a good slow burn. KG has a wonderful way of painting a picture with words and I think taking her time in telling Emmy’s saga made it more real. I got to absorb how truly powerful Emmy and Joey’s stories are.

There are several trigger warnings: there’s teenage death, some sexual content (not too explicit) and of course drug use. But it wasn’t over the top, especially the drug abuse, like I said earlier it was a bit sugar coated.

This is my first Kathleen Glasgow book.
But it definitely won’t be my last. I’m looking forward to seeing what other stories this talented author has crafted!
Profile Image for Melany.
437 reviews70 followers
May 9, 2022
Wow - I'm honestly speechless. Just finished this book and put it down. I cried. This was breathtaking, raw, accurate and heartbreaking all at once. I can relate to the story in many ways, so it hit me harder. This accurately depicts someone who loves someone that deals with addiction. It also accurately depicts high school and navigating through life as a teenager trying to figure out who you truly are and find your voice. This book will forever touch me. I borrowed it from the library but will be purchasing a copy of it for my own personal library. Such an eye opening and heartbreaking story that makes you completely submerged into every word. This story will break your heart but give you hope at the same time. Go read it now! Don't just walk to the store to go get it --- run!
Profile Image for Ania.
155 reviews1,641 followers
January 20, 2023
ważna książka opowiadająca o uzależnieniu i jego efektach na bliskich osoby uzależnionych
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,002 reviews35.9k followers
November 10, 2021
Audiobook….read by Kathleen Glasgow, and Julia Knippen
….12 hours and 11 minutes

This contemporary young adult novel is as engaging as it is heartbreaking…..

Images, and thoughts are endless as we contemplate how a car accident that killed a high school student opens up other serious issues: substance abuse being the forefront zinger that sets off a string of yet other breakdowns, and subplots ….revealing many cracks encompassing a family, a brother and sister, the high school curriculum, (students organized a walk-out in their English class over assigned reading by ‘White Men’ only), teachers, the neighbors, and friendships, in a small town community….
a type of ‘modern-day’ re-telling of ‘Our Town’, by Thornton Wilder.

Strewn with agonies, emotional intensity, intelligence, and intimacy —portrayed through the characters—
Kathleen Glasgow explores the ways in which we hide from ourselves—formulate false assumptions, project judgments onto others—breakdown as individuals, as family, and as community….
and how love, tragedy, and the need for honest connection may be the only things that bring us back out.

Deeply compassionate … deeply moving … utterly authentic.
Kathleen’s work speaks with an understanding of the unconscionable —
One of the best young adult writers of this generation.

December 5, 2021
This book sucked
There. I said it.
The plot: The book is about Emmy and her brother Joey who got in a car accident. It's a story about addiction and how it affects everyone, not just the addict. I don't know what else to say since I forgot 90% of what happened.
The characters: I loved (most of) the characters. I always love Kathleen Glasgow's characters. They are always really realistic. I've talked about this before but something I love about Kathleen Glasgow is how she justifies her characters. A character does something stupid? Glasgow will explain why and what lead up to it and make you understand.
The writing: Obviously, the writing was beautiful. It's very lyrical and raw.
all our secrets gone to sleep
in the end, that fragment of bone or skull can only tell us how they lived, but not if they were happy
Death happens. We need to accept that and look around and appreciate what we have and change what we don't like.
What I didn't like: There was so much potential this book had but Kathleen Glasgow didn't do anything with it. She stayed in her own writing circle and didn't once step out of it. The book is about Joey told through the eyes of Emmy. It would've been so much better if it alternated between Emmy and Joey's povs. While I was reading, I realized how white Glasgow's books are. I can't name a single poc in any of her books. But she added diversity to this book. Kind of? She added a gay character. A cis white gay character but a gay character nonetheless? Not a main character. Not even a side character. But he was there. Sometimes. And yes, it was only one paragraph that talked about it. Never to be discussed again. I also wished the book discussed the trauma that Emmy had to deal with, a bit more.
Overall, the book had a lot of potential but fell flat for me.

Profile Image for BookNightOwl.
977 reviews174 followers
September 15, 2021
You'd Be Home Now By Kathleen Glasglow is a beautiful story about the struggles and addiction to drugs. When Emorys brother is released from rehab after a fatal accident that put him there Emory does everything she can to make Joey feel normal. But everything is not normal. Her family, school even her friends are a struggle. Then thinks go bad to worse. Kathleen Glasglow writes to make you feel every struggle and hard ache. I loved this book.

Thank You Netgally for providing a copy of this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Beary Into Books.
656 reviews41 followers
August 12, 2021
Rating 3.75

The author did a great job of showing what it is like to be a family member of someone struggling with addiction. Her whole life Emory has been taking care of her older brother Joey. She would make sure he was up in time for school, she would do his homework, his chores, and would even try to hide his drinking/drugs from their parents. She did all of this because she thought she was helping him and did not want to see her parents mad. Unfortunately, she can only do so much to help someone who didn’t want to be helped. No one truly knew how bad Joey’s addiction was until a fatal car crash that killed an innocent girl. After that the parents were forced to take action and send Joey to rehab to get help. Their parents weren’t perfect parents but let's be honest none are. Both the mom and dad work too much and are not involved in their kids' lives. The mom loves controlling the kids' lives, for example, forcing Emory to take dance but doesn't care to accept or listen to them. That is why their parents basically ignored Joey’s problem because they were so obsessed with perfection they didn’t want to admit they had a child who was struggling with addiction. They never took the time to wonder why he needed/wanted drugs to help him cope. They didn’t want their perfect image to be ruined like it was after the car accident. If only they got him the help he needed sooner Candy would have never died.
Emory’s character was great even though she upset me at times. Her character was so real for her age and she lacked the confidence I wish she had. The whole book I was screaming “Please, just stick up for yourself”. Emory deserved to be treated better by everyone, especially her family. Her parents and siblings expect her to be this pure, sweet, perfect daughter/sister that does no wrong. Honestly, it would be exhausting to go through that and it makes sense why Emory has the personality she does. Her character is almost boring because she has no uniqueness to her. She’s been forced to be cookie cutter and it has left her a shell of a person. This also adds to her being invisible. Before the car crash no one noticed Emory and after they only noticed her as being someone who was in the car or being an addict’s sister. Her parents still expected her to take care of her brother but now she felt even more pressure. Emory would blame herself if she was the reason Joey had a relapse. Like Joey, Emory also struggled with addiction but it wasn't addiction to drugs but instead a certain person and an action she did (will stay vague for spoiler reasons). Doing these things made her feel alive and gave her the happiness she was lacking from her day to day life. Honestly, just writing this makes me feel for Emory all over again. It makes me sad to know that there are kids struggling with addiction or trying to help a loved one overcome their addiction.
Overall, this book was good but since it is very realistic the story is slow moving. Be warned, the topics discussed throughout this book are heavy and honest but so important to read about. This book deals with addiction and finding yourself in the best way it could. The author did a great job of not victim blaming. The characters throughout the story show growth and the book leaves you wishing all the best for them.

Should you read “You’d Be Home Now”?
Yes, this is a fantastic coming of age story about a girl finding her voice to finally stick up for herself. This book deals with real life problems such as substance abuse, addiction, depression, and family drama. Even though this is a heavy book, it has its humorous and lovable moments.

**Received an advanced copy through NetGalley in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,061 reviews129 followers
August 16, 2021
"The thing about being invisible is, you’d think it would feel light and airy and easy, no pressure, but it doesn’t. It’s the heaviest thing I’ve ever known."

Kathleen Glasgow writes books that hit a little too close to home for me. This one hits the nail right on the head and brought back a lot of memories from when I was a kid. So I felt every feeling of hope and despair. As we read about the Ward family dusting themselves off and falling over and over again, you fall right along with them. Prepare yourself for the emotional roller coaster that is this book.

Wow! This book is powerful. Kathleen doesn't hold back and she certainly doesn't sugarcoat anything as we travel through the life and mind of a sister of an addict. The author does a perfect job of not glorifying mental illness or addiction like a lot of authors like to do. This is real, raw, and deeply moving. Just remember that it's okay to shed a few tears because I know that I did.

This book shows us that life isn’t always picture-perfect. That we screw up along the way and that’s okay. We pick ourselves back up and try again. Also to never judge someone for what they are going through. Some people are stronger than others and that doesn't change the fact that we are all human. Just a friendly hello and a smile can change anyone's day.

You'd Be Home Now is a phenomenal book and one that I'm going to instantly buy for myself and my library. The closeness of the family and the determination of one young female who looks past herself to try to help her struggling brother was captivating. I love this book and I love this Author.
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,415 reviews385 followers
February 7, 2022
2.5 stars

I nearly rounded this up to three but I'm sticking with the majority of my feels on this read that quite frankly drove me wild. This book was too much of everything, too much trope, too much drama, too much trauma, too many plot devices, just too much. I think if it had been levelled out into something less, I could have gelled with it better. Also, this had one of my most hated things in YA, extremely shitty parents. It was an incredibly depressing read, fairly hopeless and I hated Gage to the power of 100.

The last 10% was stronger and hit the heartstrings to the point I had some welling in my eyes over Joey and the family but overall, this was not my jam.

Lots and lots of content warnings.
Profile Image for maddison.
197 reviews141 followers
September 28, 2021
You’d Be Home Now is the first book I’ve ever read by Kathleen Glasgow and she did an amazing job. Books like this are certainly never easy to write, but Kathleen did a fantastic job with it, despite the fact that she made me cry a lot. This is an intriguing story of a town, its tragedies, and the difficult events that occur in everyday life. These are imperfect and naive characters that seek support. Is their family strong enough to support them through their difficulties?

In a matter of seconds, the lives of four teens are changed forever. It all started with Jeremy, Candy, Emory, and Luther getting into a car accident after a party. Candy, on the other hand, did not make it. Emory was taken to the hospital with a shattered kneecap, and Jeremey was so high on heroin that he almost OD, so his parents decided he needed help and he was admitted into rehab. Luther, on the other hand, lost an eye and was sent to juvie.

What will happen now, though? Emory adores her brother Jeremey and desires for his well-being. Will she, however, forget about herself? Her own problems? When school starts, what will happen? What will her classmates say? Is her brother ever going to be the same again? What happens if he does have a relapse?

Addiction is a common occurrence, and people require all of the assistance and support possible. It will never be simple to overcome addiction. Every addict is different, and you never know what will happen next. Keep an eye on what you say to addicts. You never know if what you say will trigger a relapse. Addicts require time to heal from their experiences and should not be forced to do everything at once. It can overwhelm and drain them, as you will see in this story. Never make light of someone who is addicted. Young people enjoy all of the drama and gossip, but one day they will need to shut the fuck up and worry about themselves instead. Your words can and will hurt someone, and more people need to realize that.

Don’t act like you know everything because the truth is, you don’t.

*Thank you for the ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Nine Gorman.
Author 12 books2,618 followers
November 13, 2022
J’ai bouffé ce roman en moins de 24 heures et peut-être bien que j’ai eu les yeux humides à la fin. Pendant ma lecture j'ai eu le coeur serré et je me suis sentie impuissante avec les personnages. Maintenant j’ai vraiment besoin de l’histoire du point de vue de Joey, en espérant que ce soit dans les projets de l’autrice 🤞🏻
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,290 reviews215 followers
April 4, 2022
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You'd Be Home Now made me feel all sorts of emotions. Definitely wasn't expecting to end up in a puddle at all. Everything about Emory and Joey was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Their unique bond completely drew me in and then everything else nearly broke my heart strings.

Addiction is no joke. You either know someone who has been through it or is currently dealing with it. Or maybe you know someone who knows someone. For me, I know lots of people who suffer with addiction. One person in particular is close to home and I don't really want to dive into it. Just know that one year was pretty dark and people were expecting the worst. Luckily, they are still thriving to this very day, and I hope they continue to do so.

So, it's definitely safe to say that this book is pretty freaking realistic. I would also tell you it's probably safer for you as a reader to keep a box of tissues nearby while reading this. Maybe some chocolate and a glass of wine as well. The emotions were felt and everything the characters went through was horrible to deal with. Emotionally that is.

Again, you will go through a never-ending roller coaster of feelings with this book guys. I can only warn you so much. Maybe there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe there isn't. I don't want to spoil anything about the journey someone may or may not have to take. Just know that it's beautiful and hard to look away from.

In the end, I'm so happy that I dove into this over the weekend where I was secluded to my bedroom. Just so no one could see how puffy my face was from all the tears being shed. Definitely a beautiful book to read and I can't wait for the next book to make me cry or feel things.
Profile Image for Lauren.
Author 2 books50 followers
October 28, 2021
Trigger warning for drug use, addiction and abuse.

I flew through this book and every emotion possible whilst reading.
The book begins in the aftermath of a fatal car crash involving brother and sister, Emory and Joey. The entire town of Mill Haven is shaken by the events of that night but not all of the repercussions are really seen until months later.
Joey returns home to his disjointed family after a summer in rehab and Emory must face up to a new school year whilst she must take on the responsibilities of everyone around her and the guilt of being a survivor. At times I wanted to shake Emory and at others I sympathised at how she takes on so much to protect and care for others. The truth is this book is far more than a book about a picturesque town with a dark drug problem, it is more than a YA book focusing on trauma and addiction. For me this book is about how everyone has their own battles, addictions and coping mechanisms; healthy or not they help in the moment and it is not until the characters truly talk that their individual journeys towards healing can truly be realised.
I loved this book for so many reasons and became so invested in all of the characters which shows just how amazing Glasgow is at creating rich individuals and multilayered plots that reach out across the entire book. I cannot wait for her next release!
Profile Image for M.S. Shoshanna Selo.
Author 1 book73 followers
April 16, 2023
4.85/4.9 stars

You'd Be Home Now is a moving, relatable and raw book which highlights prevalent and contemporary societal issues such as drugs and the effects of helicopter parenting. Although targeted towards a teenaged audience, you don't have to be a teen to relate to the story.

💊 Storyline 💊

16-year-old Emory "Emmy" Ward is the girl that nobody notices- neither at home or at school. Emmy isn't beautiful, outgoing and bold like her older sister Maddie nor is she troubled and defiant like her beloved brother Joey who consumes all of their parents' attention as a result of his drug use. After a terrible car accident in which Emmy is badly injured and another girl died, Joey is sent to rehab. Emmy knows that nothing will be the same again. She also has her own secrets and her own ways of coping with the chaos in her life...

💊 Strengths 💊

-Emmy is a sympathetic and relatable character who most shy teens and adults with low confidence can relate to. Although Emmy comes from a wealthy and privileged family, she isn't the "poor little rich girl". She feels invisible at home and at school - her mother cares more about her grades and meeting expectations than her mental health, and on top of that Emmy is dealing with Joey's drug addiction and her responsibility to take care of him. I like how Emmy grows throughout the novel and becomes somebody who isn't afraid to speak up for herself. The other characters including Daniel, Liza, Jeremy, Maddie, Max and Emmy's dad were likeable.

-The story is very well written and poignant especially in showing the impact that drug addiction not only has on the user but their families. The story also shows how dysfunctional families come in all forms and serves as a lesson for parents to stop piling so many expectations onto their kids and trying to mould them into everything that they want them to be. A parent's love and attention is more important than critical and distant parents who constantly work and don't spend much time with their kids or know what's going on in their lives like Emmy's parents.

Other themes that the writer deals with include rejection and relationship troubles. Many adult men unfortunately behave like Gage and want relationships on their terms.

-The storyline was well developed and struck the right balance. It was neither too slow or too chaotic. Like I said the story is also relatable to adults and isn't your typical corny and cliche teen story- shy and unpopular girl and hot popular guy fall in love and the whole story revolves around them.

💊 Weaknesses 💊

-There weren't really many. The only weakness was that some parts of the story were a little slow and repetitive but not enough for it to be a major issue.

💊 Conclusion 💊

This is a really great book and I highly recommend it to teens and adults alike. If you like reading about books that deal with contemporary issues and character growth, this won't disappoint.

💊 Grading 💊

Characterization: A*
Ending: A*
Setting: A
Storyline: A+
Writing style: A*

Overall grade: A*

💊Will I add this to my bookshelf?: 💊
It's a no brainer; definitely!
Profile Image for kate.
1,147 reviews925 followers
February 14, 2022
Harrowing, raw, honest and wonderfully written. You'd Be Home Now explores addiction, sibling and parental relationships, mental health, self discovery, self respect, sexuality and all their intersections in a brutal and heartfelt way that's both unflinching and sensitive in its honesty.

TW: drug overdose, addiction, mention of suicide, sexual harassment.
Profile Image for Jess.
285 reviews9 followers
November 30, 2021
This got great reviews but I found it to be dull and lacking any real x-factor that made me want to keep reading. The writing was very good though and I’m sure lots of people will like this one; I was just a little too bored throughout.
Profile Image for lily ✿.
181 reviews46 followers
January 13, 2023
i see a lot of people asking for sad book requests, so if you’re one of them, stop your search right now: you need to read this book.

emory ward has spent her entire life being told who she is, while she stays underwater, feeling invisible. her sister is the hot and intelligent one, away at college, and her brother, joey, takes up all of her parent’s energy with his recently-revealed drug addiction, which is worse than anyone even knew. everything is flipped on its head after a car accident, where not everyone survived.

emmy has a lot on her plate as she starts her junior year. she’s worried about her brother as he returns from rehab - she’s always, always worried about her brother. she’s sick of feeling unseen, willing to give almost anything just to feel known. to feel loved. she’s lonely, after her school’s rumor mill pinned blame on her for the accident and left her friendless. she’s just trying to keep her head above water - but there’s a revolution brewing at heywood high.

‘you’d be home now’ is a gorgeous exploration of loneliness, of the heartache that being in high school is. drug addiction is explored not from the point of view of the person struggling, but from their family members who love them, and feel useless in their ability to help them. there were times when reading this book that my heart felt like it was cracking right open, and i remembered just how awful being a teenager really is. that being said, it’s also threaded through with hope. with love, and friendship in places you wouldn’t think to search. it brings humanity to the opioid crisis, to the way we treat and view not just our own family members but everyone, even strangers.

the best book i’ve read so far this year!
Profile Image for Meggie.
454 reviews81 followers
February 22, 2022
💫 Best Book of 2022 so far ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Someone I used to know said that's the problem with adults. They just see kids as they want them to be, what they aren't, and not as they are. I think about that all the time. Like, how much time and pain and suffering could be eliminated if you just accepted the kid in front of you and stopped trying to fix them. Maybe there is no "fixing." Maybe there is just heartbreak and love and trying to help them stay alive, whatever it takes.

This is an excellent book. I loved Girl in Pieces, but I was a little worried. Addiction is a subject that a lot of people think they know about, but usually they don't... at least not enough to write a book. You can't just read up on it. You have to LIVE it. Turns out Kathleen Glasgow does live it - she has been sober for 13 years. I have about ten, from everything, but some days it feels like the very beginning. This book made me feel not so alone, and I will forever be grateful for that feeling.

It would have been easy for an addict to write a story about an addict, right? Maybe too easy. Maybe that's why she decided to write the story from the POV of Emory, whose brother Joey is an addict. This was an excellent decision. It is easy for people to say "I would never become that," but is it so easy to say that no one you love will ever become that? More than twenty million people struggle with substance abuse each year, and the age it starts gets younger and younger. We have spent two years now living through the COVID-19 pandemic, but the opiate epidemic has not gone away. It is still there, silently creeping up on your loved ones, preying on their insecurities and telling them to just try this, and maybe everything won't hurt so much anymore.

The book begins with Joey and Emory in a car accident where a well-loved classmate dies. Emory and Joey are extremely close. There are three kids in their family: Maddie, Joey, and Emory. Maddie is the pretty, popular one (she is away at college for most of the story), Joey is the stoner, and Emory is the quiet one. She has spent most of her life trying not to make waves. Their dad is an ER doctor and their mom is a lawyer and also a descendant of the founders of the town (Mill Haven). In other words, they have a lot of money, new and old. I spent a lot of the book hating the mom, but I realize now, at least she tried. Her execution was horribly wrong, but she was TRYING, whereas the dad just worked as much as humanly possible so he did not have to deal with the mess at home. But when Dad came around, he really stole the show. Because Mill Haven may be a fictional town, but it could have been any small town in the Rust Belt that has been decimated by the opiate epidemic. Sure, you can try to ignore the problem, but it won't go away. It never goes away. People may be paying more attention now because rich white kids are falling victim to the disease, but addiction has been around forever.

But this is Emory's story. How she feels invisible, because all this time and energy is devoted to Joey, who she loves to pieces but also resents (even though she doesn't realize it). How she doesn't even know who she is, because everyone has been telling her who she is for so long. How she collects secrets, just to have something that is hers. How she is tasked with being her brother's keeper, a job that no one can handle, least of all a teenage girl. And most of all, how much she loves her brother.

The story ends like addiction often does: quietly, and without much resolution. Every is a struggle, but one filled with hope and joy and love and friendship. The town won't heal itself overnight, but finally, everyone is facing the problem. People are finally seeing each other. That is what it will take to finally move past this particular epidemic- more understanding, more resources. More people willing to take it on headfirst, instead of ignoring it. Ignoring it got us to where we are, with entire towns/generations lost…
Profile Image for alayla grace ☆.
73 reviews287 followers
April 16, 2023
→ 4 ☆

“you can’t put your life on hold for somebody else, you know? sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to make yourself happy. and if you’re not, like, solid with yourself, how can you help somebody else?”

i should not relate this much, i don’t think that’s a good thing.

my mental health was so bad september 2022 - early march 2023 omg. love you guys. hope you're not relating to this.

alayla. 📖
Profile Image for Mariah.
333 reviews27 followers
August 7, 2022
*I'm reading all the 2022 FL Teen Reads. This is Book #1 out of 15 read. If you want to see a complete list altogether in one place in order of best to worst check out my ko-fi. Or you can check my tag florida-teen-reads-2022 to see the star ratings*

You know how movies that you can tell are jockeying too hard for critical acclaim by hitting all the 'objective' checkpoints for high quality are called Oscar bait? Well if there was a literary equivalent - Nobel Prize Literature Bait doesn't really have the same ring to it but I'm sure I'll figure something out eventually- this book would be it. 

It's got all the hallmarks of a prestige piece. 

Tragic event that racks a small town, some social ill to tackle (in this case it's the opioid crisis) to make it seem weighty, absentee parents to create this very cold, isolated atmosphere critics always seem to praise for its realism, lots of introspection and moodiness and 'deep' monologues. 

It's a teen drama without any entertainment value, likeability or sense of purpose a majority of the time. It's steeped in melodrama with absolutely nothing special to make it stand out. While reading this I kept wondering what exactly was the angle here? What made the story of Emory so special it needed to be told? And since this is a Teen Read selection, why should a teen consider this good literature? 

That isn't to say that every book, for teens or otherwise, needs to be some original masterpiece. I try hard to stray away from the idea that originality always be the end goal. However, I don't feel it's too much to ask that a book have some kind of hook or gimmick to draw you in. I suppose people who enjoyed this felt that Emory finding her way after such a great tragedy was the hook. I'd argue that finding your way after tragedy is as generic YA contemporary as you can get, but that's honestly just my bias showing since I don't much care for the genre. If, at the very least, the writing style was more dynamic then it wouldn't have been such a big deal the plot was cliche.

It was unbelievably repetitive. Over half the book was simply Emory feeling guilty while doing nothing good or bad either way. Even her relationship with Gage, though it took a toll on her self esteem, didn't technically count because it predated the accident. Time moved quickly. There were no events to look forward to. No deadlines to meet. No sense of suspense or pressure at any point. I kept waiting for Emory or Joey or Gage or anybody really to do something to ratchet the book up a notch. 

There's a tease at the beginning that Emory might start taking drugs which I thought would have created an interesting parallel between Joey and Emory. Alas, that was only included for a heavy handed aside about the opioid crisis. And as heavy handed as I found it I wish that Glasgow had leaned far more into it because I didn't come away feeling like I'd learned all that much about the epidemic. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert but I know there is a lot more to it than 'doctors overprescribe people to get them hooked so then they can prescribe the cure as well $$$'. I'm sure that's part of it somehow, but on its face that's a little too conspiracy theorist leaning for my tastes. I'm not asking for a 20/20 breakdown, just some nuanced discussion and an actual game plan for how to combat its insidious spread other than reactionary treatment facilities. While they are tremendously helpful, it could be useful to provide options to pre-emptively cut off the potential for addiction whenever possible. Glasgow leaves it at what can be done after the addiction has taken root when it's so much harder to fight with only a few vague comments laying all the blame at the feet of 'doctors'. She doesn't once go into detail about or have any characters bring up how broken the healthcare system in the US is in general contributes to this situation.

I will say that she did a good job humanizing the homeless and addicted. They're people too, and ignoring them doesn't make them disappear or help any of us considering it could easily be any of us on the street one day. She tied the 'ghosties' tribulations to Joey's own trials quite nicely.

Every interaction followed the same pattern. Their mother is an emotionally neglectful shrew seemingly lacking in any redeemable qualities. Joey doesn't think anybody can ever understand his pain. Emory seriously needs to grow a spine. Their dad says nothing that's how absent he is. Maddie is supportive chatter when she appears. Every single conversation continually reinforcing the same point became overkill. Like did none of these characters have any hobbies or something to talk about? The only casual convos allowed were sparse ones with minor characters. 

Going back to the mother, considering how focal she seemed to be to the dysfunction in the household I would have liked if she'd been rounded out early so the redemption wasn't so abrupt. I knew it was coming all along so there should have been groundwork laid to build to it. Additionally, adding some kind of positives along the way would have strengthened the book as she'd have had more agency as a character. It would be less like Emory's mother is ignoring the deep emotional scars she's caused because she's a tool for the author to use at will, but because her mother is choosing to do so based on her background - it's the subtle difference between simply reading and being immersed.

There is a White Feminist character named Liza who I found insufferable. I'm not saying that all white feminists are bad. I also believe that teenagers are smarter than we give them credit for and that they can inspire and/or push movements when necessary. 

What I am saying is that this particular brand of feminist character - the pushy, belligerent white girl who tells it like it is - ages me tremendously whenever she makes an appearance. She feels like the worst aspects of mainstream feminism compartmentalized for only other mainstream feminists to hype up. They always think it's so cool to be above it all and throw out their pithy one liners when really it's emotional immaturity. 

Like Liza decided a couple years ago her body isn't for the male gaze so she hasn't worn anything but overalls since then. I'm glad Liza specifically finds this empowering, but honestly what does this little performative gesture actually do to dismantle the sexualization of other/all women in basically any context? Does she volunteer? Does she go to protests? Does she raise money for any causes? Does she run an activist blog? I understand that as a teen your options are limited. But if you're going to spout your mouth off I feel it's only fair to ask you to put your money where your mouth is in some form. 

White Feminist character has also become shorthand for 'not like other girls'. How hard would it have been for Liza to keep fighting the patriarchy in a mini skirt? Why did she have to eschew all overt signs of femininity to establish she's a feminist character?  The male gaze is inescapable and none of your choices exist in a vacuum. Might as well wear a mini skirt if you feel like it. 

It's so painfully obvious that Glasgow wants you to think she's cool and edgy and different. Like she calls dances 'typical high school bullshit' because it's so silly to want to go to a dance I guess and she runs an underground instagram where she makes what are supposed to be biting poetic indictments of their town when really they're boring, on the nose wastes of page space. 

In lit class Liza stages a revolt because she doesn't like the books the teacher has suggested. Fair enough to finding classics antiquated and out of touch. I hated mandatory school reading 9 times out of 10. Plus, I think that as long as you're respectful you should be able to bring up your point to a teacher and not get shot down. My issue is that Liza is wrong in her reasoning. 

Liza start off unnecessarily aggressive with a question about why they're reading a book about a pedophile ie Lolita. While you may not like Lolita there is a lot of merit to it that is often lost today entirely because many people write it off as the 'pedophile' book. Liza's argument is that it's "a really problematic book about the assault of a child by an adult, some hellacious gaslighting and there could be, you never know, some people in this very room who may be sexual assault survivors." 

The only point she truly makes is about the sexual assault survivor aspect. 

Labeling a book problematic because it features the assault of a child by an adult is narrow minded. Many great books include this very serious subject. It's about the intention, impact and execution not the inclusion alone. Same goes for gaslighting. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier doesn't have child sexual assault but am I really supposed to think of it as just as bad as Liza purports Lolita to be purely because of the gaslighting? 

Another student brings up that it'd be different if it centered the victim rather than the perpetrator, but again that's such a limiting perspective. 

If the book is good and takes care with its subject matter and is making a salient point about a particular issue then why shouldn't it be written from an alternative perspective if that's the way the author best envisions the story? Are people who have been sexually assaulted the only people allowed to write about it now? All those talks about white people needing to up their diversity counts when possible - should that be tossed out the window? After all, if they've never been disabled, queer or a different race should they really be expected to ever write about it? Is Uncle Tom's Cabin actually hogwash because a white woman wrote it? It's a slippery slope that Liza is treading down. 

Obviously as a teenager it makes sense that she'd have this viewpoint. Many activist teens are so consumed with political correctness as a concept they don't stop to think about practicalities. Even her overalls thing is a normal 'teen trying to make a difference' action. The teens that are legitimately dedicated to social progress learn what real activism is eventually. 

The key to growing out of it is exposure to broader opinions: unfortunately, Glasgow chooses to present Liza as 100% in the right. The teacher reassesses his list after she stages a walkout and the class then gets to pick their own book individually to read instead. She goes totally unchecked for her misguided beliefs. In fact she's rewarded for it. So a Liza reading this would be completely validated rather than pushed to challenge their preconceptions. 

At one point in the midst of this little spat Emory overhears the lit teacher complaining to another teacher about the whole thing. He's definitely on the dusty boomer side so I don't totally side with him, but he makes a good point about how teenagers nowadays refuse to ever be uncomfortable any more. On the outset that may seem like a good thing. Except discomfort is a natural part of life that needs to be worked through rather than avoided. Sometimes discomfort is solely a /you/ thing that you need to examine and deconstruct. Discomfort is not necessarily a sign something is wrong in an objective sense. It could be that something about a person, place or thing is setting you off for some reason. With social media becoming so ubiquitous it has become so much easier for teens to slip into echo chambers where they refuse all outside logic meaning discomfort is anything that makes them feel 'bad' - an all encompassing nebulous descriptor. 

I wish Glasgow had allowed there to be a dialogue about this because it's important that we engage them further in order to fracture this self centered, ego centric approach to social reform. Instead of trying to challenge the intended demographic's mindset I was disappointed to find that Glasgow wanted to pander to it or worse, might not see anything wrong with it in the first place. There's a middle ground between being constantly triggered and avoiding any negative emotions whatsoever.

The last quarter is when it finally picks up. All the action is squished so tightly into such a small chunk it feels rushed and manufactured. It's now trying to be a thriller when before it was pure contemporary coming of age drama. It's not only tonally dissonant but exceedingly absurd in the random appearance and usage of a previously minor character. 

After Emory gets slut shamed for hooking up with Gage, Liza organizes this hamfisted protest where girls wear Scarlet Letters and encourages them to name and shame the guys who did them wrong. It's intended to be a girl power moment. It fell flat for me because it comes out of nowhere as a quick way of brushing past the fallout of her 'relationship' going public because there were other things going on that needed wrapping up. It would have been better if Emory was outed a lot sooner so we had time to marinate in the consequences before transitioning to this resolution. As it stands I found it unrealistic how neatly this tied the whole thing up and question what the point was in even letting it get out when it was going to have so little bearing overall. It felt like the only reason Glasgow had it come out was so the last quarter could be more interesting. I would have preferred a more evenly paced book over a sudden spike in action. 

Plus it feels very wish fulfillment-y. The girls are participating in the slut shaming too and all these girls suddenly are coming out of the woodwork because of Liza's somewhat popular instagram post calling them to action? We don't even know what Liza says to them in person to galvanize them. Maybe I'm cynical but it doesn't feel like something that could really happen without taking me step by step through how the face to face meeting went down. I had a similar problem with Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew which took the same basic easy out for its ending. What makes it all the worse is that Emory hears about it all secondhand. She doesn't even attend school that day so as the reader you don't even get to experience this big event in real time. 

I appreciate the bond that Emory and Joey have, but I don't like that Emory never learns to put herself first over Joey and it's supposed to be a happy thing at the end. I understand she loves her brother, but there's a point where you can't light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm and Emory frequently does so for Joey to both of their detriment. I don't think the book does a good job of addressing Emory's emotional issues in relation to Joey. She's his first and biggest enabler. Regardless of her choices, a close family member battling addiction can cause major trauma. She really needs therapy yet no one ever even thinks to suggest it. In the end the resentment that bubbles up occasionally is swept under the rug and her desperate need to soothe Joey at all costs is left unaddressed. It's scary how much of herself she's willing to compromise when her brother is in a position where he will exploit that vulnerability. I think it's a disservice to not have Emory stand up just once meaningfully to Joey to make it clear to the teen demo that as much as Joey's addiction is hurting him and as much as Emory loves him she still needs to hold him accountable.

Started out a 3, ended a 1. Tale as old as time in these parts. Not off to a good start. Thankfully, there's plenty of other (hopefully) good books on the list.
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