Elise (TheBookishActress)'s Reviews > Welcome Home

Welcome Home by Eric  Smith
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This was written with the intention of giving adopted kids stories of their own, which is a great idea, and I'm sure if I were adopted this might be easier to connect with. The problem is that all the stories are only around ten pages. Ten pages is just not enough to come up with a coherent plot and character development, no matter the talent of the author.

At some point I decided I didn't want to keep going with this; it was clear that though many were very talented, almost none of the authors were given appropriate pagetime. I'll be coming back to the other stories over time, but before I put this on hold, I did want to check out a few stories by authors I love. I know this means I may have missed a hidden gem or two, and trust me, I don't want to miss those. But I really can't go read and review this many stories right now. I'm sorry.

It seems that the best stories were left for last,

Carlos and the Fifteen-Year-Old-Heart by Adi Alsaid: 2 stars. Meant to show the divide between adopted parents and kids, the concept and intent of this story were interesting. Unfortunately, this just felt really fake deep to me, and the romance was instalove 101.

Strong Enough by Karin Atkins: 3 stars. Adopted superhero kid and very sweet. Unfortunately, it's only around five pages long. Boo.

The Sign by Erica M. Chapman: 4 stars. Follows a girl who goes to meet her biological father, only to realize he's dying. This was really sad in a good way. Unfortunately, it was also really not long enough.

Up By A Million by Caela Carter: 4 stars. This one follows a girl whose mother is in prison. It's heartbreaking in just the right way.

Mama's Eyes by Libby Cudmore: 3 stars. A suspense story about a girl who loses her adoptive mother. This was fine. I just don't feel like it offered anything new, and the writing seemed slightly melodramatic.

A Kingdom Bright and Burning by Dave Connis: 4 stars. Slight magical realism!! Again, too short to have the full impact. But I liked this.

From here, I stopped reading fully and started reading stories exclusively from authors I've had interest in the past. I will come back to the others, don't worry!!

Upon the Horizon's Verge by Sangu Mandanna: 4 stars. I've never read anything by this author, but her books have always seemed intriguing to me, so I wanted to give this a try. This is a nice and creative story, maybe one of my favorites in the collection. The theme of trying to connect with your former family is well-done.

Census Man by Mindy McGinnis: 4 stars. This follows a girl in foster care wishing for a family that wants her. McGinnis is a great writer, and this short story is no exception. Again, really too short to have much impact.

Peace of Paper by Courtney C Stevens: 4.5 stars. This has one of the best sections in the entire book about how orphaned people are perceived. It's really emotionally in-touch. Definitely worth the read. I've never read any of Steven's books, but I'm interested, so we'll see how I do in the future.

Happy Beginning by Nic Stone: This was the only story I gave 5 stars. Following best friends / girlfriends Jenna and Nyara, who has just run away from home. Ny is black and has been adopted by white parents, but doesn't feel at home with them. There's so much I loved about this. I read Stone's Dear Martin earlier this year and noticed that she's very good at getting emotion out of her readership. This book is told in second person in reverse chronological order, which was a creative choice I loved. And oh man, Jenna and Ny kinda killed me?? The purest, healthiest relationship. I can't believe Nic Stone saved 2017 with this ten-page story. I'll be in back crying.

The Take-Back by Kate Watson: 4.5 stars. I wasn't actually planning to read this, but the opening grabbed me so I stuck with it. This follows a boy whose newly adopted sister has just been taken back by her mom. It's heartbreaking. And great. Go read it.

Jar of Broken Wishes by Tristina Wright: 4 stars. This is a story about a foster cared girl wishing and getting the wrong results. I liked it. I felt that this ended on a slightly meh note, but I liked it a lot. I'll be reading Wright's debut 27 Hours this fall (it looks so cool!!) so this made me feel even more optimistic.

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Reading Progress

May 16, 2017 – Shelved
May 16, 2017 – Shelved as: on-my-shelf
May 16, 2017 – Shelved as: on-my-shelf-arcs
July 15, 2017 – Started Reading
July 15, 2017 –
13.0% "this is incredibly mediocre. every single story is mediocre. I'm not even joking."
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: ze-read-in-2017
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: genre-contemporary
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: narratives-on-abuse-trauma
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: i-love-these-authors
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: favorite-relationships
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: that-lgbtq-rep-tho
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: that-mental-illness-rep
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: that-rep-of-characters-of-color
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: i-read-arcs
July 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
August 14, 2017 – Shelved as: 2-star
October 11, 2017 – Shelved as: books-released-2017
October 21, 2019 – Shelved as: elise-s-did-not-finish
October 21, 2019 – Shelved as: zzzzz-did-not-finish
October 21, 2019 – Shelved as: did-not-finish
October 21, 2019 – Shelved as: zzzzz-did-not-finish
October 21, 2019 – Shelved as: genre-short-fiction

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