Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Club Girl: Pick-The Grown Ups: A Novel by Robin Antalek (Paperback – January 27, 2015)


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

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella - and force her to confront her past and her friends.

After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.

Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.

The WHOLE book club loved this book.  There was so much conversation about the amazing characters, setting and story!  We all agreed this is an amazing book club pick.

My Review:
I really LOVED this book. I loved that it followed a group of friends through the good, bad and ugly times. There is so much heart, honesty and truth in the pages of this novel. This is a coming a age story that focuses on a group of friends as time ebbs and flows. I love that there are no loose ends upon finishing the novel and that the novel highlights the ups and downs of family, love, friendship. The story made me both ache for the times of high school and college while simultaneously making me happy those times are long gone. I laughed, cried and felt connected to the characters. I felt a deep sense of wanting things to work out while watching them all make mistakes...both little and big. In the end I felt satisfied that they were all going to be ok...that things would work out. My heart is both a little broken and happy at the same time...but isn't that life?

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