Return to Me
Return to Me
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Annotation: Always following her parents' wishes and ignoring her psychic inner voice takes eighteen-year-old Rebecca Muir from her beloved cottage and boyfriend on Puget Sound to New York City, where revelations about herself and her family help her find a path to becoming the architect she wants to be.
Genre: Love stories
Catalog Number: #5285728
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 344 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-316-10255-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-10255-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2012001549
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Rebecca Muir ("Rebel" to her boyfriend) comes from a family of psychic women whose marriages never succeed. Reb is eager to begin studying architecture at Columbia, leaving her domineering mother behind in Washington. But troubling visions of wailing women and intense sorrow are confirmed when she learns that her beloved father is leaving the family for another woman. With the help of her devoted boyfriend, architect mentors, and her family, Rebel constructs a happy ending for herself, embracing her psychic gift and finding success as a tree house architect. Readers interested in New Age philosophy will enjoy the healing sanctuary in Hawaii; Reb's theories on colors, auras, and tree houses; and the grandmother's psychic healing tours. Despite these trappings, what drives Rebel's story is her search for a meaningful life, a theme that will resonate with most teens pondering college and beyond. The plot resolutions are a little too tidy, and characterization is sometimes scant, but as New Age comfort food, Chen's (North of Beautiful, 2009) latest work is a satisfying read about family betrayals, ties, and acceptance.
Horn Book
Reb is about to move to NYC to pursue her dream at Columbia University's architecture school, and her family decides to move with her. Then Reb starts to get premonitions that something horrible is going to occur (she's right). Her supernatural abilities don't contribute in a meaningful way to the unfocused plot; the story may appeal to teens also facing adult decisions.
Kirkus Reviews
A teen psychic learns to embrace her visions after her father breaks up their family. Reb is just about to start as a freshman at Columbia when her father announces that he wants a divorce. The teen believes that this must be a result of the family curse that mandates all the women on her mom's side to end up alone because of their precognitive abilities. Reb has squashed her own visions after a near-death experience as a child, but she now finds herself seeking them out as she tries to help her mom through the breakup, navigate her own relationship with a too-good-to-be-true boy and decide if she will go to college or take a gap year to follow her love of creating intimate architectural spaces. Her mother and grandmother dole out inspirational platitudes like, "Inertia. Sometimes moving is the hardest thing to do," and, "Forgiveness is a process, and sometimes it's an entire life's work." These often make this earnest and plodding character study of three generations of women trying to discover and live their passions read more like a self-help book than a novel. While this may have bibliotherapeutic value for older teens who are struggling with big life decisions, most readers in search of a good story would be better off sticking with the author's solid earlier work. Disappointing. (Paranormal fiction. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up&12; Rebecca's father has a new job in New York and with Rebecca's imminent attendance at Columbia University, her mother decides to move the entire family to New Jersey from Washington. Rebecca has an overwhelming sense of foreboding and not just because she will be leaving her boyfriend behind. Shortly after moving, her father reveals that he is having an affair and is leaving her mother. Rebecca's whole world is thrown into chaos and she is no longer sure of what she wants. As she struggles to forgive her father, she forms new relationships with her maternal grandparents, brother, and mother. She learns to embrace her intuition and be true to herself. The author sensitively writes of the heartbreak involved in a betrayal of family without skipping any of the more gritty parts. Readers will feel the characters' pain as they are carried along with the engaging plotline. The story does bog down a bit in the abundance of healing and growth metaphors, but the conclusion is particularly satisfying.&12; Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UT
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 CST 2013)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Thu Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2013)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (Fri Mar 01 00:00:00 CST 2013)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's High School Catalog
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
Word Count: 78,350
Reading Level: 6.1
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.1 / points: 13.0 / quiz: 159536 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q61420
Lexile: 870L

Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast.

And if that isn't enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb's dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her "perfect" boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?

Justina Chen, the acclaimed author of North of Beautiful, has created a moving and powerful novel about the struggles that arise from betrayal, the uncertainty of life after high school, and the joy that ultimately comes from discovering what's truly in your heart.

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