About the book:
Title: The Homecoming
Author: Stacie Ramey
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult
Forced to return to his estranged family, John discovers how hard it is to truly go home.
It’s been a year since John lost his girlfriend, Leah, to suicide. Living with his uncle keeps his mind from the tragedy and his screwed up family-until he gets into trouble and a judge sends him back home. With a neglectful mother and abusive brother, John’s homecoming is far from happy.
As he tries to navigate and repair the relationships he abandoned years ago, Emily, the girl next door, is the only bright spot. She’s sweet and smart and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. But tragedy isn’t far away, and John must soon face an impossible decision: save his family or save himself.
Source: Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!
How I Found Out About It: Netgalley
When I first heard about The Homecoming, I figured that it would be a nice, though deep, thought-provoking story. The synopsis had me hooked, and I knew I had to read it.
I was right about some things, but even though I did enjoy it, I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would.
To sum up, this story is about John, whose girlfriend had committed suicide a year before. To cope with the tragedy and to escape his not up-to-par family, he goes to live with his uncle for a while. Things are mostly getting better, until John slips up and makes a huge mistake, and is forced to go back home. Even though he isn’t happy about how things turned out, he meets his neighbour Emily, and the two build a strong relationship. Despite all this, tragedy still isn’t over yet…
I felt like there were a lot of dull parts in this book. Maybe they just went over my head, maybe I’m just not old enough to understand, I honestly don’t even know. The book seemed to get faster, then slower, then faster, then slower again. For the most part, yes, I did like it. But I don’t really get what John did wrong… I think the author could’ve given us much more background on that aspect of the story.
I really liked John, as I found him to be a very strong character. Yes, he had made some mistakes in the past, but I believe that they were only because of all the trouble he had been going through, with his abusive, neglecting family and the loss of his girlfriend. He’s a really good person at heart, I just think he was badly traumatized by everything and just wanted to take a risk. Putting myself in his shoes, I can’t even tell you how bad I felt for him while reading. Tragedy after tragedy kept on happening, but I still believe that he stayed strong and tough the whole time. Cheers for you, John!👏👏
Emily wasn’t my favourite character, though. I don’t know, I think I felt like I could see right through her, because she didn’t really stick out to me as anything special. This book may seem at first to include a lot of romance, but I’d say that it was the focus for maybe about a third of the book, which isn’t a lot.
The other two-thirds basically focused on John’s relationships with his family members, as he began to bond with them again after all the tragedy. Ryan’s story especially was saddening, but again, not enough insight! I think that this book could be extended a bit to focus more on the background storie(s), and how everything came to be. I just felt like I was thrown into the story, as if it were a sequel!
Overall, if you’re a teen or older who likes deep, serious stories centring around families with a strong male lead, then this would be the perfect read for you! But if a light-hearted, bubbly contemporary is what you’re looking for… I’d say skip this one.
Rating: 3/5 Stars