I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by William Morrow on 1/27/2015
Genres: Adult, Coming of Age, Contemporary
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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.
This book reminds me of movies like Crazy, Stupid Love, and Adventureland. Not so much the story, but how it’s written.
I loved seeing Sam, Bella, and Suzie grow up. They are all intertwined since they lived in the same neighborhood and have been friends forever. Each character had their own flaws and circumstances that caused them to make the decisions they did. All three of them make some questionable choices, and try to figure out how they will live them. Bella was probably my favorite character. She seems to get the crap end of the deal no matter what she does.
This book will take you on an emotional ride. There are moments where you want to shake the characters, and others where you want to weep right along with them. There are also touch moments where you realize that friendship is so much more important than grudges, or heartache that happened in the past. This is a true coming of age story that will keep you reading.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: