by Robin Antalek
Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: William Morrow
Pub Date: January 2015
Genre: Adult / Contemporary
Book Links: Goodreads Amazon
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.
My Review: I do love contemporary books, and this was a well written one! I had a hard time putting it down, which may had lead to nothing getting done at work, but o well.
Anyway, in 15 years, the three girls talk about life. Being happy, growing up, and the stuff in between. One of my favorite things about the book, was how I could relate to it. So Suzie, Sam and Bella, start off as teenage girls and come back about a decade later. Over that time, we got to see what these girls went through in life and how they got through it all.
Each chapter is told by one of the girls. Now I can be picky about this, since sometimes it works out perfectly and at other times it doesn't. In this case it was done perfectly. I wouldn't be lost by the next chapter or be annoyed that what one girl was saying would be suddenly cut off by another chapter starting.
Overall I really loved this book and will be looking into other books by this author. This is going to be one of my favorite contemporary books of the year. You get it all. Love, drama, independence, college, the girls finding their way and so much more. Really one of the best books out there.