Friday, January 30, 2015

On Tour: The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek

The Grown Ups

The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek
Paperback and e-book, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 27, 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks

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 thoughts about The Grown Ups ~~

The Grown Ups really is a story about a group of friends who the reader gets to watch grow up. We meet this group when they are in high school and follow them over the next fifteen years.The story is told in alternating voices and we are able to learn so much about the characters; how they feel, how they think about things, what decisions they make. I like reading stories like that where we get to experience all those different points of view.

There are some characters that I really came to care about. And then there were some, one in particular, Suzie, that I just wanted to trottle. She was pretty full of herself and led Sam on for years. Sam, the young man who was deeply in love with her, as deeply as a 15 year can be at that stage of their lives.
'But maybe the real reason was that it had always made her just a little bit angry that Sam was so pliable and that he cared about her feelings, when she had no idea what they were. In the end she hated how she had treated Sam. She hated the person she had become in Sam's eyes and there was no way to take any of it back.'
Overall, this is a wonderful story rich in characters and character growth. It was very interesting watching these young adults turn into grown ups. I found myself thinking about my life as a young adult and how I changed and adapted to fit into the adult world.
'Life was so much simpler when we had nothing to do but hang out by the pool and check out the cute boys.'
I have seen the following passage quoted on other blogs and reviews and it's one that I marked as well while reading the book. This sums up the book nicely and probably speaks to real life in general.
'They were here now, all of them. Relationships slightly rearranged, but still together. That was more than any of them would have imagined years before. They had watched their parents stumble and vowed never to do the same, only to fail one another in entirely different ways. They experienced love, but they also caused disappointment and sorrow. They felt fear, and they knew loss. They ran away, only to return.'
About the author

Robin Antalek

My second novel, The Grown Ups, will be published by William Morrow in January of 2015. It's the story of a group of friends over many years and what they mean to each other. It's about family, about love, about disappointment and heartache. It's about celebrating the small triumphs in life and hanging in there for those you love. It's about longing to be grown up - and then finding out what it really means to one.

The Summer We Fell Apart was published by Harper Collins in January of 2010. It was chosen as a Target Breakout Book.

Connect with Robin

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoy stories that encompass a long period of time - watching the characters change (or not) through the years is really appealing to me. This sounds like my kind of read!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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