Title: The Grown Ups: A Novel by Robin Antalek
Publisher: William Marrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Page count: 357
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Rating – 4/5
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. (Goodreads)
Good morning everyone and welcome to my stop on the tour for The Grown Ups: A Novel by Robin Antalek. Thank you to the author and TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity read and review this book! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
The Grown Ups: A Novel is an interesting story that is told from multiple perspectives and follows the lives of a group of friends throughout the years, from their childhood and well into their adult lives. I am a huge fan of books told from multiple perspectives so it was a treat to read this book, this made the story feel well rounded to me. I loved this book and thought it was interesting to be able to see the experiences of one group of people at different points in their lives. The narrative takes us from the naiveté and carelessness of childhood to the seriousness and pains of growing into adults and reconciling with the hurts of the past.
I really liked the romances (some big and some small but all significant) that take place throughout the story. It made me reflect on my life and the characters in my group of friends and how we fit together, each of us having gone through our unique set of experiences and problems. It also made me reflect on how who we become is often a reflection of our parents as well. I love books like this that are written in such a way that they make us reflect on our lives. A beautiful story with a universal and wonderful cast of characters!
About the Author
Robin Antalek is the author of The Summer We Fell Apart (HarperCollins 2010) which was chosen as a Target Breakout Book. The Summer We Fell Apart was also published in Turkey by Artemis Yayinlari. Her non-fiction work has been published at The Weeklings, The Nervous Breakdown and collected in The Beautiful Anthology, Writing off Script: Writers on the Influence of Cinema, and The Weeklings: Revolution #1 Selected Essays 2012-1013. Her short fiction has appeared in 52 Stories, Five Chapters, Sun Dog, The Southeast Review and Literary Mama among others. Robin has received three honorable mentions in Glimmer Train’s Family Matters and New Fiction Writer’s contests as well as an honorable mention for the Tobias Wolf Fiction Award.