Title: The Homecoming
Author: Stacie Ramey
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: November 1st 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
A new, emotional novel from Stacie Ramey, the author of The Sister Pact
They say you can never go home—and John’s about to find out just how true that is.
John’s mother kicked him out of the house when she couldn’t handle his anger, and John’s spent the last few years bouncing between relatives. But after his last scrape with the law, there’s nowhere for him to go but home.
Starting senior year at a new high school and fitting into the family that shut him out is a challenge. And it’s all that John can do to keep from turning back to bad habits. Lacrosse training helps him focus. As does Emily, the girl next door. She’s sweet and smart, and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. Maybe he’s ready to trust again. But tragedy has a way of finding John, and he must decide between saving his family or saving himself.
I received The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
The Homecoming is a standalone sequel to The Sister Pact. That means you didn’t have to read the first book to read the second one. But, I guess you will get to know more about Leah, John’s girlfriend, and why she committed suicide whenever she’s mentioned if you read the first book. I have to confess, I didn’t realize The Homecoming was a sequel until after I finished it, but I did manage to piece together things about Leah and Allie, so all is well.
The Homecoming has a main character who is a guy with a badass persona but is actually sweet, loves his sister and loyal to his friends. It has characters with tragic past, and it has drama, and a mystery—sort of. That is basically my weakness, my guilty pleasure when it comes to YA Contemporary. It may be a bit cliche-ish, but I love it. The mystery surrounding the accident that tore the family apart left me hooked to the book, and I ended up reading everything in one sitting.
I love how the author uses this present past then present again format, in a way, to explain things one by one, making the pieces fall into place slowly. I was a bit confused at first, about Ryan’s age, and stuff because we only found out during one of John’s flashbacks but I didn’t mine that bit of confusion. Because recently I’ve come to love stories where authors use flashbacks to show things, and answer our questions.
Although I love this cliche-ish stories, I really didn’t expect much on the emotional front. Because I easily cry when I read, I did expect myself to cry once. I didn’t expect to cry more than once though. Stacie Ramey’s characters were amazing, and their interactions with each other, their backstory, their past—they touched my heart more than once. The ending was heartwarming, and how I cried so hard when John found out that his mom never did blame him. It’s like I could see the moment that this metaphorical weight was lifted from John’s shoulder.
In conclusion, if you’re trying to find an easy read that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride, then this is it. It can make you laugh, it will make you frustrated, and you will definitely cry. I recommend this to readers who love reading about heartwarming family stories, and small town setting.
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.