This is not the sort of book I usually go for. YA contemporary is not my jam. Usually, if I decide to read a contemporary novel, it would be an adult novel. But I’m glad that Page Street Publishing reached out and sent an advanced copy of Home and Away for me to review. (Thanks y’all!) I was surprised I enjoyed it.
October 16, 2018
Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She’s a senior, she’s got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school’s team.
But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them—but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin. (Goodreads)
As I said, I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did partly because of its genre and partly because of what the story is about. I immediately assumed it would focus a lot on football, which sort of turned me off, but I’m glad the mention of the mysterious box caught and held me and made me give the story a chance.
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I picked it up on a whim. I’d heard about it often and was curious and wanted something else to read. I downloaded a sample on my Nook App, bought it on my Kindle app (random, I know), and was hooked from the moment it began.
Anna thought that she would spend her senior year of high school getting closer to her crush, who she works with her at a movie theatre in Atlanta, and hanging out with her best friend. But her father surprises her when he announces that she’ll spend her senior year at the School of America…in Paris (SOAP).
At first, Anna dreads what would happen at her boarding school since she’s new to both the school and the country, but she quickly makes friends and just as quickly develops a crush on a cute French boy with an English accent from America, Etienne St. Clair. Unfortunately, St. Clair has a girlfriend, but Anna can’t shake her feelings for him and the more they hang out, the stronger her feelings grow until they become….complicated.
But she has lots to learn in Paris, about the city and herself. Though cautious at first, her friends coax her to venture out in the city, where she finds that she shares a love of films with it. And as her relationships develop and become more difficult, she learns that things aren’t always as she perceives them to be.