Book Review: Going Home by Jamie Lynn Yeager

Jared Anderson can’t seem to escape the death of his little brother. Every mistake Jared makes is one his brother, Bryce, never had the chance to. And in a family plagued with resentments and unspoken words ... the pain is getting too much to bear.

Sometimes it was just easier to feel nothing.

Trying to dull his feelings, Jared turns to alcohol and so-called friends, but learns that popularity comes with a price. Caught in a personal war, Jared knows that something must change before he loses himself forever. However, reinventing what was left of him seems like an impossible task.

With the sudden appearance of an unwelcome stranger, Jared begins to wonder if the very person he is running from is the only one who can save him.

A story of change, hope, and the healing powers of a family’s forgiveness and love.

Release Date: June 12, 2013
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli

Jamie Lynn Yeager's Going Home is such a tender and emotional story.  I loved it!  Since I've become a mother, stories about losing a child really hit close to home for me.  You'd think that I would shy away from books about loss, but I have read more on this subject in the past two years than ever before.  I can't even imagine what it would be like to lose your child, and find myself really empathizing with the families in these stories.

Going Home is told from Jared's perspective and while I usually don't love a male narrator, it really worked for this story.  I loved how there was more to Jared than meets the eye.  His flippant attitude towards everything begins to slowly change, and he desires a better connection with his family and those around him.  The person driving this change is a girl at school whom he perceives to be "above him."  Jared wants to be a better person and wants to prove his worth to Payton and for her to reciprocate his feelings.

Jared's psychology class is studying the stages of change, and he takes that model of growth to heart and uses it, along with the class project about changing one area of your life, to turn his life around.  I loved that Jared grows so much throughout the story.  

Going Home has a subtle faith message and is a very clean story.  It's one I would recommend for anyone, because there are no questionable sex scenes.  It's nice to have a change of pace from the usual contemporary YA story, and Going Home was unique in that regard.  

I really liked Yeager's writing style.  It was full of emotion and depth.  She did a great job with the characterization, and I found myself very invested in the story.  There were a couple of times during the book where I started to tear up (I love it when a book is powerful enough to make me cry!).  

Going Home is a sweet story, well-written, and a different take on contemporary YA.  I really enjoyed it and would definitely read Jamie Lynn Yeager again. 

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