My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First of all, huge thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for providing an ARC of this book for me to review.
I honestly didn’t expect this book to be that good. I remember getting to the near end of my book on my way to class, and I couldn’t wait to write a review about it. When I started, I thought it would be that typical book wherein a person feels broken and hates the world, but suddenly picks up the pieces because of finding a person worth saving himself/herself for. In The Homecoming’s case, it was a he. I’m not saying that that kind of plot is bad. Just that I’ve seen it so many other times before. I was completely surprised with how the book turned out the longer I read it. There was no big twist that you wouldn’t expect, but it’s the way the book was executed. The story itself as you go along John’s journey unfolds spectacularly, and I can, without hesitation, give this book a glowing 5 star rating.
The title might actually be a bit misleading at first. When you first see this book you’d think that it was about dance of some sorts. You won’t realize the meaning of the title until you go farther into the book. And let me tel you, when I figured it out, I just loved it. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate title for this book other than The Homecoming.
So first, let me give you a little background on the book. It’s about a troubled teenager named John, who for the past how many years, experienced almost every kind of pain there is in the world. What’s unique about this book is that he already found that someone special who he felt was worth it to pick himself up. So actually, this book was like a part two for that troubled teen with angst plot. I felt like there were two books in this one book because his past was written in a way that could’ve made this standalone a two-book series. He is forced back to his mom’s house, reliving all the painful memories he tried to leave behind. The interesting part is a potential love interest right next door, a lacrosse team that would always have his back, and another chance to live his dream as an architect.
The fact alone that this book was written in a male POV with a woman for an author piqued my interest. You’d think, it must be terrible. WELL, I’m here to say otherwise!! If I hadn’t known who the author was, I’d actually think that the author was a guy. This book has one of the most convincing male POV through a female author’s eyes. I can even say that this male POV is better than other books with male POVs written by male authors. That’s a big accomplishment. John’s voice is one of the most unique voices of YA contemporary ever. There used to be some very great YA Contemporary reads, but now, they’re all kind of diluting into the same common plot/voice over and over again. Reading The Homecoming was like a breath of fresh air in the world of YA Contemporaries.
Let’s talk about the MC- John. I absolutely loved him. I cannot express how much I have grown to love his character while reading this book. He’s just very misunderstood, and I know what you’re thinking: cliché. IT’S NOT, I SWEAR. He cares so much for his family and the people he loves, but no one appreciates it. He tries so hard to be better for everyone, and all they can say is that he can’t be good enough. Well… They didn’t actually say it, but you know… Body Language. His character had one of the best character developments of all time. I don’t think I can even put it into words. You’d have to read the book to understand what I’m talking about. There’s just so much growth. And it’s not the all at once, smack you in the face when you’re not expecting it change, but the subtle, always there but can never feel it kind of growth and development. It wasn’t only good character development for the MC, but shows how everyone in the book changed from the first to the last page. It shows that the author covered all areas in the book and didn’t just focus on the MC.
How the MC interacted with every other character was written so well, I cannot. It seems like all the characters in the book just interact with each other so well. It’s like they all belong to one giant jigsaw puzzle. Very confusing and very different, sometimes even causing conflict with one another, but at the end, they all fit together. Piece by piece.
I also appreciated that the author gave the book a happy ending. There could be so many ways that she could end it tragically, but she decided not to. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s because she also felt the need for John to actually be happy and leave it at that. Whatever happens after the book, we’ll never know, but at least we can finish it with the thought that John got the happy ending he so rightfully deserves.
I really enjoyed reading this book so much. If any of you have the time, give this book a go, maybe it’ll affect you the way it affected me. Happy reading! ❤