“This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review”
The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey is a novel about finding yourself in times of insecurity and emotional strife.
John, the main protagonist, has been kicked out of his home and seen as the problem child ever since his brother got into an accident. His life hasn’t been the same since and he spends his time living with his other family members while he deals with his personal demons that are back home. In his last year of high school, John moves back home and back in with his mom, sister and brother. Angry most of the time, John yearns to run away from this life and to never look back. Along the way, he realizes his academic talents, develops a stronger bond with his little sister, falls in love, realizes that his parents aren’t all bad, and most importantly, he comes to terms with his ‘old’ brother being gone.
While this book did deal with heavy subject matter and the dark emotions of the protagonist, it failed to follow some form of flowing story-line throughout. It was well written and engaging, but felt more like a guide trough John’s self realizations than an actually dramatic novel. There was really no climax. While his feelings about the situation with his brother are resolved by the end of the novel, the death of his previous girlfriend is all but thrown at the back burner and we are left wondering, “What about her and all the pain he felt throughout the first 75% of the novel?” It was strange that the only resolution he had with that was telling her relative about his new girlfriend.
This book was an interesting read but it was not memorable. The beginning of the book was great and really explored the protagonist in depth. By the middle I had a full understanding of his struggles emotionally and his life. At the end, I was very confused as to what was going on and how he came to all of these conclusions and realizations. How did he resolve the issues in his life? This was not clearly gotten to. Also there was a lack of climax in this book. There were a bunch of little bumps to ride over, but no big hill and that took away from this novels potential.
The book had a lot more potential for growth. It had great components but left me wondering a lot towards the end. Having said that, I do not think that this book needs a sequel. Maybe a prequel so that I can understand the relationship he had with his deceased girlfriend with more clarity.
I would give this book 2.5/5 stars, for as well written as it was, it was missing that kind hamburger style of writing (not saying that this is the only model), and it was more of a bun to meat to bun kind of book. Great intro, great middle, lack of a substantial ending.