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RETURN TO ME by Justina  Chen

RETURN TO ME

By Justina Chen

Age Range: 13 - 18

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-10255-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

A teen psychic learns to embrace her visions after her father breaks up their family.

Reb is just about to start as a freshman at Columbia when her father announces that he wants a divorce. The teen believes that this must be a result of the family curse that mandates all the women on her mom’s side to end up alone because of their precognitive abilities. Reb has squashed her own visions after a near-death experience as a child, but she now finds herself seeking them out as she tries to help her mom through the breakup, navigate her own relationship with a too-good-to-be-true boy and decide if she will go to college or take a gap year to follow her love of creating intimate architectural spaces. Her mother and grandmother dole out inspirational platitudes like, “Inertia. Sometimes moving is the hardest thing to do,” and, “Forgiveness is a process, and sometimes it’s an entire life’s work.” These often make this earnest and plodding character study of three generations of women trying to discover and live their passions read more like a self-help book than a novel. While this may have bibliotherapeutic value for older teens who are struggling with big life decisions, most readers in search of a good story would be better off sticking with the author’s solid earlier work.

Disappointing. (Paranormal fiction. 13 & up)