THE WAY BACK TO YOU by Michelle Andreani


Age Range: 13 - 16
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After a loved one dies, two teens embark on a road trip to visit the recipients of her donated organs.

Cheerleader Cloudy is devastated by the sudden death of her teammate and longtime best friend, Ashlyn, as is Ashlyn's boyfriend, baseball-champion Kyle. Though they’re both grieving, they handle their emotions differently: Cloudy, although wrestling with things internally, keeps a cool exterior; Kyle is more outwardly emotional and upset. When Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn's organs have been donated—and sees the list of recipients—she decides that she and Kyle need to take a road trip to see the people who are now able to live because of Ashlyn's gifts. On the road, the pair must confront their feelings about Ashlyn's death and, in time, slowly learn that they have feelings for each other. In alternating chapters from Cloudy’s and Kyle's perspectives, their dual narratives thoughtfully and realistically explore their raw feelings of grief and heartache as they meet the people who were able to live because of the death of their friend. However, at times, their voices can sound oddly similar and muddled. Their inevitable romance meanders, feeling boilerplate and blandly vanilla, right down to their white, middle-class, popular, cheerleader-and-jock characterizations.

Ambitious but uneven; expect only the most die-hard romance fans to swoon over this. (Fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-238630-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2016


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