May 27, 2015

#SRC15: The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek

From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella - and force her to confront her past and her friends.

After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.

Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.
 About the Author

Biography

After making a career out of changing careers, from PR to tending bar, and from waitressing to managing a modern dance company, Robin Antalek eventually gave in to the voices in her head and began writing fiction. She studied at The New York State Writer's Institute at the State University of New York at Albany, and has published in many literary journals: Sun Dog: The Southeast Review, Literary Mama, among others, and has twice been a finalist in Glimmer Train's Family Matters contests as well as a finalist for The Tobias Wolf Award for Short Fiction. You can also find her nonfiction essays monthly on the web at The Nervous Breakdown.
The Summer We Fell Apart is her first novel. She lives in a very needy Victorian house in Saratoga Springs, New York, with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs.



Ok so this one was so worth the read. It spans some 15 years as we follow Sam, Suzie, and Bella from the time that they are 15 to the time that they are 30.  We get to see their lives through thick and thin.  Dealing with divorce, alcohol, relationships, their careers, and more.  

I really loved how each character's story interacted with each other. All the characters were great and the author did a great job making you feel for each one.  Their lives seemed very real and I would be surprised to see them in real life.  Nothing seemed out of place in this story.  

This book is a slow burn.  It will take a few to get into it but once you do you won't be able to put it down.  I know I couldn't.  If you like coming of age stories then this one is something you should look into.  

 Go Into This One Knowing 
3 POV, Spans 15 years, ages 15-30 characters











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