Ethan and Rebecca have that kind of friendship that always picks up right where it left off. That's important since Ethan has been coming in and out of Rebecca's life for years, following the push and pull of his mother's addiction. When Ethan returns after his longest stay away, he discovers that a lot has changed in four years. Can Ethan let go of his mom for good? Can Rebecca come to terms with her disability following an accident? Can Ethan and Rebecca finally trust each other and form a meaningful relationship? Everything is on the line before Ethan goes away again.
I loved the dual perspective of this story and Rebecca's feelings about her accident are raw and handled with care. Knowing that the author is also wheelchair-bound gives an added credence to Rebecca's story. This one will be a hit with students, although I haven't decided if it should go in realistic or romance yet.
So many emotions I felt while reading this book. There i so much going on as Ethan and Rebecca navigate his coming and goings every few years. Ethan's mom is a user, and she drops him off at his grandparents house every time she goes to rehab. Rebecca sees the torment he feel when he is left behind. When Ethan's mom comes to get him, he just disappears, without a good-bye. Rebecca is paralyzed after a car accident that also killed her dad. So much guilt is felt as her mom tries to navigate their relationship. Ethan and Rebecca trying to get a feel for their relationship as well. Thank you to NetGalley and Ms. Johnson for the opportunity to read and review this book. All opinions are my own. I will be picking up a copy of this book for our class library.
I received an electronic ARC from Inkyard Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I have mixed feelings about this novel. I appreciated the honesty and grit, but the subject matter was very heavy, and there did not seem to be any lighter moments to break it up. I appreciated the Before and After timelines, and how the story unfolded. The ending seemed to me like there was room being left for a sequel. If that is the case, I do look forward to more from all of the characters.
"Why do you keep looking at me like that?"
"How am I looking at you?"
She frowns. "Different."
"I've been looking at you this way my whole life." I just didn't realize it until now.
I feel like I should have known going into this book that it was going to make me cry, and yet I was still acting surprised when I was bawling my eyes out at 75%. I am an absolute sucker for a childhood-best-friends-to-lovers story, and this one was no different. The tension between Rebecca and Ethan was palpable and had me on the edge of my seat, and I just couldn't put this book down!
Thank you so much to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for providing and advanced reader copy of this book.
Not what I was expecting. The author has a different approach to handling some very hard topics with ease. This would be a great YA book to have in a high school library where kids can relate to some difficult issues.
What a great story with the right amount of representation! I feel like the YA community lacks that but Abigail Johnson did a great job when it comes to representing people like Rebecca. It was a beautiful coming of age story that really shows that sometimes we do need someone to come in and save the day and we may even save the day for them.
Every Time You Go Away is a lovely exploration of relationships — those between friends, between family and community.
The story unfolds through Ethan and Rebecca’s alternating points of view, “then” and “now.” Both characters are beautifully realized. Complicated and imperfect, they draw you in and beg you to learn more.
Every Time You Go Away is not a fast-moving book, but that’s OK. It’s better because you do step away and sort of absorb what you’ve read.
Author Abigail Johnson’s prose is strong and inviting. She moves between Rebecca and Ethan’s voices with ease. In Every Time You Go Away she has created a compelling read that sits with you long after completion.
+ Highlights the realistic struggles/battles associated with addiction from various perspectives
+ Demonstrates holding loved ones accountable in a positive manner even when it isn't easy
+ Provided the audience a mere glimpse into the life of people with physical disabilities & display how inspite of such, individuals with physical disabilities can thrive with the proper support
+ Emphasizes the importance of addressing mental health & emotions
I literally stayed up all night to finish this title in less than a day & honey, it didn't disappoint. From start to finish, the plot & characters had me in a chokehold. I just couldn't go to sleep until I figured out how if ended!
*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This story follows Ethan and Rebecca through dual perspectives and takes place mostly "now" with a few flashbacks to when they were younger children. Ethan's mom is a drug addict and periodically throughout his childhood when she is either rock bottom or tries to get clean, she will drop him off at her parents house. Ethan's grandparents live next door to Rebecca's family, and Ethan and Rebecca become friends. Rebecca is rebellious and a little naughty, until an accident happens that puts her in a wheel chair.
This is YA because Ethan and Rebecca are only 17-18 years old when the story takes place, but this book deals with some heavy topics like drug addiction, abandonment by a parent, death of a parent, child abuse, car accident, paralysis, and alcohol use by a minor. I enjoyed this story. It has depth and heartache and sweet moments too. Ethan and Rebecca are fully formed characters. They feel age appropriate, if not maybe more 18-20 instead of 17-18. The writing is well done and I recommend picking this up if you want a heartfelt, YA fiction book. I think this would be better read in Spring than Winter (when I read it) because it's got a hint of coming of age in it too. 4/5 stars.
I cried. So much. So hard. THE EMOTION IN THIS?! My heart. My sweet big heart. I absolutely LOVED this. I am looking into everything that Abigail Johnson writes because if this book was a masterpiece... I know the others are as well. I could not put this book down. I had to keep reading and crying until the last page. Warning- do not read when sick/have a migraine.. will induce stuffy nose and migraine. Read at your own risk.
"Every Time You Go Away" is a great story about choosing to move forward during times of struggle and learning how to accept people for who they are, but not letting that stop you from asking for what you deserve. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book because sometimes YA books are a miss for me since I am a little past the genre age range. But I was really impressed by the story. The depth in which Abigail Johnson was able to go with her characters was really impressive. I appreciated her note at the end the book discussing her own journey as a person who uses a wheelchair.
For some reason, I really struggled to get into this one. I've enjoyed Abigail Johnson's previous books, but this one didn't quite hit the mark with me.
Every Time You Go Away by Abigail Johnson, 368 pages. Inkyard Press, 2023. $20. Centering me
Language: R (53 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13
BUYING ADVISORY: HS - OPTIONAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH
Rebecca lives next door to Ethan’s grandparents, and all she’s ever wanted is for Ethan to stay, but his mom keeps taking him away. After this longest period of separation, Rebecca (17yo) and Ethan (17yo) are coming back together changed by the lives they’ve lived apart. This last reunion might be their last—for better or ill.
Life is not always kind, and Rebecca and Ethan suffer in different ways—different from each other and different from readers—but the underlying insecurities and questions about trust are the same. Through their story, readers see how no one can talk us out of our dark places. We have to choose to turn away from the pain, knowing that it will probably always be there, and that’s okay. Moving forward is still possible. It’s always still possible.
Rebecca is described as having “light” skin, Ethan is depicted on the cover as White, Neel is at least half Indian, and Amelie is Latina. The mature content rating is for partial nudity, innuendo, underage drinking, and drug use. The violence rating is for mentions of domestic violence.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book.
Rebecca and Ethan have been best friends since childhood. They are bonded by the hijinks they get up to and the joy of being young. The one constant thing in their relationship, however, is that Ethan will always leave. Raised by a troubled mother, Ethan is torn between staying with her to protect her and the safety and comfort he finds at his grandparents' house...and Rebecca.
I thought this was a beautiful book. It's sad and a little dark, but the growth of the characters is something special. Rebecca and Ethan both have troubled relationships with their mothers and are searching for a way to find what it is they want. The one thing they know for sure is that they want to be with each other, but will it be a good thing or a bad thing? I like how this book isn't just fluffy. It deals with deep emotions and isn't a clear cut happily ever after, let's bypass all our trauma book. It delves in, and it's better for it.
Have you ever wanted to snap your fingers and go back to a different time in your life? An easier time? A time two seconds before you make a mistake that changes the trajectory of your life? Do you believe everything happens for a reason? In this story you are taken back to when friends Rebecca and Ethan are 12. It is also mixed in with their present day happenings. They both have VERY complicated lives with their parents and learn to eventually lean on each other in order to go on for themselves and to stop living their lives for other people. I could actually FEEL the struggles that they were both having during the book. This is a quick read...well, it has to be...you want to find out what happens!!! So good!
Every Time You Go away by Abigail Johnson ⭐⭐⭐
Dual Pov YA fiction.
The chapters change from character to character's pov and both past and present. It leaves ya lost. DNF
Lots happen drugs, abuse, grief, forgiveness, acceptance
thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.
There are so many raw emotions wrapped up in this book I hardly know how to review it! The writing is incredibly immersive and by the last page I had come to fiercely, fiercely love both Ethan and Rebecca.
They’re both messy and unlikeable at times but they felt like real people stuck in quagmires of trauma and hurt. I really loved that their romance was primarily about learning to communicate with each other and dealing with their own issues. Their history felt believable and understandable.
This is my first book by Abigail Johnson but I appreciated how easy and seamless her writing is. It’s easy to get lost in this book and forget you’re even reading.
My one issue with the book is regarding one of the side characters, Neel. I think the author attempted to make him a fully fleshed, human character but unfortunately I felt like certain aspects of his character and identity as an Indian-American man were a bit stereotypical. Of course, I’m not an authority on this so I will defer to other own voice reviewers and share any thoughts I see, but it didn’t sit quite right to me.
It’s obvious that the disability rep comes from a very personal place for the author. I feel like it blended grief, frustration, and hope in a powerful way. The end made me a little teary, but it felt realistic and hopeful at the same time.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I will be thinking about it for a long time. I highly recommend you check it out if you’re looking for an emotional story about healing and recovery!
Trigger/content warnings: child abuse, child neglect, grief, substance abuse, addiction, death of a parent.
Ethan comes to stay with his grandparents when his mother needs help. Rebecca is the neighbor who decides she is his best friend when he visits. Ethan loves his time with Rebecca but his concern over his mom keeps him with her, even when he'd much prefer the stability and friendship of being with his grandparents and Rebecca. Rebecca is always waiting for Ethan to leave, even when he's determined that this is the time he'll stay. But the many years between the last time he visited and this one, now that they're nearly adults, has come with some big changes and some hefty maneuvering around what they want, what they need, what has happened, and how it's changed them.
This book was so good I wanted to stay with these characters and read slower. I actually read it twice because I wanted to make sure I took it in fully. Coming of age with a disability, coming of age with a parent with addictions, coming of age after a parent death, and repairing relationships are all themes throughout. Both Ethan and Rebecca grew up entirely too fast because of their circumstances and the delicacy and respect that they were given is evident.
This was definitely not a light-hearted YA romcom, but rather this #ownvoices wheelchair user story features a second chance romance between two friends turned more teens who are reunited after several years apart only to have to navigate Rebecca's new status as a paralyzed wheelchair user and Ethan's abandonment by his drug and alcohol addicted mother.
The complicated parental relationships seemed to trump the romantic relationship between the two leads in this book which was fine - those relationships are sure to be relatable to many teens but I wasn't a fan of how much underage drinking as a way to cope with life problems there were in this one (a personal preference).
Good on audio with a note by the author included at the end and recommended for fans of books like Where you see yourself by Claire Forrest. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest opinions.