Cover Image: Every Time You Go Away

Every Time You Go Away

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I think I still need some time to process exactly how this book made me feel. And maybe that's just it, this book makes you FEEL. Your heart breaks for Ethan, for everything that he has had to endure throughout his life and what it has turned him into. You rage with him, you hurt with him, and then you hope with him. On the other side of the coin is Rebecca, who had such a happy and carefree childhood on the surface. Who was always his bit of acceptance and sunshine when he was in Arizona because his Mom was in rehab. Until the accident that changed EVERYTHING, not just physically, but way beyond emotionally as well.

This book put you on such an emotional roller coaster as Ethan and Rebecca struggled to find not only where they fit together as best friends, but also where they fit in their own lives. As they struggled to find their own voices on the cusp of adulthood, to figure out how they would live moving forward. As they both came to terms with the relationships they had with their mothers. The emotions were so RAW and powerful.

If you are looking for a sappy, cute romance, this is definitely not for you. This is real and messy and eye-opening honest, and way better for the telling. This is about accepting your own place in life before you can find your place in love and this was an amazing story.

Was this review helpful?

Cute story, but the plot was incredibly repetitive. It took me months to read because there was nothing urgent to make me want to turn the page.

Was this review helpful?

Every Time You Go Away is an emotionally charged and captivating novel that will resonate with fans of Jennifer Niven. With a deft hand, Johnson paints a searing and lyrical portrait of grief, forgiveness, and the extraordinary power of love that blossoms amidst tragedy. The story centers around two characters, Ethan and Rebecca, who first crossed paths eight years ago as mischievous young kids, forming an instant connection in a treehouse where they shared secrets and their first kisses. However, their budding friendship was abruptly severed when Ethan's mother reclaimed him, bidding farewell with a single flower placed on Rebecca's windowsill. Fast forward four years and Ethan disappears from Rebecca's life once again, this time to care for his mother, who has battled addiction throughout his existence. The weight of their separation looms large, as both characters navigate their individual struggles and find solace in memories of their shared past. Tragedy strikes again when Rebecca's father dies in a devastating car accident, leaving her bound to a wheelchair. As she learns to navigate life with this new reality, the question lingers: will her hardships and Ethan's absence tear them apart, or will their experiences ultimately serve to bring them closer together? Johnson expertly weaves together the intricate threads of grief, loss, and resilience, creating a powerful narrative that tugs at the heartstrings. Through her skillful prose and deeply empathetic storytelling, she delves into the complexities of human emotions, exploring the depths of sorrow, the nuances of forgiveness, and the transformative power of love. Every Time You Go Away is not merely a tale of tragedy and heartache, but also a celebration of perseverance, hope, and the indomitable human spirit. Johnson's characters are multi-dimensional and relatable, their struggles and triumphs providing readers with a raw and authentic portrayal of the human experience. In this poignant novel, Johnson masterfully tackles sensitive topics with sensitivity and grace. She invites readers into a world where love and loss intertwine, leaving an indelible mark on the reader's heart. Every Time You Go Away is a compelling and thought-provoking read that will leave you contemplating the resilience of the human soul long after you turn the final page.

Was this review helpful?

Very interesting read! The book pulled me in from the start and I wanted to see how it ended. Try it and see if this book is for you!

Was this review helpful?

This was a beautifully written story about guilt, family, childhood trauma and friendship starring characters who feel extremely real and vulnerable. The progression of Ethan and Rebecca's relationship was understated in a way that a lot of YA relationships aren't, and I truly appreciated the development that happened. There were definitely parts of the plot that lagged, making the pacing of the book a bit odd because the chapters were short, which usually quickens the pace. For the majority of the book, I also just wanted to scream at the characters to actually talk to each other because the lack of communication was astounding. Overall, this was a heartfelt, authentic story that I really enjoyed.

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book. There is so much emotion wrapped up in Ethan and Rebecca’s lives and they both have had their fair share of adversity. This book touches on some pretty intense topics (i.e., addiction, neglect, death of a parent). Ethan and Rebecca are soon-to-be adults trying to navigate how they fit into each other’s lives, as it came so easily when they were kids. I really enjoyed watching them grow and finally advocate for their wants/needs. I am very happy I read this one!

Thank you NetGalley and Inkyard Press for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! I devoured it in only a few sittings and wish there was more to read. The story line was paced very well and the characters were easy to love!

Was this review helpful?

This was a beautiful and emotional rollercoaster of a novel. We follow a dual perspective with Rebecca and Ethan. They meet as young children and the main portion of the story takes place eight years later when they are in their late teens.

The story deals with grief, addiction, abuse, disability, family, friendship, and so much more. Ethan and Rebecca both carry heavy baggage and we watch them navigating not only their own challenges, but try to help each other as well.
I love that this beautiful story is clean and romantic and demonstrates that happiness is obtainable even in the wake of trauma.
Some potential TW: substances abuse, child neglect, death of a parent,

This is another title to add to Abigail Johnson's list of top tier books. I think this would appeal to a wide range of readers!!

Was this review helpful?

Can love win against all odds? Rebecca and Ethan work so had to figure that out. This YA book deals with many hard topics including drug/alcohol abuse, abandonment, child abuse and parent death, to name a few.

Ethan was the boy next door until he wasn’t time after time. Rebecca is the girl next door who always seems to be there to pick up the pieces. After watching his mom be abused by drugs and men his whole life, he finally decides that he can’t keep fighting for her unless she wants to fight. Rebecca is a normal girl whose world crumbles after one night of drinking at an underage party. She feel resentment towards Ethan for not being there on that faithful night. She needed someone but he wasn’t there. Finally in their late teens, they come together. They both realize that they need each other and to let the past go in many ways.

Now my thoughts: Honestly I’m all over the place. The story kept me somewhat engaged. I felt that it dragged in many areas. The only reason I stuck around was to see if there was a HEA. There was a HEA but there wasn’t magic/spark. I needed some fireworks. With this being a very young YA book (characters are late high school age), I didn’t expect there to be spice so I wasn’t surprised when there wasn’t any. Overall, was a great second, third, fourth, fifth, etc chance, boy/girl next door young love romance with a side of adult crap that no teenager or younger should have to deal with.

Thank you to Abigail Johnson, Inkyard Press and NetGalley for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Rebecca and Ethan meet as children and become fast friends. Ethan is staying with his grandparents while his mother gets her act together. Ethan comes and goes as his mother relapses and needs help again. Rebecca is heart broken every time Ethan leaves.

Great characters. I didn't always agree with their decisions, but they did what they felt was right at the time.

Over the years the two friends have many things happen in their lives in between the times they are reunited.

I liked the representation of life in a wheelchair. It felt realistic and true to the character.

I also particularly enjoyed Rebecca's boss and husband and how supportive they were.

Thanks to netgalley and Inkyard Press for the arc.

Was this review helpful?

[arc review]
Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Every Time You Go Away releases December 5, 2023

<i>“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore to be happy.”

“I know better than most people that the real scars, the deep ones, are always on the inside.”</I>

- dual pov
- then/now
- childhood friends/coming of age/neighbours
- grief + guilt
- loss of a parent
- addiction/alcoholism
- disability rep (wheelchair)

Rebecca and Ethan are both two teens who were dealt adult-sized problems and had to grow up faster than they should’ve.
The addiction plotlines and less than stellar parenting on both fronts was really difficult to read and it pained me that characters were continually let down by others not staying for them when they needed them to.

It’s gut wrenching in a sense, but I wanted so much more from this. More connection, better communication — something!

Was this review helpful?

Every Time You Go Away is an interesting read. Why? Because it is often labeled as a romance, and while there is a romance between the two main characters, I don’t feel that is the focal point of their story. Rebecca and Ethan are broken, trying to figure out who they are as they reach adulthood. When I say they are broken, I don’t mean they are actually broken. I mean that they feel they have been pigeonholed into their traditional roles.

Ethan and Rebecca grow and develop throughout the book as they learn to use their voice and advocate for themselves with their loved ones. The journey is challenging for both of them, but it is needed.

Every Time You Go Away is told through dual POV and multiple timelines. This could be a mess if done incorrectly. But Johnson does a fantastic job of keeping everything sorted and understandable.

Overall, Every Time You Go Away is a fantastic contemporary YA read that anyone can relate to as they read.

Was this review helpful?

First and foremost, I am always happy to see accurate and thoughtful disability representation in books, and I hope that we continue to see more representation in the future. Prose and character-wise, I did not personally enjoy this book. I didn't feel attached to the characters and the story didn't feel propulsive.

Thank you to Inkyard Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Was this review helpful?

This was a heartwarming story of true love fighting through the darkness that is life and all its shortcomings. There were a few moments where I felt the main male character was slightly toxic and my feelings were hurt several times by the decisions of the characters of this book, but overall it was a beautiful story of love and loss and how we pick up the pieces to find the light again

Was this review helpful?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Told in the voices of young Ethan and Rebecca in two different time frames (Before - eight years ago, and Now), the author does an excellent job of capturing the nuances of a relationship that serves as a lifeline for the two young main characters, and a friendship which begs to become more.

I love that:
- the characters are realistic, flawed, and complicated,
- that each has heavy personal and family situations that they're trying their best to handle,
- that the emotions ring true,
- that the author tackles hard topics (addiction, death, disability, grief, guilt, mistakes, regrets, reconciling the truth vs what is longed for),
- that there are no easy, trite answers/resolutions.

Very well done and highly recommended.

My thanks to Inkyard Press for allowing me to access a DRC via NetGalley. Publication is set for 12/5/23. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are freely given.

Was this review helpful?

Abigail Johnson is one of my favorite YA authors for realistic fiction, so I was beyond thrilled when I found out she was writing this book. To be clear, it’s not a memoir and it’s not a disability story, but I so loved that Abigail used her own experiences as someone who uses a wheelchair to inspire a dynamic protagonist. My only not-even-a-complaint is that I wish I the book was longer or even multiple books to better explore all the tough issues it took on, but overall, it was excellent and I will definitely be buying it for our high school library and recommending it.

Was this review helpful?

A sweet story about 2 teenagers who are finding their way through adolescence with family drama pulling against them. Repetitive at parts, I found myself skimming to the dialogue.

Was this review helpful?

Pub Date: December 5, 2023
Author: Abigail Johnson
Publisher: Inkyard Press @inkyardpress
Genre: Romance/Teens/YA

“Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse, mourning the past or the future I’ll never get to have.”

Thank you to NetGalley @netgalley and Inkpress for allowing me to read this arc for an honest review.

If I could give this book a million stars I 100% would! This book was absolutely heartbreaking and so evocative of what’s it like to be disabled and to take care of a parent with substance abuse issues. As someone with multiple disabilities I connected on so many levels with the FMC Rebecca because just like her I know what’s it like to be able bodied one day and then wake up disabled the next. The relationship between Rebecca and Ethan felt so real and I rooted for them the whole book! This book is definitely not for the faint of heart or someone looking for a gushy love story! If you are looking to bawl your eyes out and have your heart wrenched out of your body then most definitely pick up this book!

Comes out December 5, 2023!

Was this review helpful?


I have enjoyed some of Abigail Johnson's previous books but sadly could not get into this one. The topic is very important, but I didn't connect with Ethan or Rebecca. I would still try her future books, though!

Was this review helpful?

Let me start by saying I'm not the target audience for this book. This book was promising. I wanted to know the outcome, but as the story went on I just couldn't seem to care anymore or stay focused on the story. I would still recommend this book.

Was this review helpful?