Cover Image: Every Time You Go Away

Every Time You Go Away

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Member Reviews

I am a sucker for an emotional story, and this was definitely one of those! This story was emotional and angsty and just so so moving. The representation was incredible and so powerful. Honestly the only comment I have is that I wish there was more in terms of Ethan and Rebecca’s relationship, as I felt like the story ended too quickly for them. Otherwise J really enjoyed this.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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3.5 stars

Thank you NetGalley, Inkyard Press, and Abigail Johnson for providing me with a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book drew me in with the comparison to Jennifer Nevin, so I was ready for a tear-jerker. I wasn’t prepared for the depth of Ethan and Rebecca’s story. Everytime You Go Away is more than a YA novel.

Ethan and Rebecca are childhood friends who reconnect each time Ethan returns to his grandparents’ house. Each visit brings them closer but it usually ends abruptly with a note, leaving Rebecca feeling empty, never understanding why he leaves. What neither Ethan nor Rebecca share is the trauma both carry. Ethan struggles to care for his drug addict mother and Rebecca has grief over losing her father. The story is emotional as each character explores their feelings for each other while also trying to make sense of their own trauma.

There were parts of the novel that felt slow and subplots that extended the storyline. It was good!

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I received a free copy from NetGalley. Coming of age from two points of view plus lots of back story and trauma. So much pain could have been stopped by having better communication.

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I'd like to thank NetGalley and Inkyard press for providing me with a copy of this egalley to read and give an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
For years, Ethan's life has been tearing him and Rebecca apart. Growing up together in short spurts has never been ideal, but it's been all they had. Can they whether the breaks in their friendship? Can they deal with their own tragedies that happen in between? Can they open up to each other and truly become the one each of them can lean on?
I loved the idea of this book. Two friends who share short spurts of being together only to be torn apart by poor circumstances. There was so much potential for character growth and development. So much room for fleshing them out and making them relatable.
Ethan has spent his life as a captive of his mother's drug abuse. His need to keep his mom safe has always been his top priority. But it has him putting aside his own needs. He's always dropped everything to make sure she's safe never thinking of the impact that may have on those around him who just want him to be happy. I wanted to really like Ethan but his penchant for just up and running really got on my nerves. He had zero thought for anyone else, especially Rebecca. Part of me connected with him because of my own past and understand of drug and alcohol abuse. And I really wanted to that be the case for the entire book. But I just could not bring myself to feel any empathy for him.
Rebecca's circumstances were much more understandable. Tragedy struck her in the form of a car accident that left her paralyzed, And she has tremendous guilt over it. I was happy to see the inclusion of disability in this book. I thought it was well done, showing me exactly how difficult the life of a wheelchair bound person can be when. Showing me exactly how much thought needs to go into living the daily life we all take for granted. At the same time, Rebecca has a bit of a found family in her boss, while she struggles with trying to connect with her mother after the tragedy they have both endured. I enjoyed her character much more than Ethan's.
For the most part, the book had a good theme but the pacing was just off for me. I felt like it was running in circles with the same things happening over and over again. The definition of insanity! It just turned me off and really took away from what could have been an enjoyable. book.
Did I enjoy it, for the most part I did. But. I really felt the conflict was overdone without creating a true empathy for the characters.
2.5 stars rounded to 3.

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Thank you Netgalley and Inkyard Press for the opportunity to read Every Time You Go Away by Abigail Johnson.

This book is a compelling story that dives deep into the intricacies of life, hardship, and love. The story is woven together beautifully as it is told from two perspectives, each character burdened with their unique challenges. This story is both heavy and needed.

Rebecca, a teenager paralyzed from the waist down following a tragic car accident grapples with survivor's guilt and navigates her new reality. She was so raw and real, like a real person would be when faced with her circumstances. Johnson presents an honest representation of being a wheelchair user and coming to terms with grief. On the other side, Ethan, comes and goes from Rebecca's life. One moment he's being dropped off by his addict mother at his grandparents, who live right next door to Rebecca, and a while later she's back for him. Ethan struggles to do much besides worry about his mother, taking on the role of protector. Despite his hardened exterior, Rebecca becomes his sanctuary.

Told in chapters from the past and present Rebecca and Ethan's stories intertwine as they both face their challenges head-on. The story is heavy and hard to stomach at some points which makes it brutally beautiful. Johnson did a wonderful job of capturing grief and addiction.

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Wow. This book was beautiful. The story is real, raw, and very heavy at times. This was my first book by Abigail Johnson and I will definitely be reading more of her work. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Abigail Johnson for my copy of this.

Rebecca is learning to navigate her new life being paralyzed and the loss of her father while Ethan is trying to take care of his substance abusing mother. They meet when Ethan is dropped off with his grandparents while his mom fixes herself. They grow close during Ethan's time at his grandparents and continued to do so each time he was dropped off.

Rebecca and Ethan are both going through trauma and trying their best to come out on top. There's death, grief, substance abuse, paralyzed from an accident, and more.

I loved that Johnson gave us a FMC who is in a wheelchair. I can't thank authors enough for this type of representation. I also loved how authentic Rebecca's story was with her being paralyzed.

Both Rebecca and Ethan are relatable characters, living through real life trauma and learning through it. Abigail wrote their grief in a believable manner.

Please check CW and TW before reading this. If you can handle them, I'd highly recommend this one.

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Such a wonderfully written book about hard topics. Not only are the main characters growing up, but they are both also dealing with some heavy trauma.

Within this book you read about how two troubled people can lean on one another and heal together. This book is written very realistic, not like how some other authors make it hard to believe just for that emotional attachments that keep readers invested. It covers addiction, grief, trauma, disabilities, among others as well. This isnt your typical light and fluffy read, so make sure to check the trigger warnings prior to reading the book.

This book is for anyone who needs to feel something after reading. Its for the people who want to reach in and hug the characters and help them navigate their problems. its for the people who believe in second chances. But honestly, this should be a book that everyone reads as its the perfect coming of age book.

4/5 ⭐

I got an ARC from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley for granting me an ARC of this!

4.5/5 Stars

General Description: One day, Rebecca saw a young Ethan get dropped off at her neighbors'. They've been friends for years. However, Ethan's mom always comes back for him, and then brings him back every few months. however, after years pass, Ethan's back and Rebecca is not the same person she was. Rebecca has suffered a traumatic event related to a car crash, and Ethan is handling the trauma of living in a drug-riddled home. The two try to reconnect on their old friendship, but nothing is the same. Can they come together, accept their pasts, and attempt to move forward in the future? Will they do this together, or as their own people?

The good:
- The reasoning for going back and forth between timeframes was justified and I think it was necessary context to enjoy the book.
- I feel like you fully got to understand the complexities of both Ethan and Rebecca. My heart broke and was put back together multiple times with the descriptions of both their current and past lives.
- This standalone wrapped up at a perfect spot for a YA book for me (I would. not be against a sequel either, but it wraps up extremely well)
- The side characters are absolutely gorgeous and the side characters you're meant to dislike are also done extremely well. They add plot twists as well, which I enjoyed.

The loss of a half-star:
For me, sometimes the perspective switched too quickly or I'd get lost on the timeline. It happened maybe five times but it left me disengaged for a bit while trying to read.

Overall: If you're looking for a deeper, contemporary YA romance book, this is it. If you need a happier read with less trauma, this book may not be for you right now.

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Wow, this book covered some truly heavy but relevant topics while still giving those of us who believe in second (or maybe even third) chances hope throughout the dark parts.

Throughout this book we get to see the different ways in which two people, who are both young, struggle with anger, guilt, and grief. Johnson took two unique to me experiences but portrayed them in a way that allowed me to feel the anguish that these two characters go through.

While there is a small romance subplot weaved throughout this, I would not classify this as a romance book. I expect you would be slightly let down if that is all that you are looking for. If you are looking for something that will have your stomach in knots and shatter your heart repeatedly while slowly letting it heal alongside our characters, then I think this if for you.

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This book gave me all the emotions--from anger, guilt, and fear to happiness, joy, and swoon--and I loved the emotional rollercoaster ride the entire novel. The characters pop from the pages as if they were real people in my life. This book tackles tough life issues including addiction, abuse, and death of a parent and it all felt so real and authentic.

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Every. Single. Time.

On the next to last chapter, the gusher begins. And I have to swab my eyes and cheeks and noses almost continually until the last line!!! Every single time. I might cry a tear or two throughout the book. I might have a gasping moment here and there. But the end as I read them?! Sobbing. Sigh. Loved this read. Loved. 💜📚

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Ethan and Rebecca find themselves together as children, each looking for something but not knowing quite what it could be. Each time they meet, something pulls them apart, yet they find themselves together again and again. Through heartache and loss, growing up and growing apart, will this time when they find themselves together be the last?

A truly poignant look at friendship, life, family, and love from a YA perspective anyone can enjoy.

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This is my first of Abigail's books, and I don't think it will be the last! She has a way with writing about everyday struggles that teenagers face-divorce, physical disability, facing the repercussions of the actions of others, etc. It is realistic and raw, and I appreciated the way that she handled writing about sensitive topics. The characters of Ethan and Rebecca are well written and easy to relate to, and they had great chemistry whilst keeping the book clean, which is uncommon for a lot of YA novels.

Great read and one that I will definitely recommend!

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Thanks for the opportunity to read and review this book! My review will appear on episode 37 of my podcast as well as my website/blog. The episode drops Monday, December 4, 2023. My review will be added to Goodreads and I'll feature a partial review on Instagram.

Review:
First off, it's not lost on me that I, as a gay, white, middle-aged man, am not the intended audience for this book. That said, I still enjoyed it. When I was a teen, I would often dip my toe into Sweet Dreams Romance books, so now and then, I like to pick up a YA romance and settle back into my 16-year-old self. I gotta say, YA romances are much less cheesy than they were in the 80s and 90s.

What I loved most about this book was how heartwarming and inclusive it is. I also loved how it explored themes of loss, addiction, and the power of friendship, and I am happy to say I really enjoyed the story of Ethan and Rebecca. It's an emotional journey filled with ups and downs.

Ethan and Rebecca's friendship begins in childhood when his addict mother leaves him with his grandparents, who live next door to Rebecca and her parents. The two become fast friends, but their friendship is abruptly cut short when Ethan's mom takes him away again. A few years later, Ethan returns but is once again ripped away, leaving nothing but a flower on Rebecca's windowsill. Several years later, Ethan's mother is once again in rehab, and he is back living with his grandparents. A lot has changed, though. Ethan is no longer a scared little boy, having had to take care of his mother for years as she battled her addiction. Rebecca has also changed following a tragic car accident that took her father's life and left her in a wheelchair. When Ethan and Rebecca are reunited, their connection is put to the test. Will their hardships bring them closer together, or have they grown too far apart?

One of the standout aspects of this book is its inclusivity. I was thrilled to see a wheelchair user as a main character rather than just a side character. Abigail Johnson has done a phenomenal job of portraying Rebecca's experiences as a wheelchair user with authenticity and sensitivity, which makes sense since the author is a wheelchair user herself.

The author's handling of loss and addiction in this book is also incredibly well done. Ethan and Rebecca both carry the weight of their pasts, and it is through their shared experiences that they find solace and healing. I appreciated how the author portrayed their struggles with honesty and care, shedding light on the emotional turmoil that comes with loss and addiction. It was a reminder that our past does not define us; it is our choices and actions in the present that shape our future.

The book is told through alternating viewpoints of Ethan and Rebecca, occasionally flashing back to before Rebecca's accident and the present moment. Despite jumping around in time, I never felt lost.

The characters are all well-rounded and relatable. The relationship between Rebecca and Ethan is solid, but I also liked watching the relationship that Ethan had with his grandparents as it evolved. I was especially touched by the relationship that Rebecca has with her mother and how it evolved as well.

Another thing this book does well is that it reminds us of the importance of cherishing the present moment and the people in our lives. It is all too easy to get caught up in our own struggles and forget about the impact we have on others. This book serves as a poignant reminder to appreciate the relationships we have, as they can provide us with the strength and support we need to face life's challenges.

In the end, I thought this was a beautifully written novel perfect for teens and adults alike. It offers a heartwarming and empowering story that will resonate with readers of all ages. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a touching and uplifting read.

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Thank you very much, NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the ARC of "Every Time You Go Away" in exchange for an honest review.
For all of us readers who embrace a compelling story of broken young souls, this one's guaranteed to put your heart through the wringer........many times over.
You'll know from the start that this is no ordinary childhood-to-adolescence coming of age for next door best friends and neighbors Ethan and Rebecca. It's Ethan's grandparents' house he lives in, because he's regularly abandoned there by his drug addict mother as she endures perpetual in-and-out rehabs. When she bounces back into Ethan's life to reclaim him, Rebecca suffers from watching her childhood best friend constantly taken in and out of her life.
Reunited again as 17 year olds, the separate tragedies of their lives serve to overwhelm and thwart their obvious, aching attraction for each other. Ethan's spent an unbearably sad childhood still devoted to his wayward mom, even while inflicted with abuse and neglect by her and and her string of lowlife boyfriends. And on his latest return, he finds Rebecca how permanently wheelchair bound, the result of a tragic accident that also took her father's life.
It takes a truly skilled author to bring such characters to life, to make them so real and vivid that your hopes soar every time you sense they're edging ever closer to what they feel for each other..........and then crush you to pieces when their troubles and long suppressed anger and hurt drive them apart. Abigail Johnson most definitely has the skills required.....and anyone with a heartbeat will find themselves hard pressed to finish this book with dry eyes.
If you positively live for 5 star emotional reads, I'd bump this one to the top of any TBR list.

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Everything You Go Away" by Abigail Johnson is a captivating and lyrical novel that explores the profound themes of grief, forgiveness, and the transformative power of love. Reminiscent of the works of Jennifer Niven, this book weaves a heartfelt and searing portrait of two individuals whose lives have been marked by adversity.

The story unfolds through the intertwined lives of Ethan and Rebecca, whose fateful meeting as young troublemaking kids leaves an indelible mark on their hearts. Johnson skillfully paints a vivid picture of their blossoming connection, filled with shared secrets and tender first kisses in the sanctuary of a treehouse. However, their idyllic bond is abruptly shattered when Ethan's mother returns and abruptly takes him away, leaving behind only a flower as a bittersweet symbol of their connection.

Years pass, and both Ethan and Rebecca face their own separate trials. Ethan becomes his mother's sole caregiver, navigating the challenges and heartache that come with her lifelong battle with addiction. Rebecca, on the other hand, must learn to navigate life as a wheelchair user following a devastating car accident that took her father's life.

As the narrative unfolds, Johnson masterfully explores the impact of these hardships on the characters' lives and their potential to either drive them further apart or bring them closer together. Through her poignant and eloquent prose, she delves deep into the emotional journey of grief, forgiveness, and resilience, showcasing the immense strength and growth that can emerge from even the darkest of circumstances.

"Everything You Go Away" is a testament to Johnson's ability to create rich, multidimensional characters. Readers will find themselves fully invested in Ethan and Rebecca's lives, sharing in their hopes, fears, and moments of vulnerability. The depth of their individual struggles and the complexity of their relationship make for a truly immersive reading experience.

In conclusion, Abigail Johnson's "Everything You Go Away" is a compelling and deeply moving novel that explores the complexities of grief, forgiveness, and the transformative power of love. With its beautifully crafted narrative and well-drawn characters, this book is sure to captivate fans of Jennifer Niven and anyone seeking a poignant and emotionally resonant story.

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This was amazing! So cute and sweet, everything I want in a contemporary romance, I would have preferred a more advanced writing style but it didn’t take away from the story at all.

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I started out not interested in the book and not caring about the characters, but by the end of the novel, I was staying up WAY too late to find out what would happen between Rebecca and Ethan. And I did cry. There was a lot of emotional pain and growth from both of them.

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Apologies for the late review, I've been in autistic burnout and catching up with things now. The representation is much needed in YA. Although a heavy read, I think that it will be impactful for many.

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Every time you go away by Abigail Johnson
Thank you NetGalley and thank you Inkyard Press for the opportunity to read this one early.
Ethan and Rebecca grew up together off and on as each time his mom who was an addict dropped him off to stay with his grandparents.
He and Rebecca forged a friendship friendship, sweet young love. But each time she’d find a flower on her windowsill she knew he was gone yet again.
Sweet story of young love, loss, heartbreak with throwing in family dynamics , drama, addiction, abuse. Which made this story a mixture of sweet and salty.

I will admit every time I think of the title of this book this book the song instantly forms in my mind.
🎶 “Every time you go away (you take a piece of me with you)” 🎶
so thanks or not thanks to the author for that. lol 😂
I hope others enjoy the book as much as I did.

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