Sunday, September 11, 2016

Book Review: THE GOODBYE YEAR by Kaira Rouda


by Kaira Rouda

Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can’t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. 

Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated façade of her life. Will and his wife are fine - as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class).

Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it’s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple’s second act together-empty nesting-might possibly be the end.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Since she never had a girl of her own, she took sublime pleasure in judging everyone else's.

Melanie knew they had been friends since their kids were in preschool together.  So, basically forever in suburban years.  Much like dog years, Melanie knew most moms counted their years by kid-years, and they made and marked their friendships accordingly.  Another reason Melanie was an outsider here.  She had just three suburban years in this town.  She was a toddler amid high school seniors.

People were serious about this stuff, he knew, but looking around now he felt as if he were watching a school of sharks circling their prey, cutting in, chomping a brochure and signing their names on a list, before swimming to the next booth.

My Review:

The Goodbye Year is a brilliant written and expertly crafted character study.  Ms. Rouda's masterpiece quickly tapped into my psyche and didn't let go; I am still contemplating the many nuances of the story hours after completing the book.  The writing was compelling and full of insightful and cleverly amusing observations.  Ms. Rouda's characters were richly textured, complicated, flawed, fascinating, endearing, and despicable.  As the story evolved I was blindsided by several characters spiraling out of control while others experienced profound growth, with most of the outcomes being what I had least expected.  I experienced a full range of emotion during perusal - my heart was squeezed, I smiled, I fist pumped, and I blinked hard and swallowed with difficulty.  This was my first experience with Kaira Rouda but I am now at the level of totally gasping fan-girl enamored with her genius. 

Empress DJ

About Kaira Rouda

Kaira Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple-award-winning author of contemporary fiction that sparkles with humor and heart including HERE, HOME, HOPE and IN THE MIRROR. Her latest novel, THE GOODBYE YEAR, will be released in May of 2016. Her modern romance novels are set on beaches, including the Laguna Beach series, the Indigo Island series and coming soon, the Malibu series.

She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel. After living in Columbus, Ohio, for most of her life, she now enjoys the beach whenever possible.

.Connect with Kaira

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