Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Goodbye Year and Book Giveaway!

Author: Kaira Rouda
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Type: e-book
Source: TLC Book Tours
Publisher: Sparkpress
First Published: May 3, 2016
First Line: "Melanie Bronson needed to sit down."

Book Description on GoodReadsMelanie, 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 facade 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 is often actually the end."

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My ReviewMy oldest child will be starting his last year of high school next week.  It boggles the mind how fast time flies and with so many emotions swirling in me this book is right up my alley.

In her latest book, Kaira Rouda explores the issues that face both parents and teens alike as the almost-adults venture into their last year of high school.  She includes points of view of both the teens and their parents as they struggle with issues of stress, body image, substance abuse, marriage/divorce, peer pressure and worries about the future. On top of all that, some of the parents are dealing with the impending empty nest syndrome better than others with a few struggling to find out who they are after their long-held title of parent is about to change into a new kind of relationship.  Rouda also shows the stress and competitive parenting some parents experience as their emotions toggle precariously between pride and worry about what the future holds for their children. 

There are five families at the heart of this book which means there's a lot of characters to keep straight.  Luckily Rouda provides a listing of the families at the beginning of the book which I regularly used until the characters and their issues were solidly in my mind. This varied group of characters allowed Rouda to bring several timely issues and perspectives to the forefront for her readers.  While I found a few characters to be clich├ęd and not all that likable I still found watching them deal with their issues quite interesting. Surprisingly, I found the teens had a better handle on the changes than their parents.

Note: I thought it a slightly odd choice that Rouda used the name Jud Nelson for one of her characters.  My 40-something mind immediately went to images of the actor Judd Nelson from cult classics such as The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's Fire.  But I digress ....

There are a few twists that I could see coming but there were a couple that surprised me. With its secrets and revelations this book has a Desperate Housewives meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies with a side of suburban soap opera.  There are many issues and secrets that will keep readers eager to see how things will end for both the teens and their parents. Overall this was an entertaining read about the changing dynamics in the parent-child relationship.  It's about figuring out your own place in the world, learning to say goodbye and welcoming in a new chapter in our lives as parents and young adults.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Sparkpress and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Book Giveaway!!

I'm giving away one copy of The Goodbye Year to one of my blog readers!  Sorry, only residents of Canada and the USA are eligible.  Just follow the link below for details and spread the word.  Everyone loves a free book, right?

About the Author:

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.

Proudly part of: 


saskmom said...

This book sounds awesome! Sounds like something I can relate to. Sort of scared as my kids are creeping up on grade 12.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

You're telling me. Boy 1 turns 17 in October and as we head into this last year of high school I'm nervous, scared and excited for him. Lots of changes are on the horizon for The Bookworm Family.

traveler said...

Thanks for your excellent review of this emotional novel which resonates with me. Life and everything which we face is always interesting as well as challenging. Thanks for this giveaway and feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

This novel has a storyline that some of us can relate to. Thanks for the chance to win this very interesting book.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Thank YOU all for entering the giveaway.

This is my first book by Kaira Rouda but I plan to read more from her. I just have to clone myself or find a way to turn back time so I have enough time to read all of the books on my TBR list. ;)

LisaMM said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And I'm right there with you. My baby started her senior year Aug 10. It's shocking how fast her childhood zipped by.

Thank you so much for being on the tour!

rhonda said...

I had a really hard time my sons senior year in high school knowing he would soon be out of our home off to college.Of course he had a great time& couldn't wait to go.The book sounds perfect for me,

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

It's good to know I'm not facing this goodbye year alone. Even today, our first day of school, I kept thinking that this time next year he'll probably be having the time of his life during his frosh/orientation week at university. Far away from me. *sigh*

It's such an exciting time but filled with so many changes!

Anonymous said...

Sounds really interesting! I look forward to reading it. KHS

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