Narrator: Reba Buhr
Title: Jennifer Longo
Genre: YA, Romance, Realistic Fiction, & contemporary
Published: January 21st 2020
Where I got It: Borrow from Library
Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she's learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light.
Carry only what fits in a suitcase.
Emotional attachment to friends? foster families? a boyfriend? Nope!
There's no room for any additional baggage.
Muir has just one year left before she ages out of the system. One year before she's free. One year to avoid anything--or anyone--that could get in her way.
Then she meets Francine. And Kira. And Sean.
And everything changes.
Oh the holidays have me so busy!! I should've written down my thoughts right away. Mmmm. So I did read this for book club. It was picked by another member. I didn't really know what this was about until I actually started.
We follow Muir who grew up in foster care. She is so close to freedom...her 18th birthday. One last house and one last school. She has always been reluctant to the idea of being adopted and only carries a few objects. However...this house can change everything. Maybe actually have some friends and a foster mom who will love her?
I really enjoyed this. I loved watching Muir slowly let down her walls and accept love and find her happiness. Poor thing went through a lot especially when we find out about her mom and then her first foster family. Grrr to her mom. And bigger grrrr to that foster family. No wonder WHY she had such animosity to adoption and strong walls of distrust. Of course, it took some special people and lots of love.
Muir's love of nature made me happy. The scenes during the hikes or just even scenes talking about facts....made me happy. Made me want to go out and walk. I love nature hikes!
Oh! I loved the social issues addressed here. Not only adoption, but we touched on what the US did to the Japanese back during WWII and how that still is something families are dealing with today. We deal with bullying and racism as well. It all made sense and seemed to fit in well with our overall plot and character stories.
Loved Kira and I loved seeing her become the bestie Muir needed, but I also loved watching Kira grow and deal with her own and her family issues.
There is romance here, but it didn't dominate the story which made me happy. It took a while for the two to really trust each other (esp Muir's fear of love) and I'm glad there. He was adorable and so dang patient. What a good kid.
This wasn't all about feelings and it wasn't all dark and moody....which there are times and scenes of course...but I loved the happy and silly moments. I loved the calm moments like Muir cuddling with that puppy!! Adorable. It was much needed and it made me extra happy seeing Muir find these moments of peace with her friends and foster mom.
I started reading this but switched to audio when it became available at the library so I was able to get a taste of both. I think I liked both equally from what I read (about 35% give or take) so you can't go wrong! The narrator was great and did well with the different voices.
Honestly, there are a lot of talking points here that I can't wait to discuss at book club, but I'll stop while I'm ahead! This is a great book for book clubs. I highly recommend it. I'll stamp this with 5.
- #84 for Audiobook challenge
- #84 for Audiobook challenge