Tag Archives: publisher: dial books for young readers

We Now Return to Regular Life by Martin Wilson

We Now Return to Regular Life

We Now Return to Regular Life by Martin Wilson

Published by: Dial Books on August 1, 2017
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Sam Walsh went missing three years ago, presumed kidnapped and gone without a trace. His older sister, Beth, believed he was dead. His best friend, Josh, was wracked with guilt that maybe he could have done something to stop him from being taken. They both worried that they somehow contributed to Sam’s disappearance. But when Sam is found alive, their worlds change all over again. While Sam is indeed Sam, his experience and his ordeal have changed him. As Beth and Josh deal with relating to the new Sam, Sam also needs to find a way to adapt to his own new reality. And then there’s the age-old question: Do we talk about everything that happened as a means of processing it, or do we keep it all bottled up with the hope that we can just move past it? And the answer may be somewhere in between–a happy medium that is different for all three of them.

Told from the perspectives of Beth and Josh, this is a powerful and poignant story about love, regret, growing up, secrets, trauma, and simply dealing with the realities of life. This is likely to be a challenging read for some, especially considering the truth of what happened to Sam. But the author deals with the subject matter in a real and raw way, while demonstrating a sensitivity to Sam and to the others affected and impacted by the ordeal. There is no quick fix here for anyone. And sometimes we have to open doors when we know we won’t like what’s on the other side because if we leave the door closed, what’s there will simply continue to haunt us. There’s a lot for these teenagers to deal with in this story, but there’s also a strength that each one of them demonstrates that I can only say is inspiring and instructional.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

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Title: The Vast Fields of Ordinary
Author: Nick Burd
Published: May 14, 2009
Pages: 309
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Review:
The last summer before Dade goes to college is a time when everything changes. And that’s not a bad thing – he wouldn’t mind a change from his closeted friend with benefits and hostile, homophobic peers and a way to get away from his parents’ crumbling marriage. When he meets Alex Kincaid, he finds that he can and should be willing to expect more for himself.

Nick Burd presents us with an incredibly well-written tale about Dade and the people in his life. This coming-of-age story is one that seems to capture what it means to grow up, to go from being a teenager to being an adult. There’s no instant moment that it happens, but when it does, we change as people and we change how we see the world. And Dade is no exception.

Content warning: mentions of suicide