Adam Raynor and his best friends started the summer of 1992 with their usual antics. Each of them in their own way preparing for their last year of high school and the interruption of their friendship that college would bring. What they didn’t know was how getting a girlfriend, using drugs and experiencing the death of someone close would turn their worlds upside down.
Genre: Upper YA Contemporary Fiction/Coming of Age
Release Date: October 14th 2016
Return To Autumn Expert
The Beginning of Summer
Every year on the last day of school it was our ritual to exit the school bus by jumping out of the emergency exit in the back. Mark, Joey, and I had been doing it since we were in sixth grade. Irritating the bus driver went back further than the sixth grade though. In third grade when we had a substitute bus driver that didn’t know the route, we would yell, “That’s it! That’s my house!” This shouldn’t have mattered since the driver was only supposed to stop and let us out at designated stops. Nonetheless, she slammed on the brakes and jerked the bus to a halt and we hid behind the tall-backed green seats calling out “Why are you stopping?” or “NO! Not here you idiot.” The woman just sat there looking back at all us kids in her huge rear-view mirror, stunned and trying to figure out if someone was actually going to get off. Someone would eventually tell her no one was getting off, and she would start driving again to the chorus of our profanity. The bus was so full she wouldn’t have a clue who was doing all the yelling, and in hindsight, I don’t think she cared who was yelling. She just wanted off the bus herself. Now, we were juniors in high school. Even though we all had our driver’s licenses we couldn’t drive to school until we were seniors due to limited parking spaces. You could only jump out the back of the bus on the last day of school. If you did the jump midyear, the principal would be waiting on the bus after school the next day and the bus wouldn’t leave for home until he found out who had activated the fire exit. He would threaten to give everyone a detention if nobody tattled or confessed. I know because we tried to do it on a Friday once in eighth grade, and the next Monday there he was waiting for us inside the bus. Carolyn Autumn was the one who told on us. She didn’t even hesitate; she wanted to get home and ‘prepare’ for a history test she had the next week. Carolyn was constantly worrying and studying. She lived down the street from us and we rode the bus together since our first-grade year.
“I’m sorry Adam,” she said. “I had to. I thought I was going to fail.” But she was one of the most successful students in school. She was always on the honour roll, as long as I could remember anyway. Her obsessive worrying was likely the reason for all her success in school.
I think I could easily sum up this book in just one sentence, that being “I read this book in one day”, however, even though that justifies how incredible this book is, I think I’ll swoon over it a little bit more!
Adam, Mark and Joey are the best of friends who spends most of their days talking about girls, sex and drugs. The book follows them from their last day of Junior High in to the first months of College. Throughout the Summer, Adam finds work at the Autumn’s house, which belonged to Mrs Autumn and her daughter Carolyn. As Adam and Carolyn begin to fall for each other, he gradually drifts away from Mark and Joey, leading to some unfortunate event as divorce, drug addictions, and death becomes involved.
Being as I am 19 years old, I enjoyed reading the banter between Adam and his friends, alongside all of the stories they had to share about awkward and embarrassing experiences they have gone through with a girl. Whilst this book begins incredibly light-hearted, it takes a dark turn towards the end, leaving you possibly slightly uncomfortable and you begin to see a different side to all of the characters and how they deal with certain things separately.
As I said in the first paragraph of my review, Return To Autumn took me only a day to read, it had me drawn in at all times and by the end I was fully hooked and a little tearful over the storyline. Each character is so unique and intriguing in their own ways that you see yourself loving not just one character, but all of them. I also loved the fact that it is from a guy’s perspective as I don’t read them that often and it’s rather refreshing. Couldn’t suggest this book more but please give it a read! If you’re signed up to Kindle Unlimited, you can read Return To Autumn for free, but either way, the book itself is only £2.39 so why not treat yourself to this delightful story? Congratulations John on Return To Autumn, I am so pleased I got to be a part of this book tour!
Inspiration for Return To Autumn
Return to Autumn was based on many events that actually occurred while I was in the 7th grade through senior year of high school. Not the same exact events, but similar. The characters in the novel are also based on people that I have known along the way. It was funny because my editor would tell me that something I wrote wasn’t actually believable or that people don’t really talk like that. I would tell her on those occasions that the events actually happened or that we actually did talk like that. Much of what she had wanted to cut, I left in to be true to the story. Carolyn, who is Adams main love interest was based on a girl I knew from the first grade. She was an awesome student, and never did anything wrong. She grew up to be stunningly beautiful.
About the Author
John Richards was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs where he currently resides with his wife, kids and German Shepherds. John worked as a book seller for a few years before attending law school and becoming a litigation attorney. John’s writings are loosely drawn from personal life experiences but would never admit to at work or writing, John and his family enjoy spending time outdoors and vacationing in the Mountains of Tennessee.