Title: Every Time You Go Away
Author: Abigail Johnson
Publication: December 5, 2023
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Eight years ago, Ethan and Rebecca met, two trouble-making kids sharing secrets and first kisses in a treehouse, until Ethan’s mom returned to take him away. Each and every visit, his only goodbye was a flower on Rebecca’s windowsill.
Three years ago, Ethan left for the last time to take care of his mother, who’s struggled with addiction his whole life.
Two years ago, Rebecca was in a car accident that killed her father. She’s been learning to navigate life as a wheelchair user ever since.
Now, they discover if their hardships have torn them apart…or will bring them closer than ever.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
I love a book that incorporates some form of overcoming into a real story and Abigail Johnson nailed it! I was very intrigued by the author’s own story when I looked her up having overcome her own challenges after suffering paralysis from an accident, and I now know why this story was so beautifully written.
The story follows Rebecca and Ethan who were on and off friends as he came in and out of her life, but now he is back and things are different. He’s far more jaded by his personal struggles with an addict mother and she’s in a wheelchair after an accident injured her and killed her father. I knew right away there was going to be a lot of emotion in this story. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to cry, but honestly, it wasn’t that type of emotional. I felt a lot, but it was more a sadness because I felt these kids were given too much in their young lives and pride as you watch them grow in the book. Johnson was really able to hit these hard topics in a way that educated and showed the reality woven into this story. She not only hit one heavy topic, addiction but also about overcoming a traumatic injury that changes a life.
There was nothing I did not like about this story. While I usually dislike jumping back and forth in time, I felt this was well-placed and gave a little insight into a current situation, and wasn’t over the top. I loved the character development and while there were side characters that helped guide the story and the characters themselves, the focus was really on Ethan and Rebecca the whole time. I’m a huge fan of Abigail Johnson’s writing and cannot wait to go get the next book.