This book, you guys. Come Back to Me was one of those books that I didn’t think I would love, especially once I started reading it. I found some problems at the very beginning, but… these characters were so good, y’all. I was in Jessa’s head from the very first page, and KIT oh my god. I’m getting ahead of myself, but I just can’t help it. Okay okay, here we go.
Jessa is a new high school graduate who is headed to college in the fall, but it’s not the college of her dreams. She’s been told what to do her entire life by her controlling Marine officer father, and he wants her to live at home rather than pursue her acting dream. So she’s not overly excited about much, but she is excited that her brother, Riley, is home for six whole weeks from his latest tour. And where Riley goes, Kit, his best friend, follows. And Jessa… well, she’s been in love with Kit for quite a while.
Kit has never wanted just one girl. He’s played the field ever since he was a teenager, and it freaks him out that he’s so into his best friend’s sister. He never dreamed that she’d be into him too… but she is. They start secretly dating, because Jessa’s dad hates Kit for no real reason. Their relationship is off to a good start, and they plan to keep it going while Kit and Riley are overseas.
But then Kit’s father, a Marine chaplain, shows up at Jessa’s door, and that can only mean one thing – either her boyfriend is dead, or her brother is dead. And the devastation that follows is enough to break her if she lets it.
3 Things I Loved
- Kit and Jessa. I was literally swooning, and my heartbreak was real when things started to go south. This is so hard to talk about without spoiling anything, but on my goodness. Their first time? OH MY GOODNESS. So swoony.
- Riley. He wasn’t the perfect older brother, but he was perfect in this story. I loved his side story, his little romance, and I loved his characterization in general as both Jessa’s brother and Kit’s best friend. Again, I can’t say any more. I won’t!
- Didi. Jessa’s best friend was my favorite side character, and I’m so excited that the second book in the series is hers! I can’t wait to read it.
This is a big old yikes, especially at the beginning of the book. PTSD is handled sort of… strangely, and never named. In Jessa and Riley’s dad, the PTSD is characterized as abuse, and that’s never talked about. By the end of the book, he’s “getting help” but again, it’s never named or acknowledged. There’s also unnamed alcoholism on the part of Kit’s father, and emotional abuse is discussed but not really named throughout the book. There’s some more stuff, but you get the idea – things are happening but are never discussed by name. As someone who has had PTSD (from car accidents) and who has a parent who was an alcoholic for many years, I was uncomfortable with how a lot of things were talked about in this book.
Those were really my only dislikes, though. I would say that people who may be triggered by instances of PTSD, alcoholism, or emotional abuse might want to tread lightly with this one, especially since nothing is confronted head on.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
Come Back to Me was difficult for me to rate. The love story was top-notch and left me aching for days. But there were some things that were too problematic for me to ignore. With all of this put together, I’m going to give Come Back to Me a YELLOWISH-GREEN rating. Yellow for the mental illness (non)discussions and green for the love story.
I’m excited to get to the second book in the series, Stay with Me!