The Grown Ups: A Novel

The Grown Ups: A Novel

by Robin Antalek

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Overview

From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together.

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella—and force her to confront her past and her friends.

After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.

Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594796244
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/27/2015
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Robin Antalek is the author of The Summer We Fell Apart. She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.


Original bio sent from Cassandra:

Cassandra Campbell began doing voice overs as the voice for Calvin Klein's Italian commercials. This was followed by commercial and documentary recording in both English and Italian. She has recorded many audiobooks and has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as an Audie(R) Award nomination. As an actress and director, she has worked at the Public, the Mint, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stagewest, Theatreworks, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Millmountain Theatre, the National Shakespeare Company, and the New York Fringe Festival.


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The Grown Ups: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
RoxyKade More than 1 year ago
A delightful read that drew me in and held me captive, I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't too fast paced, but flowed well, and like a fine wine, every bit of it had to be savored. I loved that this book, although fiction, was so very real. With relatable characters and all the joy and heartache that comes with living life and growing up. It was great to see how each character, even the minor ones, went from adolescence into adulthood, and how they handled different situations. It was also interesting the way in which lives were interwoven, creating some surprise relationships and friendships. This book was filled with emotion and had plenty of depth. I felt like I had lived and loved alongside each character, and it was a fantastic journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never felt like I understood the characters or why they did what they did
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
bookloverfl12 More than 1 year ago
I will admit that the cover drew me in. I love it! Reminds me of one of my favorite TV shows, Parenthood (if you haven't watched it, you are totally missing out!). Often times in life you wonder what might have been if your past went a different path, if you didn't move away, or if you acted on your feelings at the time instead of waiting. This book covers the aspect of young love and the evolution of friendships over the years. This was a relatable read and I enjoyed the book.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Told through multiple points of views and with a story for almost every year, this story shows a group of kids watch their parents fall and apart and then as they mature they deal with almost the same "adult" issues.  Sam is the character that takes most of the focus and the reader really gets to know him as he "dates" one friend in their younger years and then another in high school and on and off through college.   One of the things that really set this book apart for me was the lapse of time.  With each chapter taking a different person's point of view and almost all of them a different year in time (presented chronologically) I felt like I really got invested in these characters and had the hardest time letting go.  I loved how conveniently that after they all left the neighborhood for college and jobs and other pursuits there was an event or happening to bring them back into town - I didn't find it out of the ordinary, but it helped bring these characters back together to interact. 
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
4 Stars! I ended up being completely sucked into this book. After I was invested in the story, I had such a hard time putting this book down and found myself telling my family members that I needed "just one more minute" on the day I read this book. Anyone who reads a lot can tell you that that is a sign of a really good book. This story is told from three points of view over the course of 15 years. During this story, we watch Sam, Suzie, and Bella grow from the awkward age of 15 to their adult years at 30. I think that most readers who are in their adult years will relate to this story because everyone know how hard it is to find your way in the world and deal with the multitude of issues in our lives. Sam, Suzie, and Bella are part of a larger group of friends who somehow manage to stay together. These three are impacted by their fair share of problems: divorce, alcoholism, relationships, marriage, career choices, and caring for an aging parent to name a few. Each chapter is a moment in time in one of the three characters intersecting lives. Their lives and decisions all impact one another in varying ways because of how their lives have become intertwined. This was one of those rare books where I found that I actually liked all of the characters. That doesn't mean that I liked everything that they did because some of their actions were just horrible. I liked these characters even though they made some horrible decisions and I guess I can relate because I have made a few of those myself. I loved the relationships between the characters and thought that their portrayal was incredibly realistic. I must admit that I had a hard time getting into this book and the story did not immediately grab me. After I read a few chapters, I started to relate and eventually couldn't put the book down. This book doesn't have a big mystery and nothing is tied up in a pretty bow at the end. This book is a snapshot of a period of time in the life of a group of friends. We can only imagine what comes next for Sam, Bella, and Suzie. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who love an intriguing coming of age story. This is the first book by Robin Antalek that I have had a chance to read and I thought her writing style was simply wonderful. I plan to look for other works by this very talented author in the future. I received a copy of this book from William Morrow via Edelweiss for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Melinda_H More than 1 year ago
Antalek nails the thoughts and emotions of each character. Dialog is well done. She unbolts her characters vulnerability, fears and inner thoughts. Her writing style tight and delineate. The reader is intimately aquatinted with each character. They stumble, fall, rise, relish and regret their choices. They are whole with their share of flaws, honest in knowing themselves. Each character deals with their rocky childhood shaping them for adulthood, while trying not to mimic or allow unsettled feelings taint their life. Spanning from teen years to adulthood, their struggles realistic, their reactions authentic. Yes they make questionable choices adding to the affecting plausibility to the story. Character development, outstanding, Antalek allows you entry into their mind and heart. A wonderful portrayal of lifelong bonds, navigating adulthood as childhood strains leave a lingering presence. A story readers will identify with in some manner either through issues and/or characters.