Goodbye from Nowhere
Kyle Baker thought his family was happy. Happy enough, anyway. That’s why, when Kyle learns that his mother has been having an affair and his father has been living with the secret, his reality is altered. He quits baseball, ghosts his girlfriend, and generally checks out of life as he’s known it. With his older sisters out of the house and friends who don’t get it, the only person he can talk to is his cousin Emily—who is always there on the other end of his texts but still has her own life, hours away.Kyle’s parents want him to keep the secret of his mother’s affair from the rest of the family until after what might be their last big summer reunion. As Kyle watches the effects of his parents’ choices ripple out over friends, family, and strangers, and he feels the walls of his relationships closing in, he has to decide what his obligations are to everyone he cares for—including himself.National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr returns with an intimate, exquisitely crafted novel of anxiety and identity, of the ways that secrets keep us together and pull us apart, and of the courage it takes to see those we love for who they are.

Goodbye from Nowhere Details

TitleGoodbye from Nowhere
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062434685
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Goodbye from Nowhere Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    “And maybe you need to do that with your mom, your dad, the whole family,” she said. “Let go. Let go of what you thought it should be. And see what it is.” I've been reading Sara Zarr books for nine years at this point (2020) and I feel like she's remained fairly consistent. She doesn't go in for dramatics, though her stories are often powerful and moving. Her books are best described, I feel, as a kind of literary fiction for teens and young adults. Quiet, poignant tales about people and fam “And maybe you need to do that with your mom, your dad, the whole family,” she said. “Let go. Let go of what you thought it should be. And see what it is.” I've been reading Sara Zarr books for nine years at this point (2020) and I feel like she's remained fairly consistent. She doesn't go in for dramatics, though her stories are often powerful and moving. Her books are best described, I feel, as a kind of literary fiction for teens and young adults. Quiet, poignant tales about people and families.Goodbye from Nowhere's set up details a lot of happiness. Kyle has fallen in love with his girlfriend and is bringing her to meet his family at their farm for Thanksgiving. They are warm, funny, and welcoming. They love her instantly. And yet, like a lot of Zarr’s work, there is an underlying melancholy to all this surface happiness. A distance to some of the characters; a fear that something is going to go wrong. It’s hard to pinpoint why, but it feels like change is coming.And, of course, it is.Kyle's life begins to unravel when he finds out his mother is having an affair and that his dad knows but refuses to do anything about it. He doesn't know who to turn to. He is caught in a limbo where his ideas of his parents' "perfect relationship" have been shattered, but where they are not divorcing so there's no real closure for him either. Nothing for him to grieve. What I like about Zarr is that she never gives us any easy villains. Though Kyle's mother's actions are selfish, the third person narrative doesn't allow her to become one-dimensional either. Humans are complicated and this situation is especially so. His dad, too. Is he endlessly loyal or a coward? Maybe a bit of both. It is written with so much complexity, sensitivity and maturity. Not everyone will like it. I know what to expect at this point because I've been reading Zarr for so long, but her books are often very quiet character studies. If a book that is solely about people and the interactions between them sounds boring, skip this one.I also see from other reviews that some people took issue with the cousin relationship, so I wanted to comment on it. I did not personally feel it was romantic at all, especially because Emily makes it clear early on that she is aromantic, maybe asexual too. They were obviously very close and I do think Kyle might have had some complicated feelings for her because he was dealing with so much, but it never develops into anything. The only part of the book I didn't love was the one big coincidence with (view spoiler)[the guy he was coaching being the mystery kid (hide spoiler)]. That felt a bit contrived.Facebook | Instagram
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    Sara Zarr is an incredible writer - she can write dialogue and create characters so incredibly real and incredibly interesting. At first, I thought Kyle, the protagonist, was almost intolerably annoying, just so Pollyanna, but then suddenly he seemed like someone I know, and definitely like a believable teenage boy. Then I was interested in his life and the very real ways that life can change and how people react to that change, and I couldn't put the book down. Excellent!
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  • Neil (or bleed)
    January 1, 1970
    NEED. NEED. NEED. NEED. NEED. NEED.NEED! NEED! NEED! NEED! NEED! NEED!
  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    "You can be happy, Kyle," she continued. "Even if Mom and Dad aren't." Drama, drama, drama. I am not envious of all the crap Kyle Baker has to go through after some family secrets come to light and he's trying to pretend they aren't effecting him. Lots of frustration and unlikable characters makes this a compelling read. And while there was a lot of craziness and pain, I always appreciate a story centered on family. I thought it did a great job exploring family complexities and how relationsh "You can be happy, Kyle," she continued. "Even if Mom and Dad aren't." Drama, drama, drama. I am not envious of all the crap Kyle Baker has to go through after some family secrets come to light and he's trying to pretend they aren't effecting him. Lots of frustration and unlikable characters makes this a compelling read. And while there was a lot of craziness and pain, I always appreciate a story centered on family. I thought it did a great job exploring family complexities and how relationships evolve (and sometimes devolve) over time. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.Alright, I'm just going to come out with it right away: this book was a snooze fest. I'm not sure if it's because my reading tastes lately have been more high-octane (fantasy, thriller, etc) or if it was that this was a YA book that was really trying to read like literature (and yes, that word should have been read with an annoying British-esque type of accent) but this b Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.Alright, I'm just going to come out with it right away: this book was a snooze fest. I'm not sure if it's because my reading tastes lately have been more high-octane (fantasy, thriller, etc) or if it was that this was a YA book that was really trying to read like literature (and yes, that word should have been read with an annoying British-esque type of accent) but this book was BORING. While it should have been an interesting look at a year in the life of a family dealing with some heavy issues (the mom's adultery, the teenage son's first serious relationship and his downward spiral when it ends, the selling of the family farm) it really just read like a sad story of a teenage boy who couldn't come to terms with anything in his life and really just wanted to whine about everybody and everything in his life. And, add to that the weirdness of Kyle's relationship with his cousin Emily (and the fact that reading his thoughts and feelings about her felt like being stuck in the old Friends episode where Ross is convinced that his cousin is into him), and this book just wasn't for me. I'm not sure what type of reader I would recommend it to, and the plus sides of it showing a male teenager dealing with feelings and anxiety were NOT outweighed by the slowness of the story and the oddity of his infatuation with his cousin. Final verdict? This is a second or third purchase for LARGE collections and not a must-buy in any circumstance.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    One thing that’s been consistent in Kyle Baker’s life is his family. It’s big, full of personalities, and every summer, they all gather at the Nowhere Farm to celebrate one another. This year, he’s bringing his serious girlfriend Nadia and cannot wait for her to meet them and get to know where he comes from. Things go well -- Nadia loves his family and they seem to love her. But it’s not too long before everything Kyle thought he knew about himself and his family comes crashing down. His father One thing that’s been consistent in Kyle Baker’s life is his family. It’s big, full of personalities, and every summer, they all gather at the Nowhere Farm to celebrate one another. This year, he’s bringing his serious girlfriend Nadia and cannot wait for her to meet them and get to know where he comes from. Things go well -- Nadia loves his family and they seem to love her. But it’s not too long before everything Kyle thought he knew about himself and his family comes crashing down. His father breaks the news that his mother is having an affair. Kyle promises not to share that news with his sisters, but the silence begins to kill him. . . and it kills the relationship he has with Nadia, as he becomes distant and cold toward everyone. He’s struggling with how to process the news and it comes to a head the more he begins to think about the woman and child who are connected to the man with whom his mother is having her relationship. They don’t know, and when Kyle meets them both by chance, he’s further devastated carrying the truth around with him. So he does what feels right: he reaches out to his cousin, who helps him navigate the ups and downs of discovering family secrets and navigating what it means to see someone in a light different than one in which you’ve always held them. Sara Zarr’s latest book feels a lot like a Sarah Dessen book, and that’s a compliment. There’s tremendous real-world world building, with a complex family relationship that Kyle has to navigate. His relationship with Nadia at the beginning doesn’t last, though what we see of it is fascinating. They’re extremely mature on the outside, joking even about potentially getting married. But it becomes clear how immature Kyle is as he wrestles with the bomb his father delivered. He doesn’t seek support but distance, becoming cold and unapproachable toward someone he had such strong feelings for -- as well as worries about what she might now think about the family he’d shown her to be something out of dream. This well-paced book is perfect for readers who love family stories, who love flawed but likable main characters -- and Kyle is both of those things, even when he becomes extremely frustrating to watch -- and those who want stories about what happens when the next generation of a family is poised to take over traditions that span their entire lives and the lives of their own parents
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    Kyle's family is struggling. He knows his mother "has been seeing someone." His dad knows, too. That is how Kyle found out. Once the cat is out of the bag, Kyle is bogged down with the burden. Should he tell his sisters? Does he have an obligation to the other family -- to make sure the guy's wife knows what is happening? How can he even focus on having a good relationship with his own girlfriend with all this baggage? Why should he even try to keep playing baseball? Sara Zarr does a good job of Kyle's family is struggling. He knows his mother "has been seeing someone." His dad knows, too. That is how Kyle found out. Once the cat is out of the bag, Kyle is bogged down with the burden. Should he tell his sisters? Does he have an obligation to the other family -- to make sure the guy's wife knows what is happening? How can he even focus on having a good relationship with his own girlfriend with all this baggage? Why should he even try to keep playing baseball? Sara Zarr does a good job of showing us the inner workings of a family in crisis from the perspective of a teenage guy. His cousin Emily becomes a lifeline to him and actually helps him to work through his conflicted feelings. He has some moments of looking at that relationship out of perspective and works through that as well. I really enjoyed the family interactions, the old movie references, and their family dance party--Boz Scaggs "Lido Shuffle," anyone? Thank you to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Sara Zarr is an expert at portraying real people struggling with real problems. I know that sounds like I'm selling her talent short, but just the opposite. It's easy to blow things up. It's easy to disintegrate someone with a ray gun, or say that a wizard cursed your characters. But it's hard to make believable characters, grounded in reality, having real world problems, and yet have them be sympathetic, and interesting, and lovable even if they aren't likable. Sara does that so, so well. Sibli Sara Zarr is an expert at portraying real people struggling with real problems. I know that sounds like I'm selling her talent short, but just the opposite. It's easy to blow things up. It's easy to disintegrate someone with a ray gun, or say that a wizard cursed your characters. But it's hard to make believable characters, grounded in reality, having real world problems, and yet have them be sympathetic, and interesting, and lovable even if they aren't likable. Sara does that so, so well. Siblings fight, relationships flounder, little annoyances snowball into bigger problems, and it's just as gripping as any space opera. Here's a story about a boy who thinks his family is amazing, and his new relationship is amazing, and everything is just well, perfect at this moment in time . . . and then when it isn't perfect, when the cracks appear, what can he do? What should he do? Especially when the adults around him prove to be flawed and unreliable, as real adults are.
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  • Akilah
    January 1, 1970
    This book is what I love about YA fiction: just regular teens doing regular teen things, which in this case means Kyle dealing with the fact that his parents are people who make terrible decisions which turns him into a people who makes terrible decisions. It's great! (That is not sarcasm, btw.)Great characters, beautiful writing as always, and a nice, complex cast of family characters. I would read a whole book about Megan or Emily. And what was going on with Martie? Also, I was actually intrig This book is what I love about YA fiction: just regular teens doing regular teen things, which in this case means Kyle dealing with the fact that his parents are people who make terrible decisions which turns him into a people who makes terrible decisions. It's great! (That is not sarcasm, btw.)Great characters, beautiful writing as always, and a nice, complex cast of family characters. I would read a whole book about Megan or Emily. And what was going on with Martie? Also, I was actually intrigued by the grown-ups' drama. I don't know if I'd care to read a book from their perspectives (the whole time I would be like, "yes, yes, but what about the TEENS?"), but I think I might and that is honestly high praise.4.5 stars
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    “Adults fail.” “Other people are real.” Sara Zarr is an author I’ve enjoyed for quite a while. She’s good at dropping truth bombs in her YA realistic fiction and presenting interesting characters going through conflict. This one kept me interested and also made me wish I had cool cousin/friends. Audiobook was good!
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  • Ambia
    January 1, 1970
    I am quite dissapointed in this book. I thought it sounded interesting as a family deals with the repercussions of a cheating scandal but the characters were all terrible and it made this book so frustrating to read. Kyle is so needy and self-absorbed it was infuriating seeing him beg for people's attentions. He did see this flaw in himself and try to improve, but the majority of the book is him feeling sorry for himself. Also, was it necessary to have so many descriptions of his sexual fantasie I am quite dissapointed in this book. I thought it sounded interesting as a family deals with the repercussions of a cheating scandal but the characters were all terrible and it made this book so frustrating to read. Kyle is so needy and self-absorbed it was infuriating seeing him beg for people's attentions. He did see this flaw in himself and try to improve, but the majority of the book is him feeling sorry for himself. Also, was it necessary to have so many descriptions of his sexual fantasies? What purpose did that even serve?At first I felt for the mother because she was unwanted in this family and her husband did nothing to ease her time with his family. I'm also willing to give people the benefit of the doubt of their marriage is no longer working, yes lying and cheating is bad but I can also see that navigating change in a marriage with kids is hard as well. And then we find out that she's kind of selfish and stupid as well. Her affair is so careless and she doesn't do much to protect people from the fall out. The husband barely exists. His sister Megan reminded me of some hogh and mighty people I know who act like they are saving the world but they don't realise they are arseholes. The whole family neglects their Mexican in-laws and are way too overbearing.I will admit it dealt quite well with the changing nature of family and the effects of time on the young and old alike. We had these two different perspectives of people going through the same change but one set had been through more experinces like it. It was also a good window into the complications of family who are not perfect by any means and having to deal with shattered perceptions of your own life.Am I the only one who thought this guy liked his cousin a bit too much. Definitely not. Other characters seem to pick up on it. At first I thought it was just my inability to comprehend close cousin relationships because my cousins barely register as acquaintances, but as I read on I knew it was weird. This was a surprise. I did not expect weird incestuous vibes from this story.All in all a very werid book because of this strange vibe and the main character was unbearable.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I had to dnf this because I knew it was going to be a 1 star. Unfortunately I do not care for the main character at all, and his thing for his cousin is weird. I'm glad there are other reviews confirming that these things remain true throughout the rest of the story so I won't feel like I'm missing out.
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a huge fan of this author but ... this book was a little low energy for me. I don't mind quiet, literary books in general but I felt like this one jus drifted.I liked that the narrator is a guy and and part of a big, messy family. To me it seemed like this was about his relationships with all the women in his life: his female cousin, his girlfriend, his mom. I didn't think his relationship with his cousin was weird or creepy, but it did seem like she filled the place of a girlfriend or best I'm a huge fan of this author but ... this book was a little low energy for me. I don't mind quiet, literary books in general but I felt like this one jus drifted.I liked that the narrator is a guy and and part of a big, messy family. To me it seemed like this was about his relationships with all the women in his life: his female cousin, his girlfriend, his mom. I didn't think his relationship with his cousin was weird or creepy, but it did seem like she filled the place of a girlfriend or best friend on an emotional level. Kyle learns his mom is having an affair, which would seem to have been something that would add some sense of tension, but it really didn't. Or that some dots would be connected between Kyle's interesting relationship with his cousin, Kyle's mother's affair, the big family, but they weren't.Could just be my weird reading mood these days, but I needed something more. Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
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  • Thamy
    January 1, 1970
    2.5. Rounding up because it is cute and it gets better, even if it was underwhelming overall.Kyle comes from a very big family who always gets together in his grandparents' land called Nowhere. But things are changing in his life, he has a girlfriend, his oldest sister left home and isn't talking to them, and he learns a secret too big about his parents that throws him off. Maybe his family is very different from what he always thought it was.I think this story is very pretty. I loved the family 2.5. Rounding up because it is cute and it gets better, even if it was underwhelming overall.Kyle comes from a very big family who always gets together in his grandparents' land called Nowhere. But things are changing in his life, he has a girlfriend, his oldest sister left home and isn't talking to them, and he learns a secret too big about his parents that throws him off. Maybe his family is very different from what he always thought it was.I think this story is very pretty. I loved the family element and how Kyle does his best to deal with what life is throwing at him. I also like the self-criticism the writer makes sure to right. Kyle is spoiled, he has no idea, but the author does, and I found it really nice how subtle it all is until it's all blows on his face.I also like Emily and Nadia very much. Actually, I wish we had had more of them, they were such great characters! Most of the female ones were, so it was a pretty this book centered on the male ones.We also get plot twists, and a lot of them for a coming-of-age story. That was probably the best part of this book. Things do happen. At the same time, the story wasn't that great. I had a hard time relating to Kyle even though I did feel sorry for his situation and knew he was doing his best to cope with it all. It was really too much for him. Still, he never really grew on me.This book is also a bit wordy, probably to give you the heartwarming atmosphere it intends. It's not that slow to read though. It's just a lot of going around until the plot twists come—and because of that effect, they always surprised me a lot, even when they weren't that big of a bomb.In all, I'll confess I was bored through a lot of the story, it never picked much steam. Still, there were many positives, as I mentioned above, good female characters, good plot twists, they just weren't well used to balance the weak points. A book I'll recommend to people looking for YA contemporary centered on a male character, which is rare, and to those who enjoy coming-of-age stories about families that won't go crazy (although Kyle's relationship with his cousin Emily could be seen as borderline, there's no incest in the book, not even in a platonic matter, don't worry).I also think there are themes worthy of discussion, like how Kyle's parents deal with their problems, including money problems. Who is right, his sister or his parents? What would you do if you were either of them? And the situation with Nowhere, was that the best conclusion? The story does go deep, so I'm sure there will be people loving it. I'm just not one of them.Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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  • Becca
    January 1, 1970
    A couple of months ago, I was wracking my brain for books dealing with divorce or living with parents who were divorced. I just couldn’t think of ones where that was the primary plot point.This book doesn’t deal with divorce but it does deal with a kid watching his parents’ marriage crumble as he finds out about his mom’s affair. So much takes place in his head as he sorts through his own feelings about the loss of all that’s “normal” in his life and then exacerbated by changes to his extended f A couple of months ago, I was wracking my brain for books dealing with divorce or living with parents who were divorced. I just couldn’t think of ones where that was the primary plot point.This book doesn’t deal with divorce but it does deal with a kid watching his parents’ marriage crumble as he finds out about his mom’s affair. So much takes place in his head as he sorts through his own feelings about the loss of all that’s “normal” in his life and then exacerbated by changes to his extended family as well.
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  • maya
    January 1, 1970
    i think this was a young adult family drama and that concept was executed perfectly. the characters were very, very flawed and very human and i loved kyle, especially because of his vulnerability and the way he cared about people. emily was an interesting character as well (guys!! a badass aro-ace girl with a septum piercing ok!! ) and i loved their relationship. i related to kyle the most and all his insecurities and it was nice reading about someone who's had the same thoughts and concerns and i think this was a young adult family drama and that concept was executed perfectly. the characters were very, very flawed and very human and i loved kyle, especially because of his vulnerability and the way he cared about people. emily was an interesting character as well (guys!! a badass aro-ace girl with a septum piercing ok!! ) and i loved their relationship. i related to kyle the most and all his insecurities and it was nice reading about someone who's had the same thoughts and concerns and ugh i really love that entire athlete being a coach and mentor to younger kids thing
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  • Abby Knudsen
    January 1, 1970
    I was honestly pretty underwhelmed by this book. I did love the cousin/extended family dynamic because it’s pretty rare to see that. Kyle’s relationship with Emily felt really genuine in the beginning but started moving toward a weird and slightly creepy gray area in the second half. There was cool ace/aro representation for Emily, but it really felt like the only reason that was added was to stop people from thinking that Kyle’s weird feelings could be reciprocated. But this doesn’t change the I was honestly pretty underwhelmed by this book. I did love the cousin/extended family dynamic because it’s pretty rare to see that. Kyle’s relationship with Emily felt really genuine in the beginning but started moving toward a weird and slightly creepy gray area in the second half. There was cool ace/aro representation for Emily, but it really felt like the only reason that was added was to stop people from thinking that Kyle’s weird feelings could be reciprocated. But this doesn’t change the fact that I loved their relationship and the fact that they were able to have each other to rely on throughout the story. All around the story was really heartfelt but could have been a little more dramatic, especially in the end. Also, I’ve yet to find any book with truly realistic texting (and this one is far from perfect), but a few of the texts between Kyle and Emily felt like they could be real. So bonus points for that.
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  • Christina F
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 I guess? I remember loving Sweethearts by Sara Zarr so I decided to give this a try, and I was pretty bored throughout. I have a big family and did like seeing that dynamic in this book, but Kyle's weird obsession with his cousin freaked me out. It was way too much for me! I really think the author should have made her a family friend or toned down the soulmate stuff!
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  • Meg Eden
    January 1, 1970
    Don't waste your time.
  • Susannah Goldstein
    January 1, 1970
    For review
  • Jasmine
    January 1, 1970
    Pretty boring despite some interesting family drama. I was put off by how uncomfortably attached Kyle is to his cousin Emily—I was a little concerned with where that relationship was headed. Seemed like a Sarah Dessen book but from a male POV, minus the satisfactory ending.
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  • Raisa Alexis
    January 1, 1970
    Kyle thought he had it figured out, playing on the high school baseball team and in love with his girlfriend Nadia. But then his dad reveals that his mom’s been having an affair with a married man, and everything falls apart after that. He ghosts the team and his girlfriend, but finds comfort in his cousin, Emily. The heartfelt message about trying to figure yourself out in the midst of your parents’ messy problems was buried underneath the weirdly incestuous vibes Kyle had towards his cousin. I Kyle thought he had it figured out, playing on the high school baseball team and in love with his girlfriend Nadia. But then his dad reveals that his mom’s been having an affair with a married man, and everything falls apart after that. He ghosts the team and his girlfriend, but finds comfort in his cousin, Emily. The heartfelt message about trying to figure yourself out in the midst of your parents’ messy problems was buried underneath the weirdly incestuous vibes Kyle had towards his cousin. It’s stated very early on that Emily is asexual/aromantic. But it’s Kyle who has all the weird thoughts towards her that verge on incestuous and kept me from enjoying the novel. I don’t know whether he was idolizing his cousin or fetishizing her.He missed that. Missed Nadia specifically, but also missed having that person, that special person who wanted to be the one to hear all your random thoughts, and you wanted to be the one to hear theirs. He watched Emily’s face, her newly visible and open face, and realized she was becoming that person. – p. 177 The Mateo and Nadia situation was one thing he hadn’t told Emily.Every time he thought about it, he’d stop himself, worried he was one of those basic people preoccupied with romantic drama. And worried he’d get into talking about sex. Which he didn’t want to do with her, not so much because he was shy about it or she didn’t have a lot to say on the topic, but, like, it was almost like his and Emily’s connection was too pure for that. – p. 254 Her previously shoulder-length hair was gone, replaced by a short, messy style. It was shocking, almost disappoint, to have her not look the way he was used to. But best-version-Kyle would not be disappointed in something as superficial as her hair. – p. 174 “Cousins used to get married all the time. Back in ye olden days.” – p. 115 Other characters bring up their extremely close bond. And if your characters notice it, and reviewers point it out too… don’t you think it’s incestuous?There were also loose ends that weren’t tied up, specifically with Nadia. I mean, real life sometimes leaves for loose ends. But if you begin the story with Nadia, and kind of taper her off somewhere in the middle, isn’t that leaving your readers wondering where she went? Wouldn’t she want to know what exactly was going on with Kyle? I did like, however, in the midst of all this, that Zarr doesn’t shy away from making super flawed characters. Her adults aren’t role models. They’re messed up and think they’re doing the right thing until they’re called out on it. Kyle’s mom ends up being super villainous in my eyes, though, because she kept on cheating even with her kids knowing about it. This would have been a decentish contemporary read without the weird incest vibes.
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  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    Oh. Have you ever picked up a book, highly recommended by everybody, and you just didn't like it? Actually, that's not really accurate, I liked a lot about Sara Zarr's Goodbye from Nowhere but there was a lot I didn't like about it and I was seriously considering not finishing it at one point.Goodbye from Nowhere starts on Thanksgiving with Kyle at his family farm Nowhere with his huge family. He's invited a girl, Nadia and he really likes her.Then he finds out his mother is having an affair and Oh. Have you ever picked up a book, highly recommended by everybody, and you just didn't like it? Actually, that's not really accurate, I liked a lot about Sara Zarr's Goodbye from Nowhere but there was a lot I didn't like about it and I was seriously considering not finishing it at one point.Goodbye from Nowhere starts on Thanksgiving with Kyle at his family farm Nowhere with his huge family. He's invited a girl, Nadia and he really likes her.Then he finds out his mother is having an affair and somehow manages to make it all about him while ghosting Nadia completely, as if it is her problem. When Nadia (understandably) moves on, he manages to make that all about him too, while failing to understand that he effectively moved on too while he was crushing over his first cousin Emily the whole time.Goodbye from Nowhere is one of those books that reminds me how it is so much easier to forgive horrible characters in television and film. Kyle would have been hot in the screen version, obviously, and you'd find yourself relating to him - to his gestures and mannerisms - despite yourself. You'd maybe even like him a bit and probably start to hate Nadia who never, ever did anything wrong. Reading this as a novel, however, meant that I didn't like Kyle at all and definitely shared Nadia's bewilderment.If you've ever had the disconcerting feeling of joining a huge family for a big event and spent the whole time trying to tell them apart, remember their names and figure out how they all fit together, you'll relate a lot to Goodbye from Nowhere.There are so many characters and while I felt for the nostalgia of it all, I just couldn't get over Kyle's narcissism and his creepy crushing on Emily. For teenage girls, life is littered with enough people-who-we-thought-were-friends lusting after us, it's just too much to add first-cousins-who-we-trusted-with-our-lives to that mix.I give Goodbye from Nowhere a disappointing three out of five stars. It's not so bad it deserves a lower rating and I'm conscious that hating a story or its character isn't a good reason to rate a book down but I didn't enjoy it.Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
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  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    January 1, 1970
    Goodbye From Nowhere by Sara Zarr, 384 pages. Balzer + Bray (Harper), April 2020. $19Language: R (100+ swears, 6 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (affair); Violence: GBUYING ADVISORY: HS - OPTIONALAUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGHIt’s Thanksgiving and Kyle has just had a great time introducing his girlfriend to his extended family at the family homestead, Nowhere Farm. When spring break rolls around, Kyle’s dad tells him that his mom is having an affair, which sends Kyle’s world into a tailspin. He tries to act Goodbye From Nowhere by Sara Zarr, 384 pages. Balzer + Bray (Harper), April 2020. $19Language: R (100+ swears, 6 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (affair); Violence: GBUYING ADVISORY: HS - OPTIONALAUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGHIt’s Thanksgiving and Kyle has just had a great time introducing his girlfriend to his extended family at the family homestead, Nowhere Farm. When spring break rolls around, Kyle’s dad tells him that his mom is having an affair, which sends Kyle’s world into a tailspin. He tries to act normal, but just can’t keep up the front. As his life cracks apart, he starts seeing the bigger cracks within his extended family.Zarr adds compelling details and complications to Kyle’s story as she twists it far away from where you thought you were going. Kyle’s mother just flabbergasts me with her behavior and attitude. That the book focuses on a boy’s perspective is even better.Cindy, Library Teacher, MLShttps://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2020...
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This newest novel from Sara Zarr gave me lots of feels, the kinds that Kyle, the main character, would maybe rather not feel. Kyle is navigating first love when his father reveals a big secret that affects how he views his world. It changes his relationship with his girlfriend, his baseball team, and negatively impacts his life. Kyle can't see either of his parents the same as he once did. But can he accept them, faults and all?This book is about friendship, family, and how we cope when our fami This newest novel from Sara Zarr gave me lots of feels, the kinds that Kyle, the main character, would maybe rather not feel. Kyle is navigating first love when his father reveals a big secret that affects how he views his world. It changes his relationship with his girlfriend, his baseball team, and negatively impacts his life. Kyle can't see either of his parents the same as he once did. But can he accept them, faults and all?This book is about friendship, family, and how we cope when our family changes. I felt there was something for teens and adults to ponder in looking at the relationships. How much should parents confide in their kids? At what point do we see our parents as "people" outside of their parental roles?A favorite quote: "When a family falls apart, where does the old family go?"Recommend to readers who like a family drama. Another "hit" from Sara Zarr.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t know quite what to say about this one. I was excited for a new Sara Zarr book and mostly liked this. I realized it’s few and far between that I read an entire book solely from a male perspective, so that was a nice perk. The big family dynamic with so many moving pieces was very well thought out. The part I feel conflicted about is Kyle’s relationship with his cousin Emily. It was a joy to read a male main character that was so willing to open up and share his feelings, but it may have c I don’t know quite what to say about this one. I was excited for a new Sara Zarr book and mostly liked this. I realized it’s few and far between that I read an entire book solely from a male perspective, so that was a nice perk. The big family dynamic with so many moving pieces was very well thought out. The part I feel conflicted about is Kyle’s relationship with his cousin Emily. It was a joy to read a male main character that was so willing to open up and share his feelings, but it may have crossed a line a time or two. The ending part was a nice start, but I felt readers deserved more of a resolution after the many ups and downs we went through with these characters. Overall, a solid recommendation that will do well.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Kyle and his cousins are close, in fact, he’s closer to his cousins than to his sisters. He thinks he’s got the perfect family. He invites his high school girlfriend to spend Thanksgiving with his family. (For a long time, I was reading this romance as between college students, not high school, because this doesn’t make sense to me. Whatever.) In March, he finds out his parents are having a rough time: his mom is having an affair. He blows his life up over this. He quits playing baseball. Stops Kyle and his cousins are close, in fact, he’s closer to his cousins than to his sisters. He thinks he’s got the perfect family. He invites his high school girlfriend to spend Thanksgiving with his family. (For a long time, I was reading this romance as between college students, not high school, because this doesn’t make sense to me. Whatever.) In March, he finds out his parents are having a rough time: his mom is having an affair. He blows his life up over this. He quits playing baseball. Stops going to school. He ghosts his girlfriend. Boy, is he self-involved! I read this quickly, but I didn’t enjoy it. Borrowed from the library on Overdive. 2020 A- Z challenge.
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  • Chris G.
    January 1, 1970
    Varsity baseball, his amazing girlfriend Nadia, it’s all going Kyle’s way, until it isn’t. Home is different since his two older sisters left for college, but when his Dad tells Kyle that his mom is having an affair, Kyle realizes just how much has changed while he was only paying attention to his own life. As everything Kyle took as a given slips away, his cousin Emily provides the support he needs to reconstruct his ideas of what a family is. Author Sara Zarr is a master at creating characters Varsity baseball, his amazing girlfriend Nadia, it’s all going Kyle’s way, until it isn’t. Home is different since his two older sisters left for college, but when his Dad tells Kyle that his mom is having an affair, Kyle realizes just how much has changed while he was only paying attention to his own life. As everything Kyle took as a given slips away, his cousin Emily provides the support he needs to reconstruct his ideas of what a family is. Author Sara Zarr is a master at creating characters and showing them to her readers in ways that make them unforgettable. EARC provided by Edelweiss.
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  • Shannonmde
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a broken marriage story told by the teen boy who is left in the house after his older sisters move out. He knows his mom has a boyfriend but doesn’t know the details of his parents’ marriage. He has cut off local friends while becoming much closer to a cousin maybe because it’s easier to type than talk face to face or maybe because a want for family when no other family seems to be connecting. In the background of the story the grandparents are selling their farm, and family gatherings and It’s a broken marriage story told by the teen boy who is left in the house after his older sisters move out. He knows his mom has a boyfriend but doesn’t know the details of his parents’ marriage. He has cut off local friends while becoming much closer to a cousin maybe because it’s easier to type than talk face to face or maybe because a want for family when no other family seems to be connecting. In the background of the story the grandparents are selling their farm, and family gatherings and an alcoholic aunt.
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  • Jenn Van
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good book. The plot grabbed me and kept me reading. I felt awful for Kyle and the secret he had to keep for his parents. It makes you so sad for kids who have this happen. I’m the author handled the topic of affairs and family well too. Along with the depression and aftermath for all affected. I loved the image of this extended family just being there for each other no matter what and coming back to the place that they all grew up on for a final time. It was a good read.
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