Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: September 26, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
Blog Tour via Xpresso Book Tours
“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”
-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea
CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.
Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.
They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.
But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.
Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.
Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss, and survival.
Author Bio: Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world, such as Editions AdA (Canada), EditionsMilan (France), and SharpPoint Press (China).
Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is the author of a kid’s picture book called The Loneliest Whale. Her award-winning stories can also be found in a published anthology of flash fiction.
Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two young sons. She is working on a YA suspense thriller series and a middle-grade fantasy series.
Normally when I review a book, I like to do a little plot summary before I get started. Because this review is part of a blog tour, you can see all of the promotional info about the plot above.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I want to start off by saying that I initially requested to join this blog tour because this book sounded really unique and interesting. YA tends to fall into the same tropes over and over and over again – and there’s nothing wrong with that and I love a lot of those tropes – but sometimes it’s nice to read something different. I saw on Goodreads that Carry Me Home had some really mixed reviews and went in really hoping to love it.
And I liked it. Honestly, to say that I loved it is a bit of a stretch. It’s hard for me to love a book like this. Objectively, I can tell you that it’s a really good story. Subjectively, it was a lot for me to handle. It’s about as far from my comfort zone as you can get while still remaining in that YA zone. And that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book. In fact, it’s really well-written. But I tend to stay more on the fluff-side of YA and there is absolutely nothing fluffy about Carry Me Home.
Let’s get one thing straight: this is not the kind of book that you just lazily read on a quiet afternoon. This is not a beach read or something that you read to unwind before going to bed. This is a gritty, violent, cautionary tale about the horrible things that can happen to your family members without you even realizing. The fights, the shootings, the rape and the murder… it stayed with me. I had trouble falling asleep. I found myself just sitting at my desk and thinking about these fictional characters while I should have been working. Instead of doing my actual job, I was sitting there thinking, Is this the world that we live in? Do I need to worry about my hypothetical future children getting involved in gangs like this?
I would actually say that my response to this book is a good thing. Jessica Therrien immersed me in this world of gangs and violence and drugs and it was all I could think about for days. I had initially rated this book lower because I couldn’t really claim to enjoy reading it, but thinking back, it was really good. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s certainly worth your time.
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for the complimentary ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Final rating: ★★★★☆