Release Date: August 1st 2014.
Publisher: Random House Australia.
Source: From publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Random House Website:
This road trip will have earth-shattering consequences . . .
Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.
It’s been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother. But with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory.
For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of his favourite things: mythical sea monsters, Jackie Chan movies and the study of earthquakes.
For Justine, it’s a chance to reconcile the decision to ‘free’ her twin, to see who she is without her boyfriend, Marc – and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.
But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble . . .
‘A funny and beautiful story about love, life and other disasters, told with the help of Robinson Crusoe and Jackie Chan. I think what we’re “seeing” here is a writer at the top of his game. Just wonderful.’ MICHAEL GERARD BAUER, author of The Running Man
5 out of 5 stars.
Darren Groth has blown me away. I want to stand up and applaud him. Perry is just what YA fiction needed. Hats off, Groth, Hats off. Groth could have easily written this book just from Justine’s point of view, but instead he showed us inside Perry’s head. Perry has “a brain condition that can cause him to feel anxious or upset in different places and circumstances. He has trouble with people – mixing with them and communicating with them – and it sometimes results in inappropriate behaviours.” But that doesn’t mean his opinion doesn’t matter and this is his story too so I am happy he had a voice. He had a tendency to let his imagination run wild, which I really loved about him, and he loved his sister greatly and wanted to do what was best for her.
Justine has always been there for Perry. They have a special connection and she has always been able to understand him and help calm him when he becomes overwhelmed. She is always there to save the day and Perry wants to be the one to save the day for once – which is why he is willing to go into an assisted home, so Justine can have the life she deserves.
I just absolutely loved the relationship between these two. They quickly drew me in and held me captivated as they navigated their travels. Both of them were well rounded and it felt like I was reading a story about real people.
Although dead, their dad had quite a strong voice through journal entries. He kept a journal for Justine as she grew and through these entries we got to learn more about the back ground story, including the reason their mother abandoned them.
This is very much a character driven book and the characters were outstanding. Both realistic and relatable. When the story ended, I wasn’t ready to let these two go.
Serious and funny, heartwarming and touching, Are You Seeing Me? is the type of book that will stay with you for a long time. It is a standout contemporary that everyone should read. I highly, highly recommend it.
You can read a free sample HERE.
You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.