Prosecutor David Owen has fond memories of growing up in small-town Washington State. But he outgrew that place—and his family—long ago and hasn't felt the need to return. Until the day a tragedy shakes the town and calls him back to a community desperate for hope and healing. In the emotional fallout, he never expects to find Acadia Henderson again. For one teenage summer they hovered on the edge of a sweet attraction before she moved away. Now as adults, that same attraction is there only, hotter and way more intense. This seems like the wrong time to find a connection. But it could be the perfect time to move on with each other.
WOW...When I decided to read A Hometown Boy, I was expecting the story to be focused on a sweet romance that occurred from some sort of tragic event. I mean look how sweet the cover is!! What I got...TOTALLY. BLEW. ME. AWAY. I was so not prepared for such a powerfully emotional story. It is so well written and immediately captured and held my attention till the end. I could go on and on, but I will try to keep it short and I will try not to give away any spoilers. :)
The book starts out the day of the tragedy and is told through several character's POVs. The beginning was both sad and disturbing to read because this type of thing happens far to often in society today. It showed how so many lives are affected and made me think about how not only the victims and their families suffer but also how the family of the killer suffers and in this case, how Robbie suffered as well.
Up till this story, I never really gave much thought as to how the family of the killer suffers just as much, if not more in certain cases. They not only have to deal with their own personal grief but at the same time are grieving over the hurt or loss of any victims and dealing with the guilt and responsibility they feel~as well as other peoples harsh treatment towards them. It was truly a heart~breaking read and I felt for each of the characters. I didn't think it was possible for me to feel badly for Robbie, but I did. The scenes when David sees Robbie's apartment for the first time and then David's words at his funeral and Robbie's self-portrait~had me in tears.
I definitely sympathized with David and Acadia right form the start. I just loved them together. The scenes where they remembered their childhood growing up were so sweet. And I loved how their romance grew out of friendship. Acadia was such a great character.
I loved the way she was able to see past the tragedy and support and defend David while she herself was also grieving. Because he so needed her and he tried his best to comfort her in return. I thought Janice wrote David's character so well. He was trying to take care of his mother while trying to hold everything together. Loved him!! So, of course, I wanted David and Acadia to get their HEA. lol :)
A Hometown Boy showed that even out of the worst tragedy, some lives can be changed for the better. Even though the ending was great~I would have loved an epilogue to show the characters a few years later. I definitely shed more than a few tears but there was also romance, friendship, healing, forgiveness, some laughter and a HEA that left me with a good feeling at the end.
I will definitely be looking for more from Janice Kay Johnson and I cannot highly recommend this book enough!!
***This may sound corny, but I have no other way to describe my feelings about this book but to say that I truly feel that I am a better person after reading A Hometown Boy. This book changed the way I define exactly who the victims are in tragedies because they have so very many different faces and there are so many different forms of suffering.***