Nowhere But Home
Author: Liza Palmer
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family’s reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It’s been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can’t be that bad…
Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?
At least she has a new job-sure it’s cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don’t complain!
But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.
I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now, since last year when the blogsphere started RAVING about it and Liza Palmer in general. So when I saw it on Book Outlet during their Black Friday sale, I bought it. And then, surprise to all, I read it in a timely fashion. What?? Who’s awesome? This girl!
I really enjoyed this book, but I didn’t quite LOVE it like everyone else seemed to. But honestly, I think that was just me. Here’s what I struggled with:
1. The small town bullshit. I went to high school in a small town. I was the outsider coming in. And if you weren’t born and raised there, you were shit. Seriously. I was a victim of the rumor mill and I was Queenie wanting to escape from all that garbage. So when she went back (obviously for good reasons, like her sister and nephew) and all that garbage still continued even though she is now 30 years old, it just made my blood boil. It brought back memories that I don’t really care to revisit. Of course, that was just me personally.
2. The romance. Nope. Didn’t buy it, didn’t like it. I never believed in Queenie and Everett. Because Everett was a douche. He made Queenie keep their relationship a secret because he was terrified of what other people would think. That’s just something I can’t handle. And while maybe he tries to redeem himself here, I just never really felt anything for this relationship.
3. The whole death sentence thing. This part was really hard for me to read. I am against the death penalty so reading about these people (who granted, are horrible and deserve what they get coming to them) being put to death was just hard for me. Because I don’t think that anyone has the right to sentence anyone to death.
But it wasn’t all bad for me, I promise. And those things weren’t even deal breakers. They didn’t make this a bad book; they just made it a not-me book. There were a lot of other really good things that I enjoyed:
1. Queenie. I loved how Queenie was 30 years old and still didn’t have her shit together. It honestly made me feel better about myself, knowing that I have time and you’re never too old to realize your dreams and make them happen. I really enjoyed watching Queenie figure out what it was she wanted out of her life. She grew so much in this book, learned so much and became a better person from all of her experiences.
2. Cal. Oh my gosh, I love this boy. Cal was the sweetest, most caring teenage boy I’ve ever read about. I loved his relationship with his mom and his aunt. With his football coach. With his friend, West. Cal was truly the boy next door and he is going to make some young girl really happy one day.
3. Family. I loved the importance that was placed on family. But it wasn’t family in the traditional sense. It was the people that you made you feel at home. I think that Queenie realized in this book that home isn’t a place. It’s the people you surround yourself with. She never felt happy in any city she ran off to because she was missing an integral part of herself and that was her family.
I really liked how this one ended. It was hopeful and painted a picture of a better future. Even though I didn’t quite love this one, I definitely enjoyed it and can see myself reading more of Liza Palmer’s books in the future.
Have you read this one? What did you think of the romance? Of the family relationships?