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Forward Me Back To You

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Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she's having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past. Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in Kolkata, India and is reluctant to take on his future. Since he knows nothing about his past, how is he supposed to figure out what comes next? Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of place Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she's having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past. Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in Kolkata, India and is reluctant to take on his future. Since he knows nothing about his past, how is he supposed to figure out what comes next? Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places — a summer service trip to India to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds blossom between the travel-mates, Robin and Kat discover the healing superpowers of friendship. At turns heart-wrenching, beautiful, and buoyant, Mitali Perkins' new novel explores the ripple effects of violence — across borders and generations — and how small acts of heroism can break the cycle.


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Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she's having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past. Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in Kolkata, India and is reluctant to take on his future. Since he knows nothing about his past, how is he supposed to figure out what comes next? Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of place Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she's having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past. Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in Kolkata, India and is reluctant to take on his future. Since he knows nothing about his past, how is he supposed to figure out what comes next? Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places — a summer service trip to India to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds blossom between the travel-mates, Robin and Kat discover the healing superpowers of friendship. At turns heart-wrenching, beautiful, and buoyant, Mitali Perkins' new novel explores the ripple effects of violence — across borders and generations — and how small acts of heroism can break the cycle.

30 review for Forward Me Back To You

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mitali

    Wrote my heart into this book. Hope you like it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate ☀️ Olson

    Superb YA. And here’s a keyword review because time and longer writing aren’t in the cards for me today: . Sexual assault Survivor Kolkata Adoption Church Travel Babies Human trafficking Friendship Family Love . As soon as I started reading this I texted @definitelyRA and said, “I immediately thought of you!” - if you don’t know this, RA is a superhero advocate and fundraiser for groups that fight human trafficking and I knew this book would be perfect for her. . And overall, I adore Mitali Perkins and her work Superb YA. And here’s a keyword review because time and longer writing aren’t in the cards for me today: . Sexual assault Survivor Kolkata Adoption Church Travel Babies Human trafficking Friendship Family Love . As soon as I started reading this I texted @definitelyRA and said, “I immediately thought of you!” - if you don’t know this, RA is a superhero advocate and fundraiser for groups that fight human trafficking and I knew this book would be perfect for her. . And overall, I adore Mitali Perkins and her work, and this is yet another stellar book from her. Loved it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Smucker

    A beautiful, whole-hearted, compelling read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Seema Rao

    Riveting ~ Heartwarming ~ Challenging tl;dr: Strength is much more than about muscles This book is a whole lot of trigger warnings probed and examined, including attempted rape, abandonment, poverty, and racism. Mitali Perkins is a well-known author, presenting balance and well-rounded multi-cultural characters. She uses all those skills here. The quick read, with fast moving short chapters, is hard to read in parts, thanks to the strong, and unflinching writing. In general, I definitely recommend Riveting ~ Heartwarming ~ Challenging tl;dr: Strength is much more than about muscles This book is a whole lot of trigger warnings probed and examined, including attempted rape, abandonment, poverty, and racism. Mitali Perkins is a well-known author, presenting balance and well-rounded multi-cultural characters. She uses all those skills here. The quick read, with fast moving short chapters, is hard to read in parts, thanks to the strong, and unflinching writing. In general, I definitely recommend this read, and I would love to see boys reading this one. I will say, there was that edge of PSA to it, at the parts where Human trafficking is discussed (a bit more didactic than literary). But overall, very strong book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Reed

    Another honest and hopeful story by Mitali Perkins, author of You Bring The Distance Near. Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for an opportunity to review this e-galley. I will definitely be purchasing and recommending this to teen readers. I have to admit, when I read that the topic included attempted rape and human trafficking I was hesitant to start it. I've read so many heavy books lately I didn't know if I could handle another one. But I'm so glad I did because now I can reassure teens and Another honest and hopeful story by Mitali Perkins, author of You Bring The Distance Near. Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for an opportunity to review this e-galley. I will definitely be purchasing and recommending this to teen readers. I have to admit, when I read that the topic included attempted rape and human trafficking I was hesitant to start it. I've read so many heavy books lately I didn't know if I could handle another one. But I'm so glad I did because now I can reassure teens and parents that this is appropriate for teens, even younger teens. Mitali doesn't sugar coat any issues but she is careful not to dig too deep into the horrors that could push this into another age bracket or require trigger warnings. This book provides a great context to discuss cross-cultural service. I would recommend it to anyone going on service trips to read and discuss volunteerism vs toxic charity. What it means to go to another culture and provide what they need vs. what you think they need. Hope resources will be included in final copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    I always rejoice when there is a new Mitali Perkins book. She tells good stories with real diverse, global characters. This one is no exception. From the riveting beginning with the after effect of Katina's sexual assault to an ending where neither Kat nor Robin achieve their desires and yet where both find a way forward that brings them hope, this book doesn't shy away from difficult topics like human trafficking, but still manages to have grace shine through. I especially like how the American I always rejoice when there is a new Mitali Perkins book. She tells good stories with real diverse, global characters. This one is no exception. From the riveting beginning with the after effect of Katina's sexual assault to an ending where neither Kat nor Robin achieve their desires and yet where both find a way forward that brings them hope, this book doesn't shy away from difficult topics like human trafficking, but still manages to have grace shine through. I especially like how the American students had to confront the fact that the Indians they work with know better than they do what is needed and how they are called to different roles. Why 4 stars and not 5? Occasionally, when presenting information about trafficking, the book feels a bit didactic. So it's not perfect, but that's a small quibble. Highly recommended for ages 12 and up. Review based on an ARC through NetGalley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bidisha

    IT'S NOT EVEN OUT YET BUT I'M IN LOVE WITH THE BLURB GIVE IT TO ME ALREADY

  8. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: Trauma, sexual assault, rape Forward Me Back to You is one those books that takes you by storm. Dealing with Kat's attempted rape, Forward Me Back to You is very much about her journey to deal with her own recovery, her fears, and her anger. At the same time it's about Ravi's struggles with his adopted parents, as well as dealing with issues in hist past that he doesn't even ha (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: Trauma, sexual assault, rape Forward Me Back to You is one those books that takes you by storm. Dealing with Kat's attempted rape, Forward Me Back to You is very much about her journey to deal with her own recovery, her fears, and her anger. At the same time it's about Ravi's struggles with his adopted parents, as well as dealing with issues in hist past that he doesn't even have words for. It's a book about figuring out what we want and the impact we want to make in this world. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Estee

    3.25 stars Two teens (with their own issues) from the same church youth group go to India to work with survivors of human trafficking. The book doesn’t go into the stories of the survivors, just the two main characters. The book felt a little bit too religious at parts and some of the middle chapters dragged a bit. I liked Grandma Vee. And I liked reading about her interactions with everyone and especially with Kay. I didn’t think the story needed to go to India. Or maybe not for such a long tim 3.25 stars Two teens (with their own issues) from the same church youth group go to India to work with survivors of human trafficking. The book doesn’t go into the stories of the survivors, just the two main characters. The book felt a little bit too religious at parts and some of the middle chapters dragged a bit. I liked Grandma Vee. And I liked reading about her interactions with everyone and especially with Kay. I didn’t think the story needed to go to India. Or maybe not for such a long time. It was almost like two different books in one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    This is a charming story of 2 young people who have a lot to unpack so that they can get on with the goodness of their lives. Told in alternating perspectives, Kat and Robin/Ravi undertake a derive trip to India to help young girls who have been trafficked. I’d never read a book about this topic, and I think this book will bring greater awareness about trafficking to young people. There are solid characters and successful arcs to both of their stories. I wasn’t fully bought in, maybe because the This is a charming story of 2 young people who have a lot to unpack so that they can get on with the goodness of their lives. Told in alternating perspectives, Kat and Robin/Ravi undertake a derive trip to India to help young girls who have been trafficked. I’d never read a book about this topic, and I think this book will bring greater awareness about trafficking to young people. There are solid characters and successful arcs to both of their stories. I wasn’t fully bought in, maybe because the set up happened rather quickly.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vaishnavi

    3.5 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Ferencz

    This was lovely. The characters were realistic and their connections to one another seemed meaningful. The topics of human trafficking and sexual assault might be might be tough for certain readers, but I thought the author dealt with the subject matter sensitively.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Beautifully and sensitively told. My heart is a little bit broken and a little bit full. Can't wait to put it in the hands of young folk I love. This book had so many moments of beauty and was so well done. The main characters, Kat and Ravi were both sympathetic and well drawn, I appreciated the fact that the friendships and relationships in this book were nuanced and all of them given attention. The romance (what little there was) does not take center stage here at all. There was a lot of church Beautifully and sensitively told. My heart is a little bit broken and a little bit full. Can't wait to put it in the hands of young folk I love. This book had so many moments of beauty and was so well done. The main characters, Kat and Ravi were both sympathetic and well drawn, I appreciated the fact that the friendships and relationships in this book were nuanced and all of them given attention. The romance (what little there was) does not take center stage here at all. There was a lot of church stuff in this book, and as a person who has some bagge re: being a young person in a Christian church environment, I sometimes struggle with this kind of content-- but I felt like it was handled in an honest and healthy way, and was definitely essential to the story, the motivations of the characters, and so forth. There are so many huge topics in here-- religion, interracial adoption (and the trauma that comes with losing one's first family), child trafficking, PTSD, assault, forgiveness, etc. etc-- but the book never felt unwieldy or (to make up a word) "teachy." This is my first book by Mitali Perkins, but I will be visiting her backlist forthwith..

  14. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Full review to come. Amazing story of strength, courage, and redemption. Deals with a lot of tough content, read reviews for trigger warnings.

  15. 5 out of 5

    grieshaber.reads

    Although Kat fought off her would-be rapist with her champion Brazilian jiujitsu skills, she is not left undamaged. She is suffering from PTSD and anger that her accusations left her attacker unpunished. In an effort to help her daughter, Kat’s mom sends her away from California to Boston to live with a an elderly (but awesome) family friend. Grandma Vee is loving and wonderful and so, so wise. She insists Kat attend a youth group meeting in order to get to know people Kat’s own age. In all her Although Kat fought off her would-be rapist with her champion Brazilian jiujitsu skills, she is not left undamaged. She is suffering from PTSD and anger that her accusations left her attacker unpunished. In an effort to help her daughter, Kat’s mom sends her away from California to Boston to live with a an elderly (but awesome) family friend. Grandma Vee is loving and wonderful and so, so wise. She insists Kat attend a youth group meeting in order to get to know people Kat’s own age. In all her wisdom, Grandma Vee knew Kat would form a connection with Robin, a member of the youth group. Robin was born in India, christened “Ravi” by the orphanage, and adopted by his loving white parents when he was three years old. Although Robin has enjoyed a life of luxury and love, he has always felt like something was missing. He’s getting ready to graduate but he has no idea what he wants to do with his life, he mostly keeps to himself, and he doesn’t have many hobbies. He feels like a no one. The night Kat attends the youth group meeting, the pastor tells the group about an opportunity. He will be taking a small group of students to Kolkata, India to learn about the realities of the sex trafficking trade and to help its victims in whatever ways deemed appropriate by the relief organization. Robin sees the trip as an opportunity to find his birth mother. Kat sees it as an opportunity to teach young girls self-defense as a way to never again be trafficked. Both will learn much, much more than they bargained for. Please read the rest of my review on the LibrariansLitBooks blog: https://www.librarianslitbooks.com/si...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary Sanchez

    After experiencing an assault in the school stairwell, Katina (Kat) is sent to Boston to live with a family friend, Grandma Vee, who will tutor Kat for the remaining part of the year. The elderly woman suggests Kat attend the local church youth group and befriend a boy named Robin Thornton who seems troubled too. His parents adopted him from an orphanage in India when he was three, and although he's happy to have his parents, he wonders about his path in life since he's more interested in fixing After experiencing an assault in the school stairwell, Katina (Kat) is sent to Boston to live with a family friend, Grandma Vee, who will tutor Kat for the remaining part of the year. The elderly woman suggests Kat attend the local church youth group and befriend a boy named Robin Thornton who seems troubled too. His parents adopted him from an orphanage in India when he was three, and although he's happy to have his parents, he wonders about his path in life since he's more interested in fixing an old VW than in attending college at the moment. He also discovers that Kat is the girl Grandma Vee asked him to make her feel welcome. The youth group leader announces he'll be traveling to India and the youth are also invited to volunteer over the summer with the Bengali Emancipation Society who fight human trafficking. After watching some film about one girl's trafficking story, Kat, Robin, and Grace sign on for the ten week summer trip. Secretly, Kat has a plan to teach these girls self defense moves and Robin, who now wants to be called Ravi, wants to use some of the time in India to try and track down his own story. The story is told from each of their point of view. The trafficking issues became more realistic to me, especially as the characters dealt with the victims, some of whom had babies because of their experiences. I really enjoyed the religious perspectives and the details about India. However, the plot line where Ravi resembled an Indian movie story wasn't resolved. I kept thinking the movie star could have been Ravi's twin brother or perhaps a trafficker, but the story was still very satisfying.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Beltrami

    I loved this book! I don't think I've ever read anything like it. Firstly, I loved the main characters. Kat is tough on the outside with a lot of hurt, fear, and anger on her inside. She chooses to categorize the people that she meets as animals in order to make sense of them in a way that she can understand. She learns the power of her own vulnerability in freeing the people around her who are also hurting. Ravi is an adopted kid with little direction. It's so unique to read about a kid who has I loved this book! I don't think I've ever read anything like it. Firstly, I loved the main characters. Kat is tough on the outside with a lot of hurt, fear, and anger on her inside. She chooses to categorize the people that she meets as animals in order to make sense of them in a way that she can understand. She learns the power of her own vulnerability in freeing the people around her who are also hurting. Ravi is an adopted kid with little direction. It's so unique to read about a kid who has everything he needs but doesn't know how to know what he wants. I think that often gets overlooked. We're usually reading about kids who know what they want but don't know how to get there. Ravi can't seem to figure out what would be the best thing for him. He is drowned out by the voices of everyone who seems to think they know what's best for him. I loved that this book talks about that - figuring out what you actually want and not what those around you want. I love that this book didn't hide from trauma, fear, or deep deep hurt. I love that this book talks about healing that doesn't wrap everything up with a pink bow at the end - it was real and raw and truthful. I love that this book explores another culture while recognizing the value of not trying to impose your own culture. I love that this book was about disproving stereotypes and about using your story to help others heal. This book is unique, it is real, it is raw, and it is something that kids should be reading (and adults too). I feel like I'm still learning from Perkins' words.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for this fabulous book that manages to raise awareness about #humantrafficking as well as tell an incredibly compelling story about two individuals who heal together through a service trip to Kolkata. . 〰 〰 I read this in one day and was completely drawn in by Katina and Robin/Ravi’s stories. Kat is biracial and a jiu jitsu champ who is struggling after an attempted sexual assault. She moves to Boston to live with family friend Vee who she immediately connects with. Robin is of Indian herita ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this fabulous book that manages to raise awareness about #humantrafficking as well as tell an incredibly compelling story about two individuals who heal together through a service trip to Kolkata. . 〰️ 〰️ I read this in one day and was completely drawn in by Katina and Robin/Ravi’s stories. Kat is biracial and a jiu jitsu champ who is struggling after an attempted sexual assault. She moves to Boston to live with family friend Vee who she immediately connects with. Robin is of Indian heritage and cherished by his white adoptive parents but he wants to meet his birth mother. The two teens along with Gracie (Latinx) travel to India for a summer church service project to learn about human trafficking and help out however they can. . 〰️ 〰️ I loved both perspectives. I loved Kat especially — she is such a multilayered character. I love how the two main characters are not romantically interested in each other, but instead support each other as friends. (there is a wonderful romance in here, too, though!). . 〰️ 〰️ Reviews say ages 14+, but I am buying a copy of this for my more mature 8th grade readers, particularly students interested in activism and social justice. Besides highlighting the problem of human trafficking, which is a global problem, there are also important messages in here about finding a way to contribute and help people (but also respecting local cultures and serving only when asked). . 〰️ 〰️ #yalit #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram #forwardmebacktoyou @mitaliperkins #yabooks #amreading #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram

  19. 4 out of 5

    Adam Shields

    Short thoughts: This is the story of two teens impacted by different types of trauma. Kat fought off a sexual assault at school, but was traumatized by it and by the fact that she was not believed by her school or friends. Robin is now 18 and about to graduate from high school, but still is dealing with the trauma of his adoption, the loss of his birth family and country and culture. The two of them, along with another teen and a youth pastor go to India for the summer to work with an anti traff Short thoughts: This is the story of two teens impacted by different types of trauma. Kat fought off a sexual assault at school, but was traumatized by it and by the fact that she was not believed by her school or friends. Robin is now 18 and about to graduate from high school, but still is dealing with the trauma of his adoption, the loss of his birth family and country and culture. The two of them, along with another teen and a youth pastor go to India for the summer to work with an anti trafficking non-profit. None of them expect what they really end up doing for the summer, but the development of the story is skillfully done. This is really a Christian fiction book. It is not published by a Christian publisher or imprint, but the Christianity of the characters is central. It is not an overly simplistic book as many Christian fiction books are. The trauma of the characters is not magically solved. Trafficking is not solved by a few American teens. There were a few places where the book got a little too informational, but there are real issues that are explored and that exploration needs background. I thought that the book was starting to go too stereotypically wrong in a few places, but it never did. I pretty much never read Christian fiction. But this was well written and I will be reading more of Perkins' books. I alternated between the audiobook and the kindle book. The narration was very good. My longer thoughts are on my blog at http://bookwi.se/forward-me-back-to-you/

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    When three teens from different backgrounds, facing different challenges, go on a service trip to India, they each hope to find the solution to their worries and problems but they discover new friendships instead. Perkins has great characters and they are fully fleshed out. Kat is recovering after a sexual assault by throwing herself into jujitsu; Robin is struggling with who he is and where he belongs while facing questions about his adoption from India. I liked that this was not a romance - tha When three teens from different backgrounds, facing different challenges, go on a service trip to India, they each hope to find the solution to their worries and problems but they discover new friendships instead. Perkins has great characters and they are fully fleshed out. Kat is recovering after a sexual assault by throwing herself into jujitsu; Robin is struggling with who he is and where he belongs while facing questions about his adoption from India. I liked that this was not a romance - that is becoming more and more rare in YA contemporaries. Instead Robin and Kat's relationship is strictly a friendship as they slowly become more comfortable confiding in each other and their other travel mate Gracie. Also, the characters were so diverse and the book offered a nice glimpse into everyday life in India, while also showing the dark side of human trafficking. Unfortunately though, I felt overall like there was something lacking in the story and that it felt a little rushed. The ending tied everything up very quickly, but at the same time left many things unanswered. I appreciate this book for what it tries to do and the fact that it is diverse (the 3 main characters were biracial, latina, and Indian) and is mostly set outside of the US. Still, I was left wanting more from it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tina Hoggatt

    Parallel stories of two young people find their way to self and confidence. Ravi, an American teen about to graduate from high school, was adopted at age three by white parents and has recently come into family trust fund money, struggles to know what he should do next. His parents want him to go to a four year college but his joy is working on cars in the mechanics shop. He is haunted by a dream of finding his birth mother and oppressed by a best friend who belittles him. His church youth group Parallel stories of two young people find their way to self and confidence. Ravi, an American teen about to graduate from high school, was adopted at age three by white parents and has recently come into family trust fund money, struggles to know what he should do next. His parents want him to go to a four year college but his joy is working on cars in the mechanics shop. He is haunted by a dream of finding his birth mother and oppressed by a best friend who belittles him. His church youth group is a source of steadying strength to him. Into this group comes Katina, jujitsu champion and bi-racial high school senior who has left her California home after a sexual assault at school. When the youth group has the opportunity to travel to Bengladesh to assist in a center that gives shelter to girls who have been trafficked for sex, these two and another member of the youth group (a love interest for Ravi) join their pastor for nine weeks. The trip will reveal to Ravi his life's direction, allow Kat to come to terms with her assault, and, through action, service, and faith, make a difference in the world around them - and in themselves. There is a delicious kiss as well.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Whitney West

    This book follows the story of two teens, Kat and Robin. Kat finds herself in a traumatic situation and moves away to cope with the trauma. Robin finds himself struggling with his identity as he reflects on his life as an adopted child. Both teens find themselves at the same church small group and learn of an opportunity to travel to India to serve a human trafficking emancipation group. The teens travel to India, the city Robin was born and adopted from, and reflect further on their lives as th This book follows the story of two teens, Kat and Robin. Kat finds herself in a traumatic situation and moves away to cope with the trauma. Robin finds himself struggling with his identity as he reflects on his life as an adopted child. Both teens find themselves at the same church small group and learn of an opportunity to travel to India to serve a human trafficking emancipation group. The teens travel to India, the city Robin was born and adopted from, and reflect further on their lives as they deal with their own struggles. I really liked this text because it deals with some mature themes regarding rape culture, but it does so in a way that makes it digestible to young readers. It's so important for young readers to be included in these discussions because they are affected by these issues too. This text sheds light on rape culture in high school settings, but also delves into relationships, empowerment, and identity. I would recommend this to any student, but I would do so with a trigger warning as this text does contain material that could be triggering to victims of sexual assault.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Brown

    This novel was interesting because a lot of the topics discussed were things I was unknowledgeable about and haven't read in a novel before. The adoption process, Indian culture, human trafficking and jujitsu were all topics I did not have a lot of preknowledge about. This book took deep and dark issues with attempted rape and deep scare and wrote about them with such balance and care this would be a perfect YA book for a variety of ages. This book was a well rounded read because the author didn This novel was interesting because a lot of the topics discussed were things I was unknowledgeable about and haven't read in a novel before. The adoption process, Indian culture, human trafficking and jujitsu were all topics I did not have a lot of preknowledge about. This book took deep and dark issues with attempted rape and deep scare and wrote about them with such balance and care this would be a perfect YA book for a variety of ages. This book was a well rounded read because the author didn't sugar coat any of the instances that discussed racism, rape culture or human trafficking but she presented it in a way that gave the reader more understanding and allowed the audience to identify with emotions of the characters. The two main characters of the novel are forced to discover themselves for the first time, which again is another reason this would be a perfect YA read. The self-discovery of the characters was another aspect of the book I particularly enjoyed and something a lot of readers can resinate with.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Another really, really good book by Perkins, in which believable young people cope with their own traumas by helping others. Among the many things I liked and admired in this book: 1. The characterizations. 2. The friendships 3. The vivid settings 4. The adult characters, who acted like adults. They gave the teens freedom to act, but also gave them limits and had high expectations for them. I also liked the way faith was handled, with one minor quibble. The Latina character, Gracie, is Catholic. It' Another really, really good book by Perkins, in which believable young people cope with their own traumas by helping others. Among the many things I liked and admired in this book: 1. The characterizations. 2. The friendships 3. The vivid settings 4. The adult characters, who acted like adults. They gave the teens freedom to act, but also gave them limits and had high expectations for them. I also liked the way faith was handled, with one minor quibble. The Latina character, Gracie, is Catholic. It's a slight cliche that she comes from a huge family and therefore has tons of experience with babies. As a Catholic, I also didn't believe such a devout young woman would attend Mass on Fridays and then go to church with her Protestant peers on Sundays. But these are very minor quibbles. Though think "You Bring the Distant Near" would work better for an intergenerational (teens and adults) readership, with its focus on generations of women, adults, as well as teens, should enjoy "Forward me back to You". Four and a half stars, and warmly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Kat lives in LA and studies Brazilian jujitsu. However, she has a secret and is having a hard time dealing with it so her mom sends her to Boston for the summer. Robin was adopted from an orphanage in India and is living in India. He's struggling to figure out what to do with his future and may need to come to grips with his past in order to accomplish that. Robin and Kat both end up on a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. They both end up discovering some Kat lives in LA and studies Brazilian jujitsu. However, she has a secret and is having a hard time dealing with it so her mom sends her to Boston for the summer. Robin was adopted from an orphanage in India and is living in India. He's struggling to figure out what to do with his future and may need to come to grips with his past in order to accomplish that. Robin and Kat both end up on a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. They both end up discovering some truths about themselves and about humanity in general that help them come to terms with their own lives and help them move forward through their own pain while helping others. Very well-written. Great characters. So descriptive, I could see the bustle of the streets in Kolkata. I read an ARC and I hope they change the cover a bit because most of my students are not being drawn to it - but at least now that I have read it, I can tell them how great the story is. ***trigger warning for rape and trafficking***

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    After getting attacked by a guy at school, jujitsu champ Kat has trouble coping with her fee!ings about men, so her mother decides to send her to a friend in Boston, ultimately giving her the opportunity to travel to India to help and learn from young women who have also been victimized. Ravi was born in India and adopted in the U.S. after his mother gave him up. He wants to know why, so he joins the trip to India too. One might think that Perkins would have these two characters fall in love, bu After getting attacked by a guy at school, jujitsu champ Kat has trouble coping with her fee!ings about men, so her mother decides to send her to a friend in Boston, ultimately giving her the opportunity to travel to India to help and learn from young women who have also been victimized. Ravi was born in India and adopted in the U.S. after his mother gave him up. He wants to know why, so he joins the trip to India too. One might think that Perkins would have these two characters fall in love, but that's pleasantly not the case. Readers will learn a lot about human trafficking and the many ways women are victimized, even when they are strong, but also that we have many types of strength. I was bothered by the use of setting instructions at the beginnings of chapters, as if we are reading a script. It's not necessary. There's also a persistent plotline about how Ravi looks like an Indian film star that goes absolutely nowhere. Overall, a good read that will expose teens to another culture and some serious issues that supersede culture. Review from e-galley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Looking for past often coincides with bumping into your future. I appreciated that the friendships in this book were as front and center as the potential relationship. All three of these young adults are trying to move forward. One wants to know his past. One needs to rediscover her strength and one needs to branch out from family. For me, I hated that Grace did not have her own voice. She is an aside in both the other stories even though she had a valuable story herself. She often felt like a w Looking for past often coincides with bumping into your future. I appreciated that the friendships in this book were as front and center as the potential relationship. All three of these young adults are trying to move forward. One wants to know his past. One needs to rediscover her strength and one needs to branch out from family. For me, I hated that Grace did not have her own voice. She is an aside in both the other stories even though she had a valuable story herself. She often felt like a way to move the plot along. Trauma is never experienced in exactly the same way. This book shows many ways it can impact the lives of everyone who encounter it. Ravi’s resemblance to the movie star was a little irritating as it went nowhere. It is well written and is an important story but some of it just didn’t work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Glenda Nelms

    This is a powerful, challenging, and well-written novel by Mitali Perkins. The story deals with sexual assault, abandonment, identity and human trafficking. She tells stories of courage and strength with diverse characters. The beginning of the story starts with the aftermath of Katina's sexual assault. Ravi searching for his birth parents in India. Told in different perspectives, Katina and Ravi take a mission trip to India to help young girls who have been victims of human trafficking. This bo This is a powerful, challenging, and well-written novel by Mitali Perkins. The story deals with sexual assault, abandonment, identity and human trafficking. She tells stories of courage and strength with diverse characters. The beginning of the story starts with the aftermath of Katina's sexual assault. Ravi searching for his birth parents in India. Told in different perspectives, Katina and Ravi take a mission trip to India to help young girls who have been victims of human trafficking. This book will bring awareness on the human trafficking problem, which continuing to be a heavy human rights issue around the nation and world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Mitali Perkins is one of the best YA authors writing today. Her books deal with heavy topics (this one deals with human trafficking, attempted sexual assault and someone trying to find a biological parent) and yet they're also full of hope. They're also full of characters who fight, which we definitely need more of. I loved Forward Me Back to You. Kat and Robin are the kinds of narrators who burrow into your heart and don't leave. I'll be thinking about them for a long time, and I hope we get a s Mitali Perkins is one of the best YA authors writing today. Her books deal with heavy topics (this one deals with human trafficking, attempted sexual assault and someone trying to find a biological parent) and yet they're also full of hope. They're also full of characters who fight, which we definitely need more of. I loved Forward Me Back to You. Kat and Robin are the kinds of narrators who burrow into your heart and don't leave. I'll be thinking about them for a long time, and I hope we get a sequel. (They both plan to return to Kolkata, so there are more stories to be told!) Highly recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    One of the best YA books I've read in a long time. Beautiful, nuanced description of healing from trauma (both of the attack-shock type and of the loss-attachment type), outside of therapy. I really loved the way the service learning was integrated into the story. All the characters in India were full, complex people and the main characters were checked (usually with kindness) when they approached with missionary zeal and a sense of certainty that they knew how to fix things from the outside. Al One of the best YA books I've read in a long time. Beautiful, nuanced description of healing from trauma (both of the attack-shock type and of the loss-attachment type), outside of therapy. I really loved the way the service learning was integrated into the story. All the characters in India were full, complex people and the main characters were checked (usually with kindness) when they approached with missionary zeal and a sense of certainty that they knew how to fix things from the outside. Also, fabulous explorations of different types of privilege, identity, and belonging. (view spoiler)[(And points for not making Kat have a romance!) (hide spoiler)]

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