Book Review: Come November by Katrin Van Dam

Book: Come November by Katrin Van Dam

Published October 2018 by Scholastic Press|373 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

It’s not the end of the world, but for Rooney Harris it’s starting to feel that way. It’s the beginning of senior year and her mom just lost her job. Even worse, she isn’t planning to get another one. Instead, she’s spending every waking moment with a group called the Next World Society, whose members are convinced they’ll be leaving Earth behind on November 17. It sounds crazy to Rooney, but to her mother and younger brother it sounds like salvation. As her mom’s obsession threatens to tear their lives apart, Rooney is scrambling to hold it all together. But will saving her family mean sacrificing her dreams—or theirs?

Come November was a book that I picked up on a whim at the library recently.  I wasn’t sure if I’d like it (and I was expecting to not like it) but I was intrigued enough to give it a try.  I’m glad I did, because I ended up really liking it.

Rooney has a lot on her plate, and I’m not the hugest fan of a teen being completely responsible for her family because mom has checked out for any number of reasons.  But it didn’t bother me in this book and that surprised me.  I think it’s because her mom is in this environmental cult-like group.  That part was really interesting.  It’s like Heaven’s Gate meets Greenpeace, and I was wondering how dark this book was going to go.

Rooney’s mom does talk about how she ended up in Next World Society, and it was pretty easy to see how she ended up being involved with them.  There was a wide range of people in Next World, but there was one girl in particular that I really felt for.  I’m drawing a blank on her name, but she was one of the younger people involved, and it seemed like she lost a lot during her time with them.  You could say that about a lot of the people in Next World, and I really felt for Rooney as she tried to rebuild after things didn’t go the way everyone expected it to go.

I wasn’t surprised and I don’t think Rooney was surprised either.  It took a lot for her to call her dad, and I felt so much anger towards her mom.  It definitely seemed like she kept him from Rooney and her brother but I was glad she reached out to him for help.  At the end of the book, it really seemed like they were trying to heal things and move past how horrible things were.

She was living in such a bizarre situation, and while she was able to ask for help, I felt for her brother.  I really want him to be okay, and there’s definitely a lot of healing that needs to happen.  For everyone, not just Rooney and her dad.  It seems like they’re all headed in the right direction, and I hope everything works itself out.  I don’t blame Rooney for not wanting to be in contact with her mom after everything that happened, but it seems like she’s trying.

Her mom made a lot of choices that had a huge impact on her marriage and her relationship with her kids, and the choices she makes for most of the book are these really insane choices.  Again, given her mom seemed pretty fragile, I could understand how she’d end up with a group like Everett’s.  And she does find a way to get past it and move on.  A lot of people might not have that opportunity, and even though I didn’t like Rooney’s mom, I was glad that she had the opportunity to change things and get better.

4 stars.  I really liked Come November, and I’m glad I picked it up.

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