The Long Road Back by Bridget McGowan

four stars

A sequel to We Have Your Son, this novel follows up with the teenage romance between Jeremy and Emma, and all of the hardships they’ve undergone while trying to make their relationship work. It’s senior year, and the two are trying to move on with their lives and build a foundation together, all while aiming to get good grades and have some fun like most teenagers want to. Unfortunately for Jeremy and Emma, life proves to not be easy, even after they thought they’d put the past behind them. Jeremy’s sessions with his therapist continue to increase in intensity, and just when things start to calm down and he thinks he can stop going, he hits another roadblock. Another wrench is thrown into the mix when it’s revealed that Daniel Brannigan, the man who kidnapped Jeremy when he was a little boy, is living nearby. Between this revelation, overprotective parents, the typical turmoil of teenage romance, and the unrelenting angst that often boils up between Jeremy and Emma, it’s no wonder these two lovebirds are finding it difficult to make their relationship flourish in the ways they wish it to.

A thrilling sequel that takes many of the same themes and storylines from We Have Your Son and expands upon them, The Long Road Back deepens the connection between Jeremy and Emma, while throwing new complications their way. By mixing elements of a Young Adult novel with a Thriller, this novel succeeds at crafting a plot line that is constantly shifting and evolving, keeping the reader on their toes as they try to figure out what is going to happen next. While Jeremy and Emma were well developed in the first book, they are even more realistic here. The scenes of Jeremy with his therapist are especially memorable, and paint a complex picture of someone who has to try their best to deal with the demons from their past. This book is sure to appeal to both readers young and old, regardless of whether or not you’ve read the first book in the series.