I received this book for free from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Come November: Katrin van Dam}Come November by Katrin van Dam
Published by Scholastic Press on October 30, 2018
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Religion, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Scholastic Press
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5 Stars



{Synopsis} – 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?

{My thoughts} – 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?

{My thoughts} – I have to admit from the beginning that this isn’t ordinarily the kind of book that I would just pick up and read. I receive a lot of different genres of books from Scholastic to Read and Review and sometimes they send some that aren’t otherwise in my usual reading genres. This is one of those books and I am so glad they sent it.

When I picked this book up to read I didn’t read anything about it, I just opened the book and turned to the first page of the first chapter and started reading. This is my usual approach to books that I know next to nothing about. I don’t like to judge a book without actually getting to know it intimately and the only way to get to know a book is to read it.

Once I was through the first chapter I had a good idea about what the book was about. It was about a mother that got trapped in the unrealistic beliefs of a cult. It was about a teenage daughter struggling to hold their family together and a little boy that was trying to find his identity in the world around him. These three family members were woven together so incredibly that it was hard to set the book down. I honestly tried to read it from start to finish yesterday, but it got late and I needed sleep.

Taking into account the cult aspect of the book. I couldn’t understand how a mother could willing put their children through that kind of situation. However, as the book unraveled it explained where she was in her head at the time she made such choices and what brought her to believe that those were in the best interest of her family. I wanted to virtually slap some sense into her a few times, don’t get me wrong, but I can understand how life, the world etc can become so overwhelming that you choose to believe in something else no matter how irrational it might be. When you think about her choices and how she explains them, they make sense, however, any normal person would conclude they were off the wall insane choices. She made choices that destroyed her marriage, that ruined her relationship with her children, but eventually she was able to find her way back to reality. Not every person that gets caught up in a cult has that kind of opportunity.

This story is told through the eyes of her daughter Marina. She’s a bright girl with a future that is having problems keeping things together. She hasn’t been taught much about love or family or what it means to makes it in the real world as an adult. However, she learned very quickly that actions have consequences and that the choices her mother had been making for their family were not in the best interest of the family. Eventually things got to be so bad that she was forced to involve her dad and with that it opened up a whole new can of worms. She learned there was another side to the story and that all the things her mother had told her about her father wasn’t true.

Marina’s little brother Daniel a sweet cute little boy. He was caught in the middle. All he wanted was to understand his mother. Why she believed what she believed. Why she made the choices she made and he wanted to make sense of it all. It was a huge lot of stress and he was crying a lot of nights because he didn’t know how to handle it all. One of the worst things to stomach was the pain that little boy was going through and no one was really trying to help him.

I really think this book was well written. It made me laugh and almost cry at some points. It had it’s good and bad points. It has the potential to teach a moral lessen as well as to show the effects of cult influence on a family, but mostly the children within the family.