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Heading Home Paperback – Mar 1 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook Publishing; 1 edition (March 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434767760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434767769
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #281,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
Review by Jill Williamson

After eight years in Italy, A.J. is coming back to Indian Island, Idaho. She can't wait to see her dog Sailor and her old friend Danny. Sailor acts as if nothing has changed, but Danny--oooh. He's grown up into a six-foot-tall real-life cowboy. He seems interested in A.J., but she has a promise to keep that doesn't include Danny. What's a girl to do if she wants both?

Okay. So I loved Saving Sailor, and I LOVED Taking Tuscany. So when I saw that Heading Home was available, I had to buy it. It did not disappoint. I'm a closure-happy ending kind of girl, and though A.J. sure does have a tendency to make a mess of things, Renée Riva has a great way of putting it all back together. A.J.'s Italian/Greek family is hysterical. This book was funny, heartwarming, and delightful. These three books were a fabulous coming-of-age story that takes place in the 1960's and 1970's. I highly recommend them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa5751e7c) out of 5 stars 29 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5757a14) out of 5 stars Tender, Warm and Funny May 4 2010
By Glynn Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I don't normally read Young Adult (YA) novels. Not that I have anything against them; I just haven't been a YA for a long time, although I remember with great fondness always being directed by any church we attended to the class for young couples. But even then we would have been too old to be classified as YAs.

Renee Riva's "Heading Home" is the third novel in a YA trilogy, preceded by "Saving Sailor" and "Taking Tuscany" (yes, I noticed the alliteration in all three of the titles). It's the story of 18-year-old A.J. Degulio, who returns home to the Pacific Northwest after eight years in Italy with her family. The family remains in Italy; she's coming back to see her dog Sailor, renew her friendship with her childhood friend Danny Morgan, and to start college, where she intends to study veterinary science. Sailor remembers her, Danny turns out to have become something of a hunk (A.J.'s words, not mine), and vet studies might have to take a back seat to A.J.'s intent to become a nun.

A nun?

How about a would-be nun who gets jealous when Danny begins dating someone else?

It's complicated. The lives of YAs are always complicated.

Here's what I learned from this well-written, fast-paced YA novel.

The audience is not YAs; the audience is most likely YA females.

Someone reading this book would not be embarrassed if her mother or father found her reading it. It's clean. For whatever reason, I was reminded of reading the Hardy Boys mysteries when I was slightly younger than a YA.

It's funny. Riva writes humor well, and there are scenes (including one involving blackberries) that first provoke a smile and then a laugh. Once the family arrives from Italy, and then the extended family from all over, the story moves into an ongoing series of funny scenes.

And "Heading Home" is touching, including one scene between A.J. and her father that's happened a million times in fiction but here seems fresh, tender and real.

"Heading Home" is not the kind of fiction I usually read, but it's aimed right at its target audience. The target audience's parents (and grandparents) won't mind reading it, either.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5757a68) out of 5 stars AJ strikes again.... Feb. 1 2011
By M. Jane Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
if you have not read the 2 previous novels in this trilogy (saving sailor and taking tuscany), do it! you will not regret it!

heading home is the book in which the fairy tale ending occurs, but with a twist. AJ returns to indian lake to pursue her vetrinary degree, and to reunite with her dog, sailor. her plan is to get her degree and marry Danny, her long-time sweetheart. but over the corse of this crazy end-of-summer-into-fall, a few things get in the way of her dream:

1) herself. AJ cannot seem to decide what is God's will for her life: to marry Danny, or become a nun? (if you've the previous books, you'll ask the same question i did: AJ? a nun?)

2) an aquaitance/dork from her childhood(saving sailor). Rodney Gizmode, who has turned into an even dorkier character, seems to think they belong together. obviously, AJ (and Danny) has other ideas.

3) her family. what will danny think of her roman/catholic/italian family? not to mention nona?

4) if they do get married, what will they be? this provides quite a dilemma, for both AJ and danny, because AJ is roman/catholic/italian and Danny is southern baptist.

5) if they do have a wedding, AJ's in-laws, the greeks will have to be invited. this poses the problem of how to tell nonna that her daughter (AJ's aunt) married a greek, which will surely, to say the least, upset nonna!

6) where do they get married? AJ's mother is convinced that nothing will do but that AJ be married in a catholic church, but Danny is not sure about being married in a catholic church. once they decide to get married in a greek orthodox church, they also have the problem of convincing nonna. (!)

7) her mother. need i say more?

in the end, all of AJ's problems resolve themselves, and the happy ending is complete. however, the way these confilicts are resolved is VERY amusing! Renee Riva does a masterful job of adding humor into the scenes; much of this humor will make you laugh out loud!

anther point in this books favor is that it is a clean book. no cussing, no racy romance, and no booze(except for at the wedding, and there it is only briefly mentioned).

all-in-all, this book is a great read! appropiate for all ages, it will provide a wonderful rainy-afternoon's read. because it is told from AJ's view-point, it may appeal more to teen girls. i give it 6-out-of-5 stars!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5757ea0) out of 5 stars Did not disappoint Nov. 20 2010
By Novel Teen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Review by Jill Williamson

After eight years in Italy, A.J. is coming back to Indian Island, Idaho. She can't wait to see her dog Sailor and her old friend Danny. Sailor acts as if nothing has changed, but Danny--oooh. He's grown up into a six-foot-tall real-life cowboy. He seems interested in A.J., but she has a promise to keep that doesn't include Danny. What's a girl to do if she wants both?

Okay. So I loved Saving Sailor, and I LOVED Taking Tuscany. So when I saw that Heading Home was available, I had to buy it. It did not disappoint. I'm a closure-happy ending kind of girl, and though A.J. sure does have a tendency to make a mess of things, Renée Riva has a great way of putting it all back together. A.J.'s Italian/Greek family is hysterical. This book was funny, heartwarming, and delightful. These three books were a fabulous coming-of-age story that takes place in the 1960's and 1970's. I highly recommend them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5757e88) out of 5 stars Renee Riva is a gem of an author April 5 2010
By C.J. Darlington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A sweet tale of true love, quirky characters, and a girl named A.J. you can't help but adore. Renee Riva is a gem of an author in Christian fiction. Everyone should have the chance to enjoy her wonderful stories, and Heading Home is no exception. A wonderful finish to a delightful trilogy. Be sure to read the others, Saving Sailor and Taking Tuscany, too. Viva la familia!
HASH(0xa5759360) out of 5 stars Not much on living the faith March 26 2014
By Sofia Marie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Typical A. J.: The rowboat smashes into the dock with a thud. A startled mallard plunges into the lake and paddles quickly away. “I’m home!” I yell at the top of my lungs. I’ve waited eight long years to hear myself say those two words again.

Quick note: I haven’t read the other two in the series, so maybe some of my thoughts on Heading Home aren’t the same as the ones others would have. And at least one spoiler is in there, sorry!

A.J. has been in Italy for 8 years. Now she is finally going back to her home on the island! There she is reunited with her dog Sailor and friend Danny. Has he grown up! The two of them seem to like each other more than just friends. But A. J. was thinking about becoming a nun. And nuns can’t marry. Now A.J. is torn between what she believes to be her calling and her love for Danny. What does God have in store for her?

A. J. is a 18-year-old girl with a wonderful sense of humor. I have laughed at what she says and does numerous times. An original character, I think. The nun/true love problem is unique too. And her family is large and provides a source of entertainment as well.

Sadly though, mostly there wasn’t that much on living the faith. A. J. would go on with her life and then all of a sudden she thinks about God for a few scenes. And then He’s not there for a while again. Lost in “the fun stuff” A.J. is doing, I guess. Another disappointment was that the whole nun problem was solved too easily and by about the middle of the book! And then the other half was mostly about them planning the wedding. Maybe this is the climax of the whole series and is worth half a book if you’ve read the other two. But if you only have read this one book, it gets boring easily. There is this other problem about them marrying: what church should they be married in? She’s a Catholic and he’s a Baptist. And there’s some discussion about God around that. But when that problem is solved, God is mostly not mentioned till the wedding where she says “thanks” a couple times. Sad.

To sum that all up, Heading Home is a book I suppose is better read after the other two in the series. It is a light read with a lot of good, clean humor. But if you want something that really encourages your faith, you just might want to pick up something else.

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