Check out Scott Reads It! for reviews, giveaways, & more! The Returned was one of the toughest books that I've read this year. It was extremely difficult for me to read because it's just so emotional and poignant. Each and every page is utterly heartbreaking and heartwarming in it's own way; this book is just so bittersweet. I really couldn't muster up the courage to read this some days and so I couldn't read this book. The Returned definitely hit home hard and that turned reading this into a bit of a challenge; despite my difficulties, The Returned is an absolutely beautiful, touching novel. Imagine how it would feel if your son showed up on your door after being dead for around 50 years? That's what Harold and Lucille's dilemma is when their deceased son, Jacob pops up into their lives. Jacob had drowned and Harold and Lucille have to welcome their son back into their home. This book raises so many thought-provoking questions about humanity and accepting the past. My heart grieved for Harold and Lucille with each page because I know how hard it was for them to learn that their son was back. I was touched by Jacob's interactions with both of his parents and how he immediately felt welcome in his old home. I started to tear up reading about Jacob's relationship with his dad and how it changed since his return. You would think that Mott would explain why people returned; when I found out that there was no explanation, I was actually slightly enjoyed. The more I read of The Returned, the less I really cared why it had occurred. It was one of those things that I felt like I just accepted because it felt right in it's own crazy way. Did it truthfully matter how people returned? The only thing that I realized mattered was that the returned came back and they had a right to live their own lives again. I really don't know whether to categorize The Returned as contemporary or paranormal. In a way, it's really a mixture of those two genres. Even if The Returned is "paranormal", it feels like gut-wrenchingly honest and a reliable interpretation if deceased loved ones came back to life. The Returned is a book that will make you cry, mere pages after making you smile. This book is so complex, but at the heart and infrastructure of it is so simple and something we can all relate to. The Returned may be an "adult" book but it can definitely be read by teenagers and other mature readers because there's nothing really inappropriate in it. This book is about the pain of loss and all of the feelings that come with it. The Returned features some of the best characters I've seen in such a long time. I truly felt like I knew Harold and Lucille just from reading this book, I instantly connected and empathized them. Considering, I felt like I "knew" them, their actions were so unpredictable, yet justified. Harold and Lucille felt extremely life-like and they were the perfectly written parents. Just from reading The Returned, I just know that Mott is a spectacular writer. Every sentence is crafted well, every story is just as heartbreaking, and every page is emotional. I really loved the side stories that Mott juxtaposed along side the main plot line. It was truly something truly genius how some of the side stories were intertwined with Jacob's story. The Returned carries a heavy emotional punch and is by far, one of the most touching books I've read all year. A part of me knew how it was going to end, in the same way that almost all readers of The Fault In Our Stars just know how everything will be concluded. Even though I sort-of knew the big finale, I was surprised by everything that led to the heartbreaking, yet necessary conclusion. As gut-wrenching the ending was, I 100% think this was the only proper way this could have ended. Make sure to gather up some tissues because The Returned is a pure tearjerker. The Returned is an absolute must-read. If you're going to read only one book this year, make it The Returned. This is one phenomenal novel that will shatter your heart into a million pieces. It's no surprise to me that ABC has already adapted this novel into a TV Show called Ressurrection. I have a feeling based on watching the trailer that the show will be amazing and I'm emotionally ready to have my heart shattered by Jacob and Harold once again. The Returned is just unbelievably amazing and powerful novel that is sure to be the "Next Big Thing".