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  • Writer's pictureChrissy

Review of No Going Back by Patrick Flores-Scott

Antonio has just been released from Zephyr Woods where he has spent the last year and a half for what he feels he is a crime he is only a little at fault for. Somehow he wound up with the majority of the punishment, but he's come to terms, he learned some important things from some amazing people at Zephyr Woods and now its his time to make amends, and to reunite with the one person who he has always been able to count on. Nothing goes as planned and instead of facing all the reasons he was put away to begin with, Antonio runs, just like he always has, but this time, maybe he is running towards something bigger than anyone ever could have imagined, instead of away.

I have read some really incredible YA Lit-Fic in the last two years. After months of reading murdery stuff, I was ready for something with feeling. Boy did I get it in picking No Going Back. I honestly don't think that Netgalley's description fully prepared me for Flores-Scott's writing.

The story begins with Antonio, or Tonio as his friends and family call him, preparing to re-enter society after his time in Zephyr Woods. You are filled with hope for his future as he tells his mentors what comes next and what his plans are. The chapters swap between current Antonio and past Antonio. The writing for the chapters that show glimpses into Antonio's life leading up to his incarceration is a bit jarring at first. It's not only the tense that changes, but the cadence. The past is written solely in verse. It won't take long for you to get used to the flow and sink into the story again though.

There came a point where I did have to put the book down and walk away from it for a bit. As a mother with teenagers, I wanted to hug this boy so hard but also lock him up again for all of the self harm he was doing. Self harm isn't always physical folks. Often times it can be done with destructive behaviors. Antonio became a ticking time bomb and the explosion was going to be this life he had so carefully begun to piece back together. I put the book down so that I could take a breath, I needed one just as bad as Antonio. You know a book is good when you are held so tight in it's fist that your emotions become entwined with the main characters.

No Going Back is intense, emotional, and at times difficult to read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 for this tale of forgiveness, redemption, and healing. If you loved the lyrical writing styles of Clap When You Land or What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, you will love No Going Back.

Psst! Just so you know, some of the links sprinkled here are affiliate links. If you decide to click and treat yourself, I might get a little high-five in the form of a commission at no additional cost to you. Cheers to good vibes and happy reading!

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